Almost every mother has “scary thoughts” after having a baby. These thoughts most often focus on ways that the baby could be hurt. Sometimes they are images, and sometimes they are more just “ideas”.
Women do not bring these thoughts up to their friends, to their mothers, their sisters, their church family, their doctors, and never, never at a baby shower. Because they believe that having these thoughts means something terrible about them. That they are bad, abnormal, or perverse.
What we are learning about scary or “intrusive” thoughts is that they are very normal. We also believe that perhaps this is the mama brain’s way of imagining what could go wrong, in order to protect baby from harm. More of a brain in “protection overdrive” than a brain gone haywire.
If these thoughts are causing you a great deal of distress, or if you feel compelled to do certain actions to make yourself feel better, you could probably benefit from some professional support (like therapy from a trained maternal mental health specialist). Therapists who are trained in working with new mothers are very familiar with these issues and have some wonderful tools to help set you back on track. As Postpartum Support International Says “You are not alone. You are not to blame. With Help you Will Get Better.”
You can visit this directory to find a well trained provider in your area: https://psidirectory.com/
If you are looking for a therapist in North Carolina who can work with you in person, or via telehealth, please feel free to contact me. I can also work with people in some international countries.
Warmly, Jenny Schermerhorn, Licensed Professional Counselor. Specializing in the Journey & Transition to Motherhood.
This article is not meant to take the place of a relationship with a trained mental health therapist, or a medical professional. It is not meant to provide diagnosis of a mental health disorder. If you are experiencing a physical or mental health emergency, please dial 9-1-1