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It’s normal for new mothers to be a bit OCD, experts confirm

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Contrary to recent frightening statistics on cases of OCD in new mothers it has now been said by scientists that mothers who constantly check that their baby is breathing or run around the house cleaning every available surface should not necessarily worry that they are behaving abnormally. They are simply suffering from post-partum obsessive compulsive disorder.

A study from Northwestern University in Illinois found that women who had recently given birth were several times more likely than others to exhibit the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, which is characterised by people feeling compelled to repeat a task for fear of a worry coming true. The worry, in this case, is that some harm will come to their baby, commonly through germs or neglect.

Researchers have suggested that the behaviour may be natural, to help mothers to care better for a baby during some of the most dangerous months of its life.

“It may be that certain kinds of obsessions and compulsions are adaptive and appropriate for a new parent, for example, those about cleanliness and hygiene”, Dana Gossett from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, said. She hoped this research would help new mothers to understand that their behaviour was not necessarily something to be concerned about.

Simply Better Births offer new mother’s a 24 hour baby advice service for any concerns or worries mother’s wish to speak to a private midwife about. You can ask anything to a highly trained midwife online over Skype, by phone or book a one on one consultation.