Perinatal OCD is when a parent experiences Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while pregnant or during the first year of their baby’s life. It often revolves around unwanted thoughts and images related to a parent’s fear of harming their infant. These intrusive thoughts go against the person’s values and intentions, which is precisely why they are so distressing.
Living with perinatal OCD can significantly interfere with the parent’s wellbeing and their experience of pregnancy and parenting. It is a little known but not uncommon form of mental distress.
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