The Secrets Women Keep #speakthesecret

 

 

 

This thread is amazing. Needs to be turned into a list and handed out to expecting moms by every ob/gyn. They tell women everything under the sun about what to expect for 9 months; why not this?!

I think it’s wonderful you’re making this list for new moms. It would have been reassuring for me to know I was “normal”

“Scary Thoughts” is an expression used to encompass any and all categories of upsetting thinking that can interfere with the well-being of a new mother. Scary thoughts refer to negative, repetitive, unwanted and/or intrusive thoughts or images that can bombard you at any time (Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts by Kleiman & Wenzel, 2010). Scary thoughts are anxiety-driven, they are extremely COMMON, and most new mothers admit that have, at some time, imagined or worried about harm coming to their babies. The shame of having these thoughts can prevent women from speaking about them. In response to women telling us they feel isolated and ashamed of their thoughts, we asked women to share their scary thoughts in an attempt to help them express these distressing ruminations, so they can get relief and also help other mothers understand how universal this phenomenon is.

The objective of our PPSC project #speakthesecret is to obliterate the stigma attached to scary thoughts which are so common in new motherhood. 

 

THANK YOU

to all the brave women who continue to disclose their scary thoughts.

Together, we will educate many and help reduce the anxiety and stigma. #speakthesecret

Our page is an ongoing list of the thoughts that brave women have chosen to share in the hopes of helping women know they are not alone and that having scary thoughts is common during pregnancy and the postpartum period. We will add thoughts as they are submitted.

DISCLAIMER: This list is anonymous. You can contact us at any time if you want to modify or delete your submission. We reserve the right to edit or not include a submission if, for any reason, we feel its content is unsuitable for this forum and are not able to respond to individual clinical or medical concerns.  Please keep in mind that this forum is not a substitute for professional intervention. If you are worried about the way you feel,  we urge you to contact a support person and a qualified healthcare provider.

Click here to SUBMIT Your Scary Thought and help reduce the stigma


  1. My baby was going to die in the middle of the night and I was going to find her in her crib cold and lifeless.

  2. Sleep deprived and overwhelmed, I pictured myself throwing my crying baby down. (This distressed me the most because I would NEVER hurt her and I felt like a terrible mother for that image crossing my brain.)

  3. We stayed in a vacation house with a loft and I kept picturing my toddler daughter flying right over the ledge and smashing onto the floor below.

  4. What if someone kidnaps my child and sells her into sex trafficking???

  5. Every news story about an infant or small child brought a “What if….? and an image of that happening to my daughter.

  6. My daughter is going to die at daycare from ___ (insert any number of possibilities).

  7. There was a period where everything seemed dangerous or deadly…driving, grapes, sleep, ledges, kidnapping, stairs, cancer, and so on. It was exhausting.

  8. I had paranoia that my baby couldn’t be around sharp objects..I knew I wasn’t going to hurt her but somehow I thought things such as forks would somehow hurt her..it was awful I remember people holding her and eating with a fork and my anxiety would be through the roof and to others who haven’t had ppd with intrusive thoughts this might sound insane but it seemed completely logical to me at the time…and that’s when I went to a ppd meeting that’s where I was told the difference between intrusive thoughts and psychosis and for once I had an understanding of what was going on…it is hard to put this out there because people can be judgmental by not understanding but I have come to the point in my life I would rather put it all out there and help save one mom so she didn’t feel alone like I did…

  9. Falling down the stairs while carrying my baby & dropping her while walking with her or getting her out of her car seat.

  10. My abuser would find us and hurt/take my children and/or me. The scary intrusive thought/anxiety/ptsd combo was hell.

  11. After I had my second child, I imagined putting them both in my chest freezer so I could get some sleep. That’s when I decided to get on meds.

  12. We were walking one day in the neighborhood. I was convinced he was going to fly out of the stroller into the ditch. I didn’t see how he would get there but I ‘saw’ in my mind him there.

  13. I was convinced I was going to die on one of the water log rides at an amusement park. Not my husband who was riding with me. Just me.

  14. Same day at the amusement park, convinced he would slide out of my arms, wiggle across the Ferris Wheel basket (?) and fall.

  15. If I left our son at any time our bond would be broken and we wouldn’t love each other.

  16. The baby being dropped on anything hard- blacktop, concrete, tile, hardwood. I’d sit somewhere tightly clutching the baby while watching the floor down below us slowly turn red and just be unable to shut it off in my head. I’d have to sit down to go up or down some sets of stairs while holding the baby. It was bad while I was holding the baby but the intrusive thoughts were often worse when someone else was holding the baby over a hard floor. They’d come out of nowhere in the middle of the night too. Knives and other sharp objects were also triggers.

  17. Contracting an illness or disease as a result of someone not washing their hands or being hygienic in another way. I had my first during the Ebola outbreak and during flu season. Ultimately, I would fear the worst, that my baby would end up dying from something like this because of other people’s carelessness. I was very strict about others washing hands, etc., and I avoided leaving the house at all, except for appointments, for about three months. It was extreme, looking back.

  18. If I fall asleep the baby will die. If someone else watches the baby while I sleep, I can’t watch them watch the baby, so the baby will be seriously injured or die in someone else’s care… Protective services will take my other children because obviously I shouldn’t be asleep when they are asleep, or awake, or allow them to be cared for by anyone else.

  19. I struggle daily with letting the kids out of my sight, literally. I am consumed with who, where, what may or may not be happening while I am out of eyesight.

  20. My husband doesn’t understand that letting him help is worse than just letting me do it all.

  21. I thought if I bathed the baby on my own, there was a good chance that I’d leave her in there, and walk away.

  22. I thought that I would leave the baby in the car on a hot day.

  23. I thought that if I held the baby in certain ways, with her head resting on my arm, it would only take the slightest movement and it would crush her, or break her neck.

  24. A few weeks before my son was born I saw a black crow smack itself against the window outside his soon to be room, this convinced me something bad was going to happen. I also saw an elderly woman in black walking down my street, saw that as a sign too (like she was a witch)

  25. After I delivered when he was being weighed and measured I thought to myself that I was dying and that he was going to loose his mother, I told the nurses and they checked my vitals.

  26. I wouldn’t let [my mother and father] drive to the shops as I was convinced they were going to be killed in a car accident. They walked but I kept making them ring me to let me know they were ok.

  27. Despite being calm and happy all pregnancy, Post partum hormones kicked in on top of sleep deprivation and I became so anxious. I thought my anxiety would spread to my baby so didn’t want her to be near me. I thought I was toxic and ruined. I would pump milk and my husband would feed her. I cried all the time and thought she she had chosen the wrong mum. A year down the track I can see this is all nonsense and I am one of the lucky ones who received so much help and support to recover. But those thoughts are powerful and intrusive. 

  28. I thought anything could hurt my baby, knives, clingfilm, pictures might fall, the lightfitting could come down. And much more . It was very bad i’d even worry that id snap and kill him somehow as there was baby deaths in the news. I was a nervous wreck and rather isolated.

  29. If everything wasn’t just so (like a piece of clothing was out of place or a picture wasn’t straight in the wall) I HAD to fix it or someone was gonna break in our house and harm the baby.

  30. I didn’t want to hold my daughter while I fed her a bottle. I thought I’d have her head at the wrong angle, and she’d either suffocate or choke on the milk. I propped her up with a pillow on the couch and held the bottle. I’m a birth professional and KNEW that that was more likely to cause suffocation/choking, but I couldn’t stop myself.

  31. Anything having to do with SIDS.

  32. If everything wasn’t just so (like a piece of clothing was out of place or a picture wasn’t straight in the wall) I HAD to fix it or someone was gonna break in our house and harm the baby.

  33. Every time I went outside to get fresh air for my son and I, I put him in the carrier and had so much fear walking on the sidewalk thinking a car would come up on the curb or he would fall onto the road. My mind imagined the whole scene. it was even worse when my husband was pulling him in the wagon.

  34. Contracting an illness or disease as a result of someone not washing their hands or being hygienic in another way. I had my first during the Ebola outbreak and during flu season. Ultimately, I would fear the worst, that my baby would end up dying from something like this because of other people’s carelessness. I was very strict about others washing hands, etc., and I avoided leaving the house at all, except for appointments, for about three months. It was extreme, looking back.

  35. I thought if I bathed the baby on my own, there was a good chance that I’d leave her in there, and walk away.

  36. I thought that I would fall when walking, and somehow in the fall I would drop or throw the baby over a railing, or down the stairs.

