Dealing with a newborn can cause so much anxiety and worry in new mothers that it could trigger mental disorders. A new study shows that a surprising amount of first-time moms develop obsessive compulsive disorder in the weeks after giving birth.
For the study, OB-GYN Emily Miller of Northwestern University followed 461 women after giving birth. A whopping 11% of them said they had intrusive thoughts and exhibited repetitive behaviors within two weeks after the delivery—that's 2 % - 3% more than the OCD rate in the general population—with 5.4% developing more symptoms within the next six months.
“It's good to check that your baby is strapped into the car seat,” Miller notes. “But these women aren't just doing it once. They're doing it over and over, and it's interfering with their lives.”
The study only followed biological mothers of infants, not adoptive. Their was no mention of whether the symptoms of OCD were affected by hormonal changes, like post-partum depression, but 75% of the women who developed OCD symptoms where suffering from PPD.
New Moms May Experience OCD Symptoms [Scientific American]