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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.

There are moments when I find it challenging to attend to my baby and engage with him. I experience feelings of sadness whenever he cries or when we're together. He has been diagnosed with Apert Syndrome, and I sometimes feel a sense of responsibility for bringing him into the world with this condition, which adds to my emotional struggle.

I often think that he's going to fall and hit his head and I imagine his head cracking open and blood everywhere

I grew up in a highly religious house with a mother who was very afraid of the end of the world. I was fine until I had my 3rd child. I have intense fears of the "end of times". Related, I've gone down so many conspiracy theory rabbit holes that I sometimes feel like I'm losing touch with reality. I've decided that if I ever need to take the "mark of the beast" to feed my kids, I will. I can't stand the thought of them starving or being harmed in the end days and an eternity in hell seems like the only answer.

I have an intense fear of human trafficking - specifically my child being kidnapped and sold into trafficking. I sob sometimes thinking about