  37. We lived on the junction of the 2 biggest streets in our city. Every day as I got him out of the car seat (we had to park on the street), I would have thoughts about how it would be to get hit by a car racing past.

  38. I had very strong scary thoughts when standing on a balcony with my second baby that I might drop her off on purpose (still hanging around that one, she’s almost 2 now), and also when I was carrying her through doorways horizontally that I would smash her head into the door jam intentionally. This is despite loving her intensely, not being depressed or particularly anxious, and not having these thoughts with first baby.

  39. My worst intrusive thoughts were around the SARS virus that was around in 2003-2004. In January 2004, my daughter was 8 weeks old and I saw something on the news about SARS. I became convinced that it was going to be the end of all human life, and rather than allow people to suffer, the government would provide suicide pills for all adults, injections for children, or medicine to put in baby bottles. I had visual images (not hallucinations) of having to kill my baby, and of myself, husband and baby lying huddled in bed, dead. It was horrific. My intrusive thoughts were so bad that I was later diagnosed with PTSD.

  40. I had really terrible trouble with this in the first year after my baby was born, particularly at night when I was trying to sleep. One started off with me imagining my husband and I taking the baby to our favorite pre-baby vacation spot in Mexico, where we honeymooned. I pictured her sitting quietly at the water’s edge, playing in the sand and looking out at the beautiful ocean in a floppy hat and cute swim suit. And then I imagined a shark swimming up and taking her. And I imagined myself running in after the shark to save her, and getting horribly maimed or killed myself.

  41. What if I leave her to run an errand or something and I die? What if my husband leaves for work and dies? What if we get in a car wreck on a bridge and the car falls into the water and I can’t get to her to save her? I stayed home for a long time after she was born. She is two now and I still have these thoughts from time to time.

  42. If I leave my house, I will get in a wreck and die and my daughter will never know her mother. If I die, my husband doesn’t know how to put her bottles/sippy cups together. I was deathly afraid of germs. I would “see” germs everywhere. I was terrified to let anyone around my baby because I just knew she was going to catch some terrible disease.

  43. I was scared to let my parents drive her anywhere and would envision (very graphically) her dying in a car wreck and I would constantly “see” her funeral. Our furnace went out when my daughter was about 7 months old. I had to leave work because I was just convinced I was going to go home and find my daughter, husband, and dog dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. It was a very scary, dark time during what was supposed to be one of the “happiest times of my life.”

  44. I’m seven years past it but the very first thought I had happened in the hospital a day after my son was born. Someone had brought a onsie in for him and my first scary thought was that it would be the last thing he ever wore.

  45. I had thoughts of crashing the car into trees, or driving over a cliff. Sometimes I would have impulses to do it while I was driving and I was so scared I would act on them. I also worried about dropping her in the shower, or letting her drown in the bath.

  46. I would see my baby in a coffin every time I looked at him while he was sleeping. I would panic while bathing him thinking for some reason I’d push his head under and wouldn’t be able to stop myself. Started having self harm thoughts, pretty much thinking of ways I could hurt myself with any object. 2 years out and thankfully those thoughts are gone.

  47. I had awful intrusive thoughts of dropping my baby down the stairs. So much so that I would hold him a little tighter every time I got near any stairs because I was so afraid of it actually happening.

  48. I had intrusive thoughts of jumping out of the passenger side of the car while my husband was driving on the freeway.

  49. Boiling or microwaving were the most horrifying. I had them all – everything you could think of – but those two stand out.

  50. What if I drop my baby over the stair railing? What if my child falls to their death from my apartment balcony? What if I sexually abuse my child?

  51. What if Child Protective Service comes and steals my children because I am an unfit mom? Eventually it got so bad that I thought, what if I drive away and never come back?

  52. What if I walk into the street waiting for a car to hit me?

  53. What if I would become bedridden & unable to function anymore due to the heightened anxiety causing severe insomnia. The fear of being unable to care for my kids became horrifying.

  54. No one else could take care of the baby, if anyone tried, they were going to hurt him, everyone became the danger.

  55. I couldn’t leave him, he nursed exclusively, never a bottle, feared taking him outside, because “they” were going to get him.

  56. Constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was trying to take my baby and at the same time, I didn’t want him either, I felt detached and so far removed from him.

  57. I live in a car-centric [city]. We are constantly getting in and out of the car, and a majority of the year is warm weather. I was convinced for a long time that I would get hit by a car and killed while going into the street to get into the driver’s side of my car, and no one would get my baby out of the car and she would die in there in the heat.

  58. Knives are still triggers for me. I am HYPER-vigilant when using knives. It’s ridiculous, but it’s what I need to do for my own sanity.

  59. Our furnace went out when my daughter was about 7 months old. I had to leave work because I was just convinced I was going to go home and find my daughter, husband, and dog dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. It was a very scary, dark time during what was supposed to be one of the “happiest times of my life.”

  60. What if my husband is a pedophile and he sexually abuses her (multiple images of him doing so ensued)

  61. Since it’s public I am unwilling to put my vulnerability out there because I’m still kind of in the thick of it.
    My scary thought is that I will forget my baby in the car and she will overheat and die. She is ten months old and I still have images and thoughts about this every day, every time I drive. I check to see if she is in her car seat back there no matter what time of day and often more than once per drive. I have completely untreated adult ADHD. I forget at least one thing per day between pump parts, breastmilk, daycare items, and food, and I live in fear that I will somehow forget her.


  62. I have horrible, vivid intrusive thoughts of finding her dead in the car at the end of the workday, almost every day when I am heading to the car at the end of the day to go pick her up.

  63. I had severe anxiety that the formula I was feeding him was poison. Like actual poison. And would spend hours on the internet to try and find evidence to support my constant, intrusive thoughts and anxiety that I was poisoning my baby and it was all my fault for being a failure. After getting help in many different ways and joining a breastfeeding support group after my second child was born, I went onto nurse her for two years but regardless of how I fed her I was able to look back and see how ppd really distorted everything with my first child. They were both fed with love and affection as infants but the depression and anxiety was distorting things and obviously making things way more difficult than they needed to be. My babies have both grown into beautiful teenagers today and I’m not only proud of them but proud of myself for reaching out and getting the help I so desperately needed.

  64. I couldn’t look at a knife without imagining stabbing myself with it.

  65. I had, (I can hardly type this), thoughts of throwing my baby off a cliff.

  66. Lots of intrusive thoughts while driving of driving off the road or into oncoming traffic. God, it was horrible.

  67. I was so scared the first few months that my son wouldn’t be able to breathe while in his infant seat and that I wouldn’t be able to pull over fast enough to help him. I got nervous hours before I had to take him anywhere.

  68. Pretty much lot of what others have said but I had the hardest time with germs…nothing was sanitary and I literally would not sit my daughter down. I held her for months. Other big one was that someone was always watching me or someone was in the house.

  69. My worst fear was SIDs. I didn’t realize I had PPOCD until my daughter was six months old. I would obsessively check on her every time she slept. It was like a ritual. I would check on her every 10 minutes after I put her to bed at night. When I was finally ready for bed I would have to check on her at least another 10-15 times before I could even relax and think about sleeping. Then I would wake up in a full blown panic attack after sleep 3 or 4 hours thinking she was in danger. I would run to her room and check to make sure she was breathing. Then it would start all over again. I still worry to this day about her and will check on her before I go to bed. But the obsession and panic to continually keep checking has greatly decreased.

  70. Tripping and falling down stairs with my baby, or accidentally dropping her from some other height. I still worry about this 14 months later.

  71. With my first baby, it was a depression, our marriage was having a hard time at the exact same time. Nursing was ridiculously hard for a good month. The first year ppd was just kind of survival mode. With my second baby, it was an anxiety. Our family was much more together, but my thoughts were not. I remember thinking the wood grains on our coffee table were making me almost nervous. We’ve since lost two, and definitely feeling the ppd just the same. However, my focus in my faith has got me through. Knowing each is just a season makes the rest of life worth it. 

  72. I was paralyzed by the fear that I would now forever have someone else to worry about, literally have anxiety about, for the rest of my life. Without a break.

  73. When my son used to cry, I would think about what would happen if I shook him. I would go through the hospital visit, possible injuries, and the CPS investigation all in my head.

  74. We flew to Hawaii when my daughter was five months old and for weeks leading up to it I was sure the plane would crash into the ocean and I could literally picture my daughter drowning while I watched helplessly. She’s now over a year old and one of the most intrusive on-going thoughts is the idea of something happening to me. I know she’s at the age where she wouldn’t remember me and that thought makes me feel physically ill. I think about how long she would “look” for me when she needs her mommy before she would forget me and find comfort from someone else. It just makes me want to sob a million tears and I’ve thought about it since the day she was born.

