Unwanted, intrusive thoughts about our babies

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Unwanted, intrusive thoughts about our babies

Postby Annabel (admin) » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:36 am

By Dr Caroline Boyd, perinatal clinical psychologist and author of Mindful New Mum

“What if I drop my baby? What if my baby stops breathing? What if I throw my baby off the balcony?”

Unwanted, intrusive worries of harm coming to our baby are really common – especially in early motherhood when our threat system is on high alert.

These attention-grabbing, anxiety-driven thoughts include word thoughts (such as “What if my baby stops breathing?”), vivid images (eg a mental picture of the baby rolling off the changing mat), and impulses or urges (a sudden impulse to throw the baby). Broadly, there are two categories of unwanted, infant-related harm thoughts.

One is accidentally harming a child, reported by nearly every single woman in my study and larger studies. Examples include an image of the baby suffocating, or falling or being dropped.

The second type are thoughts of intentional harm – reported by 1 in 2 women. Examples of intentional harm thoughts include screaming at the baby, or impulses to shake or throw the baby. These harm thoughts can pop into a mother’s mind unexpectedly and evoke horror - even though she would never deliberately hurt her baby.

To read more about intrusive thoughts and Dr Boyd’s top tips for coping with them click here 

Mindful New Mum: A Mind-Body Approach to the Highs & Lows of Motherhood is a book that places the mother at its heart, empowering mums to care for themselves emotionally with reassuring, proven therapeutic tools and practical strategies from a clinical psychologist and mum-of-two. Drawing on the latest research and neuroscience, Dr Caroline Boyd offers compassionate, evidence-based psychological ideas to guide new mums through the highs AND lows as they adjust to their new role.

Exclusive book giveaway: Author Dr Caroline Boyd has very kindly given us three copies of her book, Mindful New Mum to giveaway. Click here to enter.

Dr Caroline Boyd’s book Mindful New Mum is published by DK, price £16.99. 
https://www.dk.com/uk/book/978024153136 ... l-new-mum/

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