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Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts


“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.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Thoughts of suicide are scary, but they are in a different category from anxiety-driven “scary thoughts” to which we refer on this page. If you are having thoughts of suicide, this should always be taken seriously and we urge you to find someone you trust and let them know how you are feeling.

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

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. We do not ask for any identifying information and therefore are unable to contact you. 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. We may decide to create a meme from your words which may be (anonymously) posted on various social media platforms. 

Please keep in mind that this forum is not a substitute for professional intervention and submitting your scary thought will NOT give you access to treatment. There is no follow-up after you post. If you are worried about the way you feel, we urge you to contact a support person and a qualified healthcare provider. If you need assistance locating a provider who can help you, please email us at

Submit Your Scary Thought below and help reduce the stigma
Order a copy of GOOD MOMS HAVE SCARY THOUGHTS by Karen Kleiman. It will help you feel better.

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.

I imagine accidentally dropping my baby all the time. I envision how he would fall, where he would hurt himself, and the horror of me trying to console him and his bad injuries. It's like I can't even stop these thoughts from happening. I hate it. It makes me nauseous.

I imagine accidentally dropping my baby all the time. I envision how he would fall, where he would hurt himself, and the horror of me trying to console him and his bad injuries. It's like I can't even stop these thoughts from happening. I hate it. It makes me nauseous.

When my little girl was a newborn, I was terrified someone would break in and kidnap her. I was also afraid I might drop her or if I fell asleep holding her she would fall and get seriously hurt.

My 9 week old has developed breast aversion after a recent tummy bug. He’s constantly hungry but won’t latch for longer than 5 minutes. When it’s time to put him to sleep he fights it because he’s still hungry. When he starts to cry and fuss I often think about dropping him or drop kicking him. I absolutely hate myself for even typing this out.

My baby was a premie so we had many worries. I often worry that my baby isn’t eating enough and that he’ll lose weight and regress developmentally. I used to worry that if he cried a lot I might’ve shaken him without realizing it.

Bubs is drinking only 1/3 - 1/2 what he should be. No one seems to worry. I'm terrified he might turn out like my 1st and end up 9th percentile in weight, as she too had lots of medical issues. Like her, I'm terrified he might starve himself to death. She is alive and well, and several years old now, but the anxiety of what could happen to bubs is still very real.

My near 4 year old just wants daddy. I hate their close relationship. I hate I don't have a bond with her like that. I literally have no idea how to play with her anymore. I cry when she says she'd "rather play with daddy and not mum". Even hearing the word mum instead of mummy hurts. Sometimes I'm glad not to spend time with her too though, because then when she says awful things it's less painful and I re-experience all the trauma from birth and her 1st year of life

I want to constantly run away from it all. Change my name; where I live, what I do and pretend I don't have children or a husband

I fear someone, including family members sexually abuse my daughter

I fear I have mucked up so much, and will continue so, that well child tamariki ora providers will take them away

It’s my fault the twins came early. I did all I could to get them to 37 weeks but it wasn’t enough. My body failed me

I really don’t want to hear my friends complain about their one child. I have twins and they’re so much work. Sometimes I feel robbed in my motherhood

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

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