  75. I think most of us have those thoughts of “omg I’m going to die and my baby will never know me.” It’s so, so scary.

  76. I would make my boss come home with me on nights my husband would work late because I was scared to give her a bath alone because of the same exact thoughts.

  77. What if I push her stroller into traffic? I had such a death grip on that stroller after that one.

  78. What if I throw her off the balcony?

  79. What if stab her with a knife?

  80. What if I go crazy and kill her and not what I did?

  81. Bridges, windows, washing machines…you name it. Horrible. He will be 13 soon and still gives me the chills when I think about it.

  82. Knives are for me still too. My mother in law will come over to cook and while she’s cooking she always sets the knives on the kitchen window sill it gives me so much anxiety ..even this many years later.

  83. OMG. It’s so good to hear someone else say this. I have gotten past it now, but for years after PTSD from my first postpartum issues, I had a hard time with knives.

  84. I forgot to add the horror that I was afraid of cooking him instead of the chicken and feeding to his dad in sandwiches. My mind was a hell. I had pelvic dysfunction and an emergency section and we couldn’t breastfeed so I pumped. I’d say any of those things alone could have contributed.

  85. My most horrible thought during my bout with PPD was that my baby and husband would be better off without me. I had visions of jumping in front of a truck. I really didn’t think they needed me. I also had thoughts of ending my marriage. 11 years and 3 children later we are a happy family.

  86. Every time I walked through the kitchen, I would imagine myself hurting her. Putting her in the microwave, the oven, or stabbing her with knives. I never actually wanted to do these things, but the thoughts were relentless and terrifying. I couldn’t make them stop.

  87. My daughter was going to die in a car crash, positional asphyxiation, SIDS, basically any horrible thing you read about online, I thought it was going to happen.

  88. I worry I’m not sane enough to be a good mother.

  89. Drowning.

  90. I very clearly remember thinking that my baby would be better off with anyone else as his mother. I thought about leaving him at the hospital or on someone’s doorstep like you read about in the fairy tales. I even thought about up and leaving in the middle of the night, that he’d be better off with just his dad.

  91. I could do just drive this car into traffic with all my kids and end this pain for all of us.

  92. My scary thought is that my baby doesn’t love me and know I’m his mum and that I might as well be dead if this is the case.

  93. I had visions of pushing or throwing my three sons (then 5, 3, and 6 weeks old) down the stairs.

  94. Image of babies flying across the room like a football.

  95. My thoughts were throwing the newborn off a pedestrian bridge into highway traffic. They were smashing the baby’s head on that table…6 years later I still have intrusive thoughts.

  96. I had repeated flashes that my daughters mouth was a wooden nutcracker dolls mouth and that she was squishing/cracking my nipple while breastfeeding. However, I was experiencing NO physical discomfort while breastfeeding. In my imagination it was like a Chucky doll that looked like a nutcracker but with my daughter’s eyes. I also imagined her mouth like a lamprey eel’s mouth. I continued breastfeeding for several weeks while having these intrusive thoughts. It wasn’t until I hadn’t slept in 3 days and could not stop crying that I scheduled a doctors appointment to get some help.

  97. These are a bit more simple and trivial than the others but were so distressing at the time. I could not make dinner. Completely unable to focus to put ham on a plate, boil some potato and microwave some corn. I didn’t know where to start. The distress that caused me was huge. I was unable to put my daughter to sleep. Not in the she wouldn’t sleep kind of way, she would sleep, but I could not go through the process of dinner, bath, book and bed by myself. I had no idea what to do, how to persuade her to get into the bath. So upsetting. Tight chest. Couldn’t breathe. Pounding heart.

  98. My thoughts were throwing the newborn off a pedestrian bridge into highway traffic. They were smashing the baby’s head on that table.

  99. I am afraid I don’t like my kids. I am afraid that they don’t like me. I am afraid that I am not good enough.

  100. I would vividly, in great detail, imagine my own child in child abuse scenarios from the news. I would imagine my child’s face, screams, and suffering and feel like there was nothing I could do to prevent it.

  101. Someone (myself or my older children) falling and crushing my son’s head. If you haven’t had intrusive thoughts they can be very vivid. Even writing this now I can feel my anxiety rising and he is sleeping peacefully in my arms. Around 4 months postpartum I sought help from my midwife unlike with my previous 2 children when I just dealt with it because I wasn’t aware postpartum anxiety was a thing.

  102. I imagined myself just running away from it all. No note, no call, no nothing. Just one day, *poof*, where is Mommy?

  103. I’ve had thoughts of just covering her face until she stopped crying. Of throwing her in her crib. Of leaving her somewhere. Of just getting rid of her. It makes me feel like the worst mom in the world.

  104. I had disturbing images flash through my mind of me dropping the baby and her head smacking the floor. During sleep deprived rage filled moments, I would imagine myself smacking my baby against the wall or shaking her. These thoughts filled me with such shame even though they were passing thoughts and I would never really harm my children. I’m also a therapist who has worked with parents for years so I had higher expectations for myself in terms of being able to regulate my feelings and be more in control. It led to having worse shame and feelings of inadequacy. I saw what was happening and recognized I needed to talk to a professional about what I was feeling. It helped alot.

  105. That someone will put poison or something in my baby’s formula…..I put it in the cabinet to hide it…..I know this is not going to happen, but the thought still comes in my head.

  106. I’m obsessed with something being wrong with my baby. He has a congenital/physiologic issue that the doctor told me it’s fine but then wants to keep following. Why are we following something that’s allegedly fine? Does that mean he’s not ok? What if he’s sick? My ob, pcp, and ped all told me to “don’t worry.” I obsess about this 100x a day. I often can’t sleep and have true panic attacks near daily, often vomiting and crying. It’s exhausting. I can’t stop thinking about it. This is hell.

  107. I’d throw the baby down the stairs.That there were evil things in the house.

  108. I went on a drinking binge to cope with postpartum anxiety.

  109. It once flashed through my mind the thought of putting my newborn in the trash can, during an utterly exhausted middle of the night breast feed wake up call while trying to recover from surgery. I felt so much guilt & fear & shame that I’ve never shared this with anyone.

  110. I envisioned my newborn falling out our bedroom window, down the stairs, out of the crib. Falling was an unhealthy obsessive fear. And break ins. Lord have mercy.

  111. The tempting thought to drive into the river was the worst night of my life. Absolute worst. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Don’t believe all the death lies. Don’t act on them. Reach out bravely (so much bravery) for help. Hope will eventually come.

  112. What if we both just “fell” down the stairs?

  113. If my husband goes to work, something really bad is going to happen.

  114. If I don’t wash these bottles well enough, she’s going to get really really ill.

  115. If I sleep, she’s going to die and I won’t realise.

  116. We have to watch her all the time, in case she stops breathing.

  117. Nobody else can hold her, because she’s mine and I should know how to look after her best.

  118. I couldn’t pick up a scissors that was in the bathroom for fear of what I might do to my little girl. It made me feel like a monster for even thinking it and the only one ive ever told this to is my husband. It’s still not easy to admit to a year later.

  119. I was so sleep deprived and alone with my twins screaming. I envisioned putting my hand over my sons mouth until he stopped breathing… I checked myself into the hospital the next day.

  120. When my son was a newborn (3 years ago) I envisioned myself strangling him. It broke me. My husband caught on to my depression signs, and I told him what kept running through my head. With his and my mom’s help and encouragement I got help from a psychologist. I’m much better now thanks to them!

  121. That I would cut my baby’s limbs off with a knife. So so horrible.

  122. When we had just come home from the hospital and the scary thoughts were at their worst, I was convinced that having our daughter was a huge mistake! I actually googled things like, “I just had a baby and I don’t want it anymore.” I thought about things like giving her up for adoption or leaving her at a fire station, even though my husband would obviously never agree to it. I felt so ashamed of these thoughts. What helped the most was finding out that other women have had similar thoughts.

  123. If my husband puts our 3 month old to bed, I have to check on him later on to see if his arms were put above the blanket and to make sure he’s still breathing. I also don’t dare to close the window in his nursery because it reduces airflow and may cause SIDS. I’m so scared of going into my boys room, looking at him in his bassinet only to find him cold and lifeless.

