Almost half of new mums suffer from frightening thoughts or hallucinations


by Emma Dodds |

Research has found that almost half of new mums are suffering from terrifying hallucinations and thoughts after giving birth that they're too scared to talk about

Before you have a baby, you're taught to think that as soon as you have a little bundle of joy, your life will be complete and everything will be wonderful and rosy.

So it's no surprise that when that unrealistic fantasy isn't actually always the case, most mums are too scared to tell anyone how they're really feeling.

According to new research undertaken on behalf of, 43% of new mums are suffering from frightening thoughts or hallucinations about their baby.

GALLERY: THIS is what your pregnancy cravings REALLY mean

View Gallery
6 photos
1 of 6
CREDIT: Shutterstock


Sadly, two thirds of them hide what they're going through for fear of being judged - or even having their baby taken away from them.

The most common thought is the fear that "something dreadful" would happen to their child, as admitted by 62% of the respondents, while 44% admitted being terrified that their baby was going to die.

Another 13% have imagined killing or harming their own child, one in 50 believed their baby hated them - and 1% were convinced that their mother-in-law was trying to take their baby.

Worryingly, 39% felt their child and partner would be "better off" without them - and 16% had considered suicide.


Others find it impossible to talk to strangers due to the fear that they would steal or harm their baby, as admitted by 31%.

Shockingly, 65% were not told that pregnancy and parenthood could affect their mental health, and 19% though they were "going mad" when they fell ill.

The taboo nature of the subject is to blame, with 49% of new mums being scared of someone judging them negatively, 43% said others would think they were a "bad parent" and 26% felt "ashamed" of being mentally ill.

The research also discovered that 17% of new mums admitted to considering self-harm in a bid to cope - and one in 20 did just that.

One in five mums who suffered mental illness after birth said that they'd refused help in case their child was taken away, and a whopping 94% of mums admitted lying about their feelings.

WATCH: The NHS describe how to recognise depression in pregnancy founder Siobhan Freegard said: “If your body is broken after birth, everyone understand and supports you. But when your mind is broken, mums still feel they have to keep it hidden.

“We need to talk about it, normalise it and make mums realise they are not alone. You are not different or ‘going mad’ just because you experience it - but you may need professional care and help.

“There is so much pressure to cope and be the perfect parent that when you are crying inside while everyone around you is smiling, it makes you feel you are failing your baby and your whole family.

"Mums need to know they will get the right support and their baby won’t be taken away."

Extreme thoughts new mums have experienced

  • I believed my baby hated me and was trying to kill me

  • I planned jumping off the balcony with my baby

  • I thought my flat was haunted and would stay outside from dawn til dusk until my husband got home

  • I thought my baby would die if I didn’t wash up before my microwave pinged

  • I saw the Grim Reaper outside my bedroom door

  • I thought my twins weren’t mine

  • I thought that my mother in law was planning to take my baby

  • I thought that baby would die because of germs. So I made everyone disinfect themselves before they could touch him. Someone touched my pram in a supermarket once and I couldn’t move due to fear of contamination. I stood in the cleaning isle vigorously disinfecting my pram

  • I believed if I went to sleep, someone would break in and smother us all to death

  • I wanted to throw my daughter out of the window

  • I thought a crocodile was trying to eat my baby

  • I wanted to drive the car into a wall and kill my baby and myself

  • I cut all my hair off as I thought my baby was eating it and making himself ill

  • I thought everyone would be better off without me

  • I imagined an iron melting into my baby's face

  • Just blackness, despair like being trapped in thick mud

*If you feel like you need someone to talk to about how you're feeling, please see *ChannelMum's forums on mental health.

**What do you think of these stats? Are you surprised? Let us know over on **Facebook and Twitter.


Millions of Brits avoid discussing mental health at work to protect their career

Mum blogger gets real about mental health in motherhood

Carol Vorderman has bravely shared her battle with depression

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us