Intrusive Thoughts in the Perinatal Period

Intrusive Thoughts in the Perinatal Period

Update: 2022-01-20


Content Warning: Examples of various type of intrusive thoughts 

Episode description: On today’s episode we’re going to talk about Intrusive Thoughts in the Perinatal Period. I’m going to share the clinical definition, what this looks like in real-life, when it’s a good idea to ask for help and how to cope with these types of thoughts. I experienced intrusive thoughts in the Postpartum period, and I will share this experience with you. Let’s open up this discussion to reduce the barriers to seeking help and the shame that can come with these thoughts. 


2:33 - What are Intrusive thoughts? 

4:13 - Different types of thoughts. 
 7:52 - What does this look like in real-life? 

9:28 - Creating meaning around intrusive thoughts. 

10:45 - Shame and guilt.

12: 28 – Intrusive thoughts knock us out of our window of tolerance.

14:20 - Developing compulsions.
 15:00 - When to ask for help.

15:35 - Barriers to disclosing intrusive thoughts.

18:50 - Coping with intrusive thoughts.

21:52 - The process of managing the thoughts.

24:53 - Normalizing anxiety.

26:26 - Anchoring in the Self, trusting ourselves.

28:17 - Other ways to cope.


An incredible book for new parents is “Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts” by Karen Kleiman. 

And a great book for clinicians and parents is Karen Kleiman’s book “Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts: Breaking the Cycle of Unwanted Thoughts in Parenthood”, from which I have used a lot of information for this post as well as in my work with clients. 

You can find more information at on Instagram @perinatalwellbeing_ontario or by email 

You can find information and free online support groups at Postpartum Support International 

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Intrusive Thoughts in the Perinatal Period

Intrusive Thoughts in the Perinatal Period

Christine Cunningham