  124. I would scream when my son cried. I felt like I was the worst person in the world for him. I thought everything I did was going to kill him. I still get moments where I think he’s better off without me. I just want to run away. But I stay. Fighting these thoughts. I don’t have a strong bond with my son either. Everyone I know shares stories of the undying love and connection they feel and I never had that. It kills me inside.

  125. There is a baby fighting for his life in my town right now from being shaken by a babysitter. I go back to work tomorrow. The guilt I feel for leaving my child is overwhelming and I can’t stop crying.

  126. There are so many thoughts and it doesn’t just happen in new motherhood. I constantly think of my children, my husband or myself getting hurt. To the point it is crippling and I don’t want to leave the house. Car crashes, disgruntled emplyees shooting up the store I’m in, my children falling off the balcony or being crushed, being kidnapped putting groceries in my car.

  127. I hope my admissions do help someone. I’ve never shared any of this with anyone and years later still feel tremendous guilt for them, but this is part of my healing process because I know they had a cause. I had an emergency delivery 5 weeks early because of preeclampsia and my anxiety over it forced an induction which turned into an emergency cesarean. I couldn’t bear the fact that I in some way caused my baby’s early birth because I simply could not calm down. Feeling unprepared to be a mom 5 weeks early, I was now a mom of a preemie who was subject now health issues as a result of that. He had jaundice, macrocephaly, and digestive issues all potentially caused by being premature. My blood pressure caused me to be on pills I wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding with. So we did formula and he turned out to be dairy sensitive. At every turn I was a failure. I couldn’t control my emotions. He watched me cry on a continual basis. I couldn’t bear that I was such a bad mom. Everything I did from how he started this life too early, to what I fed him, to how his first sights were of an unstable mom filled me with unspeakable regret. My scariest thoughts were that I didn’t love him enough, that in my emotional instability I couldn’t properly be responsible enough to keep him alive, that I regretted having him, that I wanted to just leave because my family would be better off without me, that I couldn’t protect him from all the bad things, and mostly from me because my very existence as a “bad mom” was already ruining him and setting him up for a life of failure and hurt. Those thoughts are still painful but thankfully I can see them clearly as intrusive thoughts now. I hope this helps and else just like me.

  128. Most of what I felt guilt over were because of things I’ve heard from well meaning people/experts and that’s the story I want to make sure is told. We live in a culture that mom shames deeply and that does not help postpartum. We need to be aware of how even scientific facts effect someone suffering from ppd. Unexpectedly I had an emergency birth many weeks early. All I kept thinking about was the poster in the hospital bathroom I read many times that brain development continues at 39 weeks. The poster reads about all the complications that having a baby early can cause, inductions can cause, and cesareans can cause. It’s intended to discourage scheduling births, but for someone with an emergency – all that data still applies and wreaked havoc on my mind that I was ruining my child by the necessary procedure I had to have. Then there was breastfeeding. Something else having a premature baby made it difficult to do. The shame that is constant for not giving baby your best can send moms over the edge whether or not that is the intention. It’s a reality. There is so much pressure and when every little thing and every big decision is made to fall squarely on you, that can be unbearable. My scary thought was my own self condemnation but also talking to other moms that would amplify my own feelings of inadequacy. I didn’t want to hear about their helpful husbands, sleeping breastfed babies, clean houses, crunchy organic meals, fitness routines, and supermom statuses. And that was from both modern moms and old fashioned 1950s housewives alike. It made me want to cease to exist even more.

  129. Three days after my baby was born I Googled how to give your baby up for adoption.

  130. I always wonder that a witch or someone with special powers will come over to me and make me choose between keeping my baby or just go back in time to when I wasn’t a mom and erase her from my memory. I would always choose my pre mom life.

  131. I once put a blanket on her face when she was 1 week old but removed it after some seconds and started crying feeling the most horrible mom in the world.

  132. I regretted having my son until going back to work when he was almost 4 months old.

  133. I used to stay late at work so I didn’t have to go home and take care of my LO. When my SO asked me about it, I realized it was time to get help.

  134. After my 2nd son was born I became preoccupied with the logistics of a hypothetical car crash while I was driving with him. I would look at cars around me and think “if that car hit me, how bad would it be? Would I die? Would the baby be ok? If I did die, what would happen?”

  135. During one particularly rough, sleep-deprived day, I was nursing my fussy baby and had a fleeting thought of throwing her off of me and onto the bed. No less than five seconds passed after I had that thought and I realized I was suffering from PPD/PPA. It was the thought that finally made me realize something was not normal, and I admitted that to myself, and got help.

  136. I was terrified I would shake my baby until he stopped crying. I never felt compelled to do this but couldn’t remove the thoughts around what would happen if I did. I was then convinced that if I shared this with anyone they would take my baby away from me.

  137. My children are now teenagers and thank goodness they have always been happy and healthy. Becoming a mother was so exciting, but emotionally a complete shock to the system. Everything had been goin well with the first one, but when I had my second baby, I started to get intrusive thoughts. I told no one up until now. I’m so grateful to get this out in the open. Two images would pop in my head from time to time, for no apparent reason. The first would be me swinging my baby by it’s arm, around my head, over and over. The second, was me driving us all off a cliff, which ended up with me never driving a particularly scary route ever again. Eventually these thoughts faded and stopped popping up. But I still have the memory of this experience which haunts me to this day.

  138. I was out walking with the baby. I called my husband at work and said I was going to leave the baby in his stroller on the street corner and my husband should come pick him up because I was going to run away. I was convinced I was a terrible mother and that my husband and son would be much better off without me. My husband called my midwife that day and asked for help. As it turns out, I’m a freaking great mom. I just had severe PPD and needed medication and therapy.

  139. Being a mother is exhausting and overwhelming. Sometimes I wish I never even had my baby and now I’m pregnant with my 2nd child. I love both my children to death, but I am mentally and physically exhausted. The constant crying and tugging of my one year old, I get hardly no sleep, I don’t even feel like the same person that I used to be, I’m mean, I’m emotional, and the littlest thing’s can set me over the edge, I’ve thought about putting my hand over my child’s mouth when he screams or crys and just holding it there until he stops. I feel like such a worthless and terrible mother. I need help and I am so afraid to speak out and get real help because I am scared I’m going to be judged and they will take my babies away from the thoughts that I am having.

  140. Every night when baby was 2-3 week’s old I just wanted to sleep but could only think of giving her up for adoption, spanking her for crying and nursing so much or throwing her to the floor. I’m better now.

  141. When my baby was born I kept wondering why my husband and I chose to have a baby. “We were so happy” I kept telling myself. I would look at my baby and think “if she wasn’t here anymore I would be ok”. I felt so terrible after those thoughts. She was only a couple of days old and I didn’t feel that amazing “love” you’re supposed to with kids. Breastfeeding was terrible and I would look at my husband when he slept and felt so angry. One day I looked at my angel and knew she was my everything.

  142. With my first, I’d be doing laundry and imagine what would happen if I put the baby in the washer with the clothes. It scared me that I’d have such a screwed up thought, so I immediately went and held and loved on baby, cooked a nice dinner and cleaned up the house to feel like a perfect mommy again.

  143. The night my baby was born I thought my husband was going to take my baby from me as I couldn’t be a mother. I also had a dream that my husband came into our room crying because the baby’s neck was snapped.

  144. I had thoughts popping into my head continuously about taking my life. That my son and everyone else would be better off if I was dead. I thought I was unnecessary since I wasn’t breastfeeding. I thought my sister should be my sons mother and others who loved me would take care of him. I had intrusive thoughts continuously about regretting having the baby. You are not alone!

  145. The night I had my baby I thought my husband was going to judge me as an unfit mother and take my baby away. I also had an image of my husband coming im the room and the baby’s neck had snapped.

  146. I had a replay of thoughts about killing myself. That I was not a good enough mother and was not necessary to him since I wasn’t breastfeeding. I thought my sister would do a better job and my family would step in. He was loved enough and would be better off without me.

  147. I have had thoughts of regret on having my baby over and over. You are not alone!

  148. I kept “seeing” my baby’s head being smashed on our fireplace. What frightened me was that I would see it ever time I got frustrated or overwhelmed with my kids. At first I was able to push these thoughts away but they became more frequent and awful. I began to be terrified that one day I would snap and really do it. I finally told my doctor and got some medication.

  149. I fear my baby will die of SIDS. I elaborated imagine finding her not breathing and imagine how the funeral will be and how I would tell people.

  150. That I would throw my baby down the stairs. The vision is so vivid in detail it has caused PTSD. CBT therapy & medication has saved my life.

  151. After my baby was born and I went back to work on night shift, I called my husband every hour to wake up and make sure the baby was breathing. I would literally count the minutes until I thought it was ok to call again and check.

  152. I worry so much that I won’t be able to feed my baby. Every time she cries I worry she’s hungry, that I’m not producing enough milk, that she will have to go on formula, that my husband will be disappointed and upset that she had to go on formula, that the formula will make her stomach feel completely miserable. I worry she won’t gain weight appropriately. She was crying just now after I fed her and I worried that she wasn’t full, I almost threw up worrying.

  153. When I got overwhelmed and super stressed out from the crying, I had visions of throwing my baby at the wall. Or veering out into traffic if I was driving.

  154. Not even six weeks after having my first baby, my sweet girl she would cry a lot. Turns out she had reflux and possible Colic. But I would always have the hugest fear of shaking her out of stress. And or dropping her going down the stairs and watching her delicate little head splatter.
    Made me obsessive to always travel outside with her buckled in her car seat.


  155. I constantly worry about her being out of my sight, or if she’s breathing. I need to go back to work soon for a few hours a day and leave her with her dad during that time but I’m scared of leaving her even with him because I worry too much and he takes naps and I don’t want him napping because I feel like even though she may be napping too he isn’t aware. Plus he doesn’t take all of the obsessive safety precautions that I take because he thinks “it’s fine, that won’t happen”. He doesn’t understand that there’s always a possibility and I can’t take any risks because she came out of me and it was hard as hell to make her , I need her and I can’t risk anything ever happening to her.

  156. My husband will drop the baby down the stairs… And I would literally listen for them to get out the door safely.

  157. I worry on a nighly basis that my baby will die in his crib, even writing this causes a bit of anxiety thinking that somehow putting this “taboo” topic out there will increase the odds.

  158. I worry that I’m going to make one small mistake that is going to negatively affect his entire life; like what if that one time we sat by loud music at an amusement park changed the wiring of his brain and he ends up with a developmental delay.

  159. This morning I pictured shaking my baby or throwing her binkie at her because she just wouldn’t sleep. I would never do these things, but the stress and sleep deprivation is overwhelming.

  160. Sometimes I want to sign my parental rights away to my husband and just drive away and hide. I feel like they would be better off if I wasn’t even in the picture anymore.

  161. I’m afraid my son is bonding more with my sister than with me. Simply because she keeps taking him from me and I just let it happen. But if I tell her anything I turn into the bad guy who isn’t accepting her help.

  162. After loosing my second child in my 27th week of pregnancy, I started having intrusive thoughts at night about harming my 4 year old. I felt like the worst mother in the world and I must be the only woman who thought this way about their child who they loved unconditionally. I told my partner and I seeked out help. Its been almost a year since we lost our son and each day is different, some are easier then others but I know I’ll get there, one day at a time, If my story helps just one mom find the courage to speak out, to know she’s not alone and that she’s not a bad mom or going crazy than I will keep sharing my story.

  163. That song “when the wind blows the cradle with fall, down will come baby cradle and all”… I was singing it to baby one day and had this intrusive thought that I wished she really would fall out of a tree or something and all this stress would be over. I could have my life back, I could sleep, etc. As a nurse and a human, this was so scary to me and further pushed me into myself and my depression that I was deranged and a worthless mother.

  164. I constantly worry about her being out of my sight, or if she’s breathing. I need to go back to work soon for a few hours a day and leave her with her dad during that time but I’m scared of leaving her even with him because I worry too much and he takes naps and I don’t want him napping because I feel like even though she may be napping too he isn’t aware. Plus he doesn’t take all of the obsessive safety precautions that I take because he thinks “it’s fine, that won’t happen”. He doesn’t understand that there’s always a possibility and I can’t take any risks because she came out of me and it was hard as hell to make her , I need her and I can’t risk anything ever happening to her.

  165. I fear that I will never get sleep or a break until my funeral. I fear my daughter will “turn on me.” I fear I’m the only one who can make her happy. I have thought about divorcing my husband and moving in with my dad because he is such a better help with the baby. I fear I will feel bad forever.

  166. I have been so afraid my baby will stop breathing and die. I shake her awake even when I can see her breathing when she sleeps. I have almost crashed my car reaching back to shake the baby when she falls asleep in her car seat. I think she will suffocate herself. I have a panic attack at night when the baby is sleeping upstairs. I have to run upstairs to check on her, even when I see her breathing on the monitor. I never let her have tummy time. Her head is flat and she needs a helmet at 6 months, and I don’t care. A friend had their baby die at daycare at 3 months because he was put down for nap on his tummy. I am so scared for my baby. I have so many intrusive thoughts. I just want to keep her safe.

  167. I love my daughter very much but some times I wish I could go out like before. I feel like I can’t do anything anymore or even go out.

  168. My scary thoughts are getting into a car accident with the baby and the baby dying in his sleep due to SIDS. It is anxiety provoking to type these worries, but I feel that sharing them will help take their power away. My husband says we do what we can to mitigate risks but we can’t let the anxiety run our lives. I know he’s right.

  169. Constantly thinking I’m a bad mother for needing breaks, and letting others feed, change and comfort her. Always thinking my baby will choke on her spit up and stop breathing while I’m driving or that I didn’t buckle her right and we’ll get into a car accident. Always wondering if I’ll drop her down the stairs, thinking I’ll trip and fall on the cement, thinking she’ll suffocate if she has a blanket on. The list doesn’t stop, and it’s exhausting.

  170. As I walked with my sleeping baby to the bedroom to lay down for a nap, I would imagine throwing him across the room. He would hit the wall and crash to the floor and lay there in a slump. I had this image in my head over and over again. I got checked for PPD and my therapist said it was just a phase.

  171. I struggled with blaming my baby for my c-section scar, stretch marks and “fluffy body.”

  172. After my 4th child came, I thought how much easier it would be to walk upstairs and pick up the gun that was in my husbands drawer than to make it through the day caring for 4 under 6. I knew I needed help. Help was hard to find when not that many people understood what I did all day and night. I knew I needed help. I now have 6 and am doing well. I still seek help and am constantly finding a balance and working towards a healthy mind and body❤

  173. I yelled at my kids one day and then told a friend I had “lost it” with them. She asked if anyone was hurt, which surprised me because I don’t use corporal punishment. After that, I pictured myself hitting them with a hammer and them being badly hurt and unconscious. These thoughts became intrusive for a while and were scary because I would never hurt them.

  174. I feel completely inadequate as a mother when baby doesn’t feed properly, doesn’t sleep and basically needs holding 24/7. I feel like I’m a single mum, but I’m married! I feel like I’m going utterly batshit crazy and sometimes I think I never should have had this baby or give her up for adoption…

  175. I find myself daydreaming about getting so horribly hurt or sick that I would end up in the hospital… so that I could get some sleep & have time away from my daughter without feeling guilty.

  176. I was desperate to breastfeed because I thought it was the only reason my husband and daughter needed me around. He adored her from the second he saw her and I just did not feel that overwhelming, warm, glowy love that everyone told me I would experience. It just wasn’t there for me, but it was there for him. They bonded immediately. He was an active and involved parent which, while wonderful, made me feel useless. Like I couldn’t handle mothering my own child, so her father had to step in. He was so calm with her all the time, and I got so anxious and frazzled…clearly he was the better parent. Clearly he was the one suited for this. They didn’t need me. I could disappear, run away, or die and they would be just fine. The ONLY thing that kept me around was breastfeeding, because I was also convinced that formula would ruin my daughter. She’s a year old now, and I still feel like he’s a better parent, and she’s bonded more with him than with me. It’s a terrible feeling, and makes me struggle to find my worth and value in our family regularly.

  177. I thought/daydreamed about how well rested and free I was before baby was born. How happy my husband and I were- not that we’re not over the moon in love- but sleep deprivation and taking care of a baby changes everything…

  178. I was hospitalized for PPD and acute anxiety in 2015. It started with feeling like I wasn’t a good mom, that I was going to fail my son, then I was obsessing over making a mistake – falling down the stairs with him, dropping the carseat while carrying it up the stairs. I NEVER knew this was so common. No one, not my ob/gyn, not the nurses at the hospital, NO ONE gave me any education on this. Had I known what I was going through I would have gotten help sooner. I talked to my husband and mom and they kept saying “nonsense, you’re a good mom.” I finally got help when I imagined myself drowning my son. I couldn’t give him a bath because I was afraid I would drown him. After hospitalization, therapy, medication, and education, I have learned what I need to do to take care of myself.

