The results of this study show that about 11 percent of mothers experience temporary symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in the months following childbirth.

OCD symptoms are manifested in repeated and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repeated behavior to try to calm these thoughts (compulsions).

This means that, for example, the mother constantly worry about germs and sterilizing bottles. You may also worry that the baby is not safe in his crib and check, repeatedly, if mounted correctly.

According to Dr. Dana Gossett, MD Obstetrics Gynecology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, to the extent that these thoughts and behaviors are "normal" or "exaggerated", it is not entirely clear.

According to Dr Gossett, is considered normal for a mother to worry about the health and safety of your baby. In fact, as he admits, she experienced obsessive thoughts after giving birth to her first child, thinking it might fall down the stairs with her baby.

A clear example would be a mother TOC so worried about her baby at night got no sleep, or that checks the car seat so many times before it going to stop her from leaving home.

It is well known that stress exacerbates OCD, so it is possible that the very stress of pregnancy and subsequent infant care may predispose women to suffer from this disease, says Gossett. Hormone levels before and after pregnancy and childbirth itself may also contribute to aggravating the symptoms.

This study included mostly women with a university degree and with revenues of more than € 75,000 a year, so that the results can not be extrapolated to women of other socioeconomic groups, as confirmed by researchers.

You can find the full results of the research in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, entitled: Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms During the Postpartum Period: A Prospective Cohort

Photo of Jorge Horacio richino (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons