1997 OCF Grant

Obsessions and compulsions in mothers with postpartum-onset major depression

Katherine L. Wisner, MD, MS

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH)

Perinatal OCD can focus on the safety and wellbeing of the child, as well as factors surrounding parenting. At the time of this study, little research focused on perinatal OCD and obsessive compulsive symptoms in parents, but it was found that 10-15% of mothers experience postpartum-onset major depression (PPMD). 

This early perinatal OCD study by Dr. Wisner and her team looked at a hypothesis behind mothers experiencing PPMD and OCD symptoms — childbirth-induced serotonin dysregulation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter linked to many functions in the brain and body, including mood, cognition, and memory.