  179. My baby is 8 months old and I still have intrusive thoughts of dropping him on the floor and seeing his little skull crack open with blood everywhere. Another one is me falling down the stairs while carrying him and landing on top of him, crushing him to death. I constantly worry I will scald his mouth and throat with his food even though I serve it to him at room temperature. I picture myself accidentally breaking his little neck while changing him. I have been on meds since before he was born since I have ptsd and both my doctor and I were concerned with me getting ppd. I can’t imagine how is be without the meds.

  180. I was sure that there was a man watching our house waiting for the time to break in and take my daughter. When I was up in the middle of the night with her I would avoid turning on too many lights because I didn’t want him to see us. I would go through the steps of getting my husbands gun out to protect us when this man broke in. I knew it wasn’t normal but I knew it was going to happen, just not sure when.

  181. My 22 month baby is a late walker. He walked at 21 month old. but he is a happy, affectionate, bright baby. he can say a lot of words and ask for things. But I’m constantly scared that he is going to fall behind other milestones and develop severe autism.

  182. Sleep deprived and angry because all i wanted was my baby to sleep i imagined myself hurting him, whether it be throwing him on the ground or punching him in face because i was so mad he wanted to be held/nursed.

  183. When my daughter was a newborn, her cries overwhelmed me so much after trying so hard to get her to stop, I wanted to slap her or shake her. I yelled at her once, set her down, and cried in my bedroom. I was so tired from getting almost no sleep, angry because she didn’t stop crying, sad that I was acting like someone I knew I wasnt, but happy I had my gorgeous baby ..I was so confused. Who do I talk to without being judged?! I know I’m not a horrible mother, I just need help calming my baby down…. fast forward to 6 months. I’ve learned to breathe and put her down. They’re ok if they cry. Control yourself first, babies pick up if your tense.

  184. One thought I had in the first few months, “Throw the baby out the window.” I’m thankful I sought out therapy…

  185. I walked out on my balcony when the baby was crying non stop, I thought to myself, I will just drop him off the second floor balcony, then I’ll be able to get some rest. I got help for my postpartum depression soon after.

  186. I was terrified we would be in a bank during an armed robbery. I would shield her with my body while begging for our lives to be spared. It still makes me cry after 5 years. Not because the thought still bothers me, but because I remember how terrible it made me feel. We had/have virtually no need to ever go inside a bank. It goes to show how truly irrational these types of thoughts can be.

  187. My heart doesn’t want to drown my children but my mind sometimes thinks it does.

  188. I could just drive into this light pole and it would all be over… or I’d at least be hospitalized. Everyone would know how bad it’s gotten and I’d finally get some rest.

  189. The sudden feeling that the person driving next to you is going to randomly shoot you through the window. Every. Time. You. Drive.

  190. How long would it take them to track me down if I just got in the car and kept on driving? How far could I get? Could I really disappear?

  191. Step by step vivid images of exactly how and in what order I would drown my children. I couldn’t even walk past the bathroom without seeing it all play out in my mind. I hated those thoughts and myself. Now I am better and I know better.

  192. I thought that I would lose control and suddenly drop the baby on purpose or stab the baby. I spent all day every day worrying about this and feeling like an awful mother who didn’t deserve the beautiful baby I had. I told my husband and my doctor and they were very supportive. I increased my meds and read a book about intrusive thoughts and got better fairly quickly.

  193. My baby would get a disease or swallow so much hair from being around my sister in laws live in dog that she’d die or get seriously ill.

  194. I imagined putting my baby in the dryer and turning it on. It scared me to think of how easy it would be to do something so harmful. I felt like I could never tell anyone, because they would take my baby away from me.

  195. I’m afraid I have made and am still making all the wrong decisions for my son, like letting him cry it out more than rocking him. He’s not a cuddler, and I take it personally. I’m afraid he won’t love me, like me, or want me to be a part of his life as he grows up.

  196. I imagine slamming my baby on the bed to get him to stop crying… it scares the hell out of me.

  197. I dont know if this counts – but i smell like milk all the time & its driving me crazy.

  198. I can’t sleep too far away from my daughter incase a fire starts in the house or someone breaks and I can’t get to her. I am also scared she will get cancer, stop breathing during the night, or something will happen to me and I won’t be there to protect her anymore.

  199. I would never hurt my son, I absolutely love him so much but every time he cries and screams I think about covering his mouth, screaming at him to shut up, or throwing him in the crib. PPD is terrifying.

  200. I spent the first two months after my daughter was born subconsciously trying to destroy my marriage to a wonderful kind loving man and amazing supportive hardworking father so I can move back in with my parents and help me take care of our baby girl.

  201. I thought a car or a lorry would mount the pavement and kill me & my children. I’m way past baby years now but I still feel anxious about car accidents and losing my children.

  202. I have impulses that I should just run away and never come back. Also scared to bathe him or take him out in public, which I’m slowly getting better about.

  203. Multiple times a day (every time I change his diaper) I worry someone (day care, my mom, my amazing husband) might be molesting my son or taking child pornography photos of him.

  204. I think about cashing my car into the freeway divider because I just want an excuse to not have to do it all anymore.

  205. I love my baby so much but sometimes I feel like this is a nightmare, and I’m gonna wake up and my life is gonna go back to normal.

  206. I get so nervous when my baby is about to wake up. I wish she can sleep looong periods of time.

  207. I dream of being kidnapped and killed just so my kids could grow up with a normal mom and it wouldn’t be my fault for leaving.

  208. I secretly wanted to leave my baby at a fire station and drive to California.

  209. I felt like my husband was a better parent and I should just leave my family because they’d be better off without me.

  210. Before I got meds I used to look at my arm and visualize someone cutting it open and pulling on all of the nerves and tendons in it. It was so intense that I could feel it some days. To this day, on a particular rough day I still see that image for a second before I force myself to see past it. This is the first time I have ever admitted that to anyone and its been about 4 years.

  211. I would have nightmares about smothering my baby in his sleep while co-sleeping. Except we never once co-slept. I would jump out of bed at all hours of the night and turn on lights, throw off blankets, wake my husband, and search for my son only to discover after several minutes that he was sleeping soundly in his crib in his room across the hall.

  212. My first intrusive vivid thought was when my baby was less than two weeks old. My husband was holding her while standing next to a wood stove with a large lid on top to add wood. I kept thinking he was going to open it and toss her in. I knew it was irrational,and he would never do anything like that, but it scared me to the bone. It took me days to shake the feeling.

  213. I was absolutely miserable for the first 2.5 or so years of my eldest child’s life. As a baby, she nursed almost around the clock, and would only stop when I pulled her off to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. I wouldn’t listen to any of the lactation consultants when they told me that nursing 55 out of every 60 minutes all day and all night wasn’t necessary. I couldn’t believe they were right. My baby always seemed hungry and cried when I stopped! Because I was so tired, I couldn’t even sleep on a bed or a couch, because one of us would fall off. Until she went to daycare, I spent my entire day and night on the living room rug, so that she and I could drift in and out of consciousness all day and all night long. But I was in so much pain from the nursing (she nursed until my nipples bled), so hungry from lack of time to eat and so dazed from lack of proper sleep that I would hallucinate. I’d wake up with a start and could swear she was missing or had fallen off the bed (even though we were safely on the rug). I’d look at the clock and couldn’t read it – I’d get the numbers all mixed up. She became a toddler younger than average and had several terrible tantrums EVERY day. No one close to me could relate at all. Strangers would approach me and tell me I needed to “get her under control”. I felt so alone through those years because none of the other parents I knew seemed to be experiencing the same thing. Sometimes I wondered if she was normal or if I was doing everything wrong. She’s much older now and looking back, I think that her tremendous need to be with me all the time as a baby and then the tantrums as a toddler were just part of her intense personality. Although she still experiences all her feelings with intensity, she’s a gentle girl, with a heart full of empathy, kindness, tolerance and generosity. ………….It was all worth it.

  214. I took my daughters to the playground as I often do, but ever since the Vegas shooting I keep picturing what I would do if a shooting happened at the park. I’ve looked for hiding places, wondered how I would carry both kids. I can’t even enjoy time with the kids there anymore.

  215. For the first ten months of my daughter’s life, I wouldn’t wear socks because I thought if I did, I would slip on the stairs and drop the baby down them.

  216. When I was carrying my baby I would have a vivid image of him smashing into a wall and being hurt, or of me throwing him to the ground. It took a long time but eventually these scary thoughts went away.

  217. Sometimes I imagine myself leaving because I think my husband should find someone who will make a better mother than me. I love my kids more than anything, but I feel so inadequate.

