‘There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one’ Jill Churchill

If you have identified a resource to support either a mother with OCD or a health professional, please contact us and we can arrange to have this posted. Thank you!




Perinatal OCD Information and Support Sheet linked with #PNDhour and #maternalMHmatters

What is Perinatal OCD?

Perinatal Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder which occurs in pregnancy or postnatally.  It may be a new and sudden onset in those with no previous history or an exacerbation of existing OCD. Symptoms commonly orientate around the baby and care-giving. This disorder takes away the enjoyment of being a mother. It is characterised by having:

a) recurrent, unwelcome thoughts, images, ideas or doubts (obsessions) that are experienced as intrusive and that cause distress, e.g. fear of contamination and/or harm coming to the baby;

b) related behavioural or mental acts (compulsive rituals) which are aimed at reducing,  suppressing or preventing a feared outcome e.g. cleaning, checking, seeking reassurance.

c) significant impairment in a number of domains e.g. inability to bond, lack of enjoyment, being housebound.

For further information please click here for The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal OCD leaflet.

Teleconference Support Group Contact details:

For details about a monthly Perinatal OCD Support Group (run with OCD Action's Better Together project and Maternal OCD) please click here and/or contact carol@ocdaction.org.uk

Support outside of the Support Group meetings:

If you would like support in between the meetings, we work with OCD Action who offer a free helpline for telephone and email support.  Helpline times are detailed on the website www.ocdaction.org.uk. In the event you are not able to get through on the telephone, leave a message and an OCD Action worker will call you back.  Please contact:

OCD Action:

Telephone Helpline:0845 390 6232

Email Helpline: support@ocdaction.org.uk

Or contact:

Maternal OCD: info@maternalocd.org

Recommended reading

It can help to learn about OCD and this will aid recovery, below are two suggestions:


·   Break Free From OCD - Dr Fiona Challacombe, Dr Victoria Bream Oldfield and Prof Paul

    Salkovskis: ISBN 978-0-09-193969-4

·   Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – David Veale & Rob Willson

    ISBN 1 – 84119 – 936 – 2


Dedicated Perinatal OCD Service - The Maudsley Hospital London

The Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma is both a local and a national specialist service for obsessive-compulsive disorder which is now offering intensive CBT for women with OCD who are pregnant or who are in the first postnatal year. The OCD may have developed at this time or be more longstanding.  To discuss potential referrals, or if you have any queries about the service please email Fiona.challacombe@slam.nhs.uk or call 020 3228 3211 (Thursday or Friday). Referrals can be made via the website:


NICE Guidance Links

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national advice and guidance to improve health and social care. You can use the guidance below by taking it to your GP to ensure you can access the right care and treatment.

NICE Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health Guidelines

NICE Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Guidelines

Urgent / crisis point

If you feel you need immediate attention / are at crisis please contact your GP, visit your local A&E department or contact The Samaritans tel: 116 123 (free to call and will not appear on the phone bill)   web: www.samaritans.org email: jo@samaritans.org


Back to top