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By Lindsay

Lindsay is a proud mother of two and an active advocate within the Perinatal OCD Community.  Among her many activities, Lindsay helps co-facilitate a Postpartum Support International peer-to-peer group for Mom's with Perinatal OCD, and was a member of the Perinatal OCD Task Force - Public Awareness Subcommittee which helped with the IOCDF Perinatal OCD Resource Center, a joint project of the IOCDF and the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (formerly 2020 Mom).

Perinatal OCD is a form of OCD that impacts new parents. It consists of a cycle of obsessions and compulsions (mental or physical) centering on the new or unborn baby. 


I’ve been where you are. I know what you’re going through. I know how scary and frustrating it is to be a parent struggling with their own mental health, exactly at the time in life when all you want is to be the best version of yourself.  

I want you to know that you aren’t alone, there are so many of us who have experienced exactly what you're dealing with now. It's hard to explain to someone without lived experience just how terrifying, overwhelming, and exhausting it is to wake up each day hoping that today will be different, but in reality you're expecting to be inundated with unwanted thoughts that you understand are irrational but that doesn't make them less real. It's so important to understand that you haven't done anything wrong, this isn't your fault, you will get through this and you're doing an amazing job being a parent!

When I was struggling with Perinatal OCD, I felt completely lost. I was desperate for information, to understand what was happening, and why suddenly my mind was playing games with me. At the time, I didn't realize that all I wanted was to talk to someone going through the same thing as me. Now, I try to be that "someone" for other parents, to let them know that they don’t have to be on this journey alone and that what they’re going through is something others have survived. 

I know what you’re dealing with now is difficult, but with time and patience, you can and will come out on the other side of this. I remember vividly when I couldn't imagine a day where I could just live my life the way I wanted to live it without taking my OCD into consideration. Now looking back, I can say to anyone who is living with perinatal OCD, that it will take time and a lot of hard work, but it does get better and you will get better. There will be a moment when without even thinking about it, you will do something that you haven't done in a long time and when you realize that it happened just take a second to acknowledge it and be proud of yourself. There’s a bright beautiful life on the other side of what you’re going through, and if I could get there, I know you can too.

I’m telling you this as someone who found the way out. To anyone dealing with perinatal OCD, I hope my words mean more, just knowing that I’ve been in your shoes. I believe there's something comforting about hearing all of this from someone who's been through the same thing that you're going through, and I hope you feel that genuine understanding in these words.

In the throes of my Perinatal OCD, I struggled with wanting to keep my baby perfectly safe but also fearing they would grow up to believe my behaviors were normal and that they should mimic them. I imagine that's a common concern for a lot of parents living with Perinatal OCD, to balance those two extremes. We have to remember though that this is OCD. OCD latches on and finds every possible way to attack what we love and make that your focus, so that it becomes even harder for you to take control of your OCD.

I want to reiterate that, thankfully, we know how to combat OCD. No person should struggle silently. No one should suffer alone. 

As I said earlier, I craved information throughout my experience with Perinatal OCD but was afraid to seek it out. Having been through it myself, and as someone who constantly talks with mothers struggling with this disorder, I know first-hand how hard it can be to find the right information, provider, and support network. In an effort to hopefully save you some time, anxiety, and searching, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite trusted resources. I hope these help you along your journey, and please remember, we're all in this together. You are not alone. 

In addition to the below, be sure to visit the International OCD Foundation’s Perinatal OCD Resource Center for a comprehensive overview about Perinatal OCD, how it’s treated, and how to manage the condition.


If not already being screened by a provider for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, ask to be screened at least once during pregnancy and once in the year postpartum. Your partner should also be screened, particularly if the pregnant parent is diagnosed with a PMAD and/or there is a family history of mental health disorders.

2020 Mom Screening Overview

Postpartum.net Screening 

Emergency Services & Providers/Specific or Additional Qualifications:

Ideally find a provider with a specialty or background in Perinatal Mental Health or PMAD's (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders). DO NOT stop seeing your current provider until you're fully under the care of a new provider with whom you feel comfortable. It's also ok to have more than one provider if that's personally manageable.

Call or text PSI's Helpline 800-944-4773, Maternal Mental Health Hotline (24/7) 1-833-852-6262, Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988

Be specific in requesting to meet or speak with a therapist who has a background in PMAD's and/or treating OCD. A PMH-C is also very helpful!:

IOCDF’s Resource Directory

NOTE: You can select “Perinatal OCD” under “Specialty Areas” if you would like to, in addition to whatever other filters you may want.


PSI Directory


Postpartum.net’s Provider Directory




Emergency Help Services:


PMH-C Qualifications:


Supplemental Services/Peer-to-Peer Support:



Specialized OCD Coordinator:




Information/Additional Resources (books, podcasts, social media, etc):




https://www.instagram.com/ocdexcellence/?hl=en   &    https://www.ocdexcellence.com/

https://www.instagram.com/tortillawilson/?hl=en  (Tia Wilson)




Various Names/Terminologies Used (misused & often misdiagnosed):

Perinatal OCD (OCD that sets in during the perinatal period, which is the time during pregnancy plus 1 year postpartum.)

Postpartum OCD  

PMAD (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders)

PPD (Postpartum Depression)

PPA (Postpartum Anxiety)

Psychosis (A medical emergency, the MAJOR difference between OCD and Psychosis is that with OCD there might be thoughts of harm but they are UNWANTED thoughts of harm. Psychosis is an actual break from reality, meaning it is no longer possible for the person to tell the difference between what is real and what is not real.  For more information about distinguishing between OCD and psychosis, visit https://iocdf.org/perinatal-ocd/for-clinical-providers/perinatal-ocd-overview/ )

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