  218. on days where I feel like I am so overwhelmed with mother hood, work, and being a wife, I think that getting hit by a semi truck while driving by myself wouldn’t be so bad. I wouldn’t be able to fail my family anymore and i won’t let them down anymore.

  219. I used to obsessively imagine how easy it would be to go into my car in the garage, shut the garage door, roll my windows down and start my car and kill myself. I just KNEW my kids would be better off without a shitty mom like me, because I would never be good enough for them. I am so afraid of my kids growing up and realizing that I’m not all that great, and never wanting to talk to me or keep a relationship with me. It is currently my biggest fear. I obsess about what is best for my kids, and am still convinced that it’s not me because I am so unstable.

  220. I imagined dropping her down the staircase, letting her stroller go into traffic…I used to joke nightly to husband that I was winding up the baby catapult to fling her into someone else’s yard. It was the worst time of my life, and having a MIL and SIL talk about me behind my back and judging everything I did was the most painful thing I’ve ever endured. And believe me, that’s saying something.

  221. The first night my son could be away from the nursery in the hospital, I had the nurses put his bed in my room. In the middle of the night, my 6 week early, 4 pound infant started crying. As I sat in the dark room holding him, I imagine myself dropping him on the floor and wondered if anyone would know it wasn’t an accident. It only go worse from there. I was constantly worried he would stop breathing at night or simply not wake up. This all culminated with intrusive thoughts in which I would try to figure out how to kill myself, my baby, and my husband so none of us would have to live without the other. I needed help but I was afraid to talk to anyone for fear that they would take my child. I was very, very lucky that these feelings eased once my baby started sleeping longer. My husband, who was travelling extensively at the time, didn’t even know how bad things were until my older child was almost 13.

  222. I was terrified that I would smash my baby’s head into the corner of the wall when I was walking back into our bedroom in the dark after feeding him and it would break open and bleed all over.

  223. When my twins were barely 2 months old, I had a nightmare that I stabbed one of them. I awoke crying and was ashamed and scared of where my mind went while I was asleep. I knew I needed help and called my doctor the next day.

  224. I fear my toddler doesn’t love me anymore and that my husband wants to send our kids to his mom so he can divorce me. I fear everyone is playing a big pretend game but they’re really all planning to leave me behind.

  225. In the first few weeks after my daughter was born I worried that she’d slip from my arms and smash her head in the cement floor as I walked downstairs into our basement. I say “worried” but really the thought would fly into my head, terribly graphic and completely unbidden. This anxiety dissipated after awhile, but it was so strange. I never experienced anything like it before I had her.

  226. Shortly after I gave birth to my first baby I imagined a sharp knife going gently over my baby’s perfect skin. It was really scary and I thought there was something very wrong with me. Why would I have those thoughts?

  227. I get nervous when my baby is in my husbands care and he starts to cry i feel like he does something wrong and would rather just do everything hustle isntead or ask him for help.

  228. I had terrible images of throwing my baby intonhis cot or on the floor in a fit of rage when he wouldn’t stop crying. Despite loving him intensely and knowing I would never hurt him in a million years. I also, mostly at nighttime when he couldn’t sleep, thought that I was the worst mother as I couldn’t even get my baby to sleep. I thought my husband and baby would be better off without me. I got help early and now when something crops up I can deal with it rationally and it goes.

  229. I had a traumatic birth and so when I thought I might have accidentally gotten pregnant with a second child, I imagined aborting the baby to avoid giving birth again. This was a wake up call for me because I have always wanted two kids. I went to see someone.

  230. I am exhausted. No one understands how anxious and tired I am. I am out of shape, my house is a disaster, my baby doesn’t sleep on her own, my husband is impatient and I am the one getting less sleep!

  231. I am always picturing gruesome, violent outcomes to my baby whenever we’re in the car, the bed, wearing or walking her in the stroller while her crossing the street— sometimes those scenes still pop up in my head. The heart palpitations I get laying in bed after the madness of the day is over. I still get super anxious at her crying spells, and I end up feeeling like I’m a crappy mom for her constant crying. The constant pressure to maintain a “perfect” looking household, clean house, well-behaved kids, dropping all the baby weight, all on varied little-sleep. This is a Mama’s reality. I can only hope my children know that they are so loved, despite how inadequate I may feel about my parenting sometimes.

  232. Because of how scared I am of everything having to do with my child I should never have had a baby.

  233. I was terrified in the middle of the night that I would faint or trip with my baby while passing the stairs and she would fall down all of them and either die or be terribly injured. I was terrified that because I was the only one awake, everyone would blame me if something like that happened… and if I had already shared some of my scary thoughts, they would think I did it on purpose and take my baby away from me.

  234. That when I’m not with our son, my husband neglects him… Or the daycare workers do. Pretty much anyone who cares for our son who isn’t my mom or me. There is no merit behind any of these feelings, and the Zoloft has helped… But I still get anxious when I see my husband sitting next to our son while he’s playing and he checks his phone. I’m worried that moment of distraction, something catastrophic will happen.

  235. I can’t be a wife, mother and professional. If I am at work- I’m a bad mom and wife. If we go out to dinner without our son- I’m a bad mom. If I greet our son first when I come home or fall asleep on the couch at 8 pm from exhaustion- I’m a bad wife.

  236. I can’t have or do it all.Some day’s I don’t want to get up, some days I don’t want to be a care taker , somedays I want to be alone all day and stay in bed, but then I feel like a bad mother and I know I don’t deserve alone time, or a meal cooked by someone else.

  237. When ever my children has been in someone else’s care like day nursery I change their nappies straight the way when I pick them up to make sure they haven’t been sexually abused. I’m so scared when other people are in control of my children. I don’t trust anyone except their dad and then I have scary thoughts that maybe I shouldn’t trust him. Even though I know there’s no way that he would do anything like that, I’m scared that I don’t know him. You hear all the time that the mother never knew.

  238. I felt that no one wanted me or my baby around. I fantasized about taking him and running away where no one would find us or where we wouldn’t be a burden. He cried constantly, I tried to breast feed but couldn’t produce enough milk and he was not thriving. I switched to formula and the change was like night and day. He slept like he should have and didn’t scream because he was hungry. I was hit worse with my second child but a wonderful nurse saw I was struggling while I was still in the hospital. I had to stay longer because of a Csection. She got with my OB/GYN the next morning and I was on meds and offered counseling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need meds, take them. Don’t let people tell you it’s all in your head or you will get over it. I spent 2+ years the first time trying to “get over it.”

  239. I feel so overwhelmed. I feel like I can’t do anything now. I think I’m a bad mother. People in my house aren’t very as supportive of my breastfeeding journey. Everyone thinks I’m feeding the baby because I want to keep the baby with my self. I can’t bear the negativity around me. I don’t like my living arrangement. I don’t want to be bullied.i feel like I’m in a prison. I want my previous life my back. Sometimes I feel I had this baby because I wanted to prove I’m fertile! I hate myself for feeling like this. I don’t look forward to my baby waking up in the morning. I hate myself because of this. I feel very overwhelmed with anxiety whenever she is awake. Is she eating enough? I don’t know how to get chores done with her around. If I don’t get chores done people think I’m lazy. My baby is 15 months. I’ve to constantly supervise her. Being a stay at home isn’t very rewarding. There is constant chores and the demands of a toddler are so unbearable sometimes.

  240. I know my baby will grow up very soon and I’m going to be hate myself for not enjoying her childhood.
    I’m just not the pleasant, engaged, happy mother I wanted to be. I’m irritable, tired all the time, distracted and I don’t talk to the baby as much as I should. I don’t feel fit to patent my child and meet her demands. Feel very alone and Isolated.


  241. Sometimes I can’t take the noise and the nagging i just want to lock them in their room with bread and water.

  242. I love breastfeeding but some days when she wakes up i just dont want her to touch me and i feel like im trapped and i want to run and scream.

  243. While pregnant, I struggled with urges to punch myself in the stomach or overdose on Plan B. When the baby started moving, I could only think “get it out get it out.” As she grew bigger, I felt she grew more important, and I shrank into nothingness. I worried I would cease to exist. When she was born, all I could think was that I’d made a horrible mistake thinking I could ever be a mother. I stopped sleeping entirely. I could never settle down. I worried about apocalyptic events, the water being poisoned, and I had intrusive thoughts like short “movies” playing out in my mind of hurting my baby. They were so vivid that I began to think they were inevitable – that I was going to hurt my baby. My mom finally took me to the ER, and I was admitted to the psychiatric unit for 5 days. That’s how long it took them to get me to sleep. Even from this darkest place, I found a way out — with help — a lot of help. I went from Googling “I regret becoming a mother” to feeling like being a mom has given my life meaning. I didn’t love her right away, but now I love my daughter more than I knew was possible.

