Although perinatal and postpartum depression have been well-documented in research at the time of this study, evidence for the development of OCD symptoms during and after pregnancy began to emerge as well.
This study by Dr. Chaudron and her team aimed to investigate the relationship between obsessive compulsive symptoms and OCD during pregnancy and postpartum depression. 24 women were screened for OCD and depression between 30 and 37 weeks of pregnancy (during the third trimester), with follow-ups before delivery and after birth. 7 met criteria for OCD during the third trimester, with the intensity of OCD symptoms being greater at 1 month after delivery. Eleven participants met criteria for anxiety/depression during the third trimester, with seven also meeting criteria for OCD. At one-month postpartum, seven participants met criteria for anxiety/depression, with four meeting criteria for OCD. The intensity of OCD symptoms was reported as generally being greater at one-month postpartum. This study helped underscore the importance of understanding OCD during the perinatal period and how it interacts with perinatal depression.
Chaudron, L.H. & Nirodi, N. (2010). The obsessive-compulsive spectrum in the perinatal period: A prospective pilot study. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 13, 403-413. doi://10.1007/s00737-010-0154-6