Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders

About Postpartum Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

New mothers are five times as likely as other women to develop Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD).  In postpartum OCD, obsessions often center on the new infant, such as fears surrounding harming the baby or excessive concern over germs and hygiene. While these are typical concerns for any new mother, in women with postpartum OCD these thoughts are pervasive and cause intense anxiety and functional impairment. Furthermore, researchers have found that up to 70 percent of women with postpartum OCD also experience postpartum depression.

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