  244. On more than one occasion I had to pull over and check that I’d actually put my baby in her car seat (When she was forward facing)

  245. In the first month of LO’s life, I was crying every other day. I was forced to give him donated breastmilk for 1 week in his 2nd week as the LC convinced us that it is better than the FM we were giving. We were so desperate that we just agreed to it even though we knew that the donated breastmilk was not properly screened and had no idea how long it has been kept. Until today, i am worried about the possibility of diseases being transmitted to LO thru those donated breastmilk and i hate that LC to the core.

  246. On top of that, I was constantly worried about how clean the bottles, jaundice & even his belly button… the next 5 months was not much better as LO was always crying and needed to be held 24/7… he would also cry till he turned purple black until we pick him up… there was once when i was so frustrated with no rest, no proper meals, no me time, that i rocked him so hard that i almost fell on my bum… i was immediately filled with guilt and quickly put him down n left the room although he was still crying and wailing… i took deep breaths and went back into the room and apologised to him and tried to calm him down… I’m also worried about my LO not wanting me and doubted all those stories about motherly bonds with children as LO cries even louder whenever i hold him… i felt like i was a complete failure that my own flesh ‘n blood didn’t want me…

  247. I just let her cry once. I was in bed staring at the wall just thinking, I don’t care, I just don’t care what she needs right now.

  248. Once when I was in the kitchen I had this horrible thought jump into my head.. I could slit her neck. It shocked me to my core, I felt so repulsed for thinking such an awful thing. This thought still plays on repeat at times and everytime it comes back I feel sick to my stomach and so ashamed that my mind would ever have such a thought.

  249. I was worried that I would find my baby had died during her sleep. I couldn’t sleep as I had to keep checking her all night. The lack of sleep made the anxiety worst. So I got help, I talked, I developed coping strategies. It’s helped – it’s a work in progress.

  250. My husband doesn’t understand that I can’t possibly take care of our 4 month old son and keep the house spotless while he’s at work all day. It makes me feel so useless no matter how much I do. I feel like I’m jumping through hoops to keep him happy.

  251. All I could do was cry …day in day out. The thoughts oh being a worthless mother fled my mind every second of the day. If I wasn’t think about hurting or killing myself I was thinking of ways to end us all…. blowing up the house, driving in front of a semi, jumping off a cliff, taking all my meds and going to sleep forever or finding a lake and just driving in…then everything would be ok …no more crying no more pain. I finally decided to get help, it was a long journey of switching meds and probably will be but every day gets just a lil bit better.

  252. I would place my son in a laundry basket when doing laundry. Many times I almost cried because of how intense and overwhelming the thoughts of putting him in the dryer were.

  253. I was already on meds and in therapy, but couldn’t tell anyone just how much I was struggling because then I would be hospitalized, stripped of parental rights, and lose the bond with my baby. In reality, it led to a mental breakdown while I was watching my 18 month old on my own. It left me with almost 50 stitches from self harm, a two week hospitalization, and a major loss of trust with my husband. I was so worried about losing my family that I lost myself instead. Breastfeeding kept me alive during my lowest moments, but it also stopped me from getting more intensive help.

  254. When my first child was born we owned a gun. My husband asked if I could bring it to him so he could clean it. As I held it, a horrible thought raced through my head: “what if I shoot my baby? What if I shoot myself?” I held it for a minute and pondered: “If there is a bullet in the chamber, just one little squeeze. One squeeze changes it all. One squeeze ruins it all. I lose my life.”
    I urged my husband to get rid of the gun for our child’s safety. I never told him the real reason.


  255. When my son was a newborn, I couldn’t sleep because of how he looked in semi-darkness… I constantly thoght he looked blue and he was going to die from positional asphyxia.

  256. I tell my 8 month old son I love him all the time, but what if I’m actually faking it when I tell him I love him? Please God, watch over him. I don’t trust myself to be a parent sometimes. What if I can’t have another baby? (Why would I even want another baby?)

  257. I can remember with my first child my mom telling me “don’t shake the baby” and I thought she was out of her ever loving mind. Why would she ever say that to me, I loved my child more than anyone ever loved another. But then it happened, I was going on days without sleep and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to comfort my son. It was in that moment that I had the thought “I could just drop him and it would all stop”. The crying, my feelings of inadequacy in being a first time mom, all of it.

  258. Something terrible would hurt or kill her as a result of a mistake I’d make (looking away while she’s on the changing table, falling asleep while nursing her and accidentally smothering her in my breast). The worst part is that when I imagined these things happening, my first thought was about whether my husband would ever forgive me, not about how terrible it would be to lose our daughter.

  259. I’m scared that I’ve made a terrible mistake in having a baby—that what I really loved and enjoyed was being pregnant, not being a mother.

  260. I found myself hoping I’d fall asleep at the wheel of the car with the baby in the back. I didn’t want either of us to be seriously hurt, but I thought that if I did – my husband would have to take how I was feeling seriously.

  261. I had a traumatic birth and was rushed into surgery straight away. When being taken to surgery I was thinking to myself that I was definitely going to die and how sad people will think it is that I never got to see or hold my baby. I worry about everything that most people worry about, but one day from exhaustion I had a complete breakdown that came out of nowhere. I was scared about my baby waking up and that I would have to pick him up, convinced that I would drop him taking him downstairs, scared to even change his nappy. I had changed his nappy and couldn’t remember doing it. I then had awful intrusive thoughts about when if I hurt him and not even realised. I got scared that what if I’d hurt him at any point before or if hurt him again in the future and not know. I literally didn’t know what to do and just kept saying to myself that I couldn’t have another day of having those thoughts. I got help the next day, and it was only then I realised how common these thoughts are and that EVERYTHING I was thinking was normal. That alone made me feel so much better. It took me around 2 months to get over it. I was very scared to get help as I thought my baby would get taken away from me. I told my boyfriend everything I was thinking first (as I thought if I wasn’t safe to be around my baby then he would tell me) and then spoke to my health visitor who then sorted help for me. I still find myself daydreaming and imagining horrible things (imagining crashing the car etc but I snap out of it and tell myself that it is silly thinking like that) but I know that it’s ok if I feel as awful as I did before that I would just be having a bad day again and that I would get over it with help. I wouldnt have had help and support of it hasn’t spoken up – and it makes me really sad that others may not speak up in fear that they think their child may be taken from them. Always speak up, do it for you and your child 🙂

  262. I have often visualized driving across the path of a big truck and the car being crushed and me dying.

  263. I have this fear that while my baby is playing on the floor I will step on her by accident. Or I will drop her over the banister at the top of our staircase so I hold her extra tight around that corner. I’m afraid that she has stopped breathing in the middle of the night. I’m afraid to leave her alone for too long. I want to cry all the time. I hate sex. I hate when my husband makes me feel like I made the wrong choice about anything having to do with our baby.

  264. I’m stuck in a loop my parents are plotting to take my baby from me. My birth mother was unstable and took anger out on the kids, they never gave my husband a chance, and my Dad mentioned in passing that we shook our baby to burp him. I check over my shoulder for anyone paying attention to us in the grocery store. My fear is they’re right and I am an unfit mother.

  265. I was so terrified as soon as he was born, a consistent thought for the first few days/weeks was that the only way to get sleep and heal was if “he wasn’t here.” I felt like a terrible mother and was sure I had made an awful mistake.

  266. I thought I was unfit to be a mother and that by giving birth I ruined three lives; that of our daughter, my boyfriend and my own.
    (We are all very happy now!)


  267. I knew that I wasn’t capable of being the mom my son deserved and thought he & my husband would be better off if I died and my husband found a good wife & mother.

  268. I am terrified on the highway since my son was born. The fear developed overtime and I can no longer drive on the highway, let alone handle being a passenger. I thought it would not scare me so much if my son was not in the car but it doesn’t matter. Anytime I know I will be going on the highway I am in panic-mode all day. My husband does not understand the fear at all and says I make him anxious when he is driving.

*Kleiman, K. & Wenzel, A. (2010). Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts: Breaking the cycle of unwanted thoughts in motherhood. New York, New York: Routlege.

**Image1 created by Melina Stock

**Image2 created by Lisa Braun

For additional support if you do not like the way you are feeling, we recommend This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression. Boston, MA: De Capo Press

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