postpartum depressionPsychologists say they have found a way to prevent or at least seriously reduce the incidence of postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder or postpartum OCD.  Researchers from the University of Miami, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina found that identifying mothers at risk for postpartum OCD and putting them into a prevention program that included cognitive behavioral therapy techniques helped reduced the mothers’ anxiety and OCD symptoms.   Their findings have been published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

As reported in Science Daily:

“Participants were a group of 71 expecting mothers at risk for developing postpartum OCD symptoms. Half of the group was in a class that included the prevention program, the other half was in a regular childbirth education class (control group). The mothers were followed for six months after the birth of their babies. The program included information on the warning signs of anxiety and OCD, as well as specific techniques for how to deal with the symptoms.

The prevention program was successful in reducing both the incidence of obsessive compulsive symptoms and how distressing they were. Compared to the control group, the mothers in the prevention program experienced less anxiety after the babies were born and they maintained this effect for at least six months postpartum. The team also found that the intervention reduced those thinking styles that put a mom at risk to begin with.”

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