Perinatal OCD

Perinatal OCD, often referred to as perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder, is a specific form of OCD that affects individuals during pregnancy and the postpartum period. This condition is characterised by intrusive and distressing obsessions, as well as repetitive, compulsive behaviours related to the newborn or the pregnancy itself. Here at Bridges Therapy Centre, we offer specialised therapy for perinatal and postnatal issues in London, including perinatal OCD, providing the support needed to navigate this often difficult phase of life.


Perinatal OCD manifests as unwanted, persistent, and distressing thoughts and images related to the baby’s safety, health, or one’s own ability to care for them. These thoughts often trigger extreme anxiety. To relieve this anxiety, individuals may engage in repetitive, time-consuming behaviours, such as checking, cleaning, or counting. It’s crucial to understand that these compulsions are attempts to reduce the distress caused by the obsessions, rather than expressions of a desire to act on these thoughts.

stressed woman holding hands on head

Recognising Perinatal OCD

Common obsessions and compulsions in perinatal OCD may include:

  • Excessive handwashing to protect the baby
  • Constant checking to ensure the baby’s wellbeing.
  • Intrusive thoughts about accidentally harming the infant
  • An intense fear that something is contaminated.
  • Worries about something you did or didn’t do.
  • Trying to be perfect or get everything exactly “right”.

It’s essential to distinguish these symptoms from normal worries and concerns associated with parenthood, as perinatal OCD can be distressing and disruptive if left untreated.


Perinatal OCD Therapy

Perinatal OCD is treatable, and several approaches have been found effective in managing the condition, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a widely used therapeutic approach for OCD. In the perinatal context, CBT helps individuals challenge and reframe their obsessive thoughts while reducing compulsive behaviours. Our team of psychologists in Hendon, Muswell Hill, Canary Wharf, Central London and Cambridge will work collaboratively to emotional wellbeing, helping you to navigate the transition to parenthood without unnecessary stress.


Contact Us

If you suspect you or someone you know is struggling with perinatal OCD, it’s vital to seek professional help promptly – don’t hesitate to contact one of our team of therapists today to book your initial consultation, and take first step towards healing.


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Bridges Therapy Centre - Hendon, London, NW4 - English & Hebrew Counselling & Therapy Services

The contents on this site is for information only, and is not meant to substitute the advice of your own physician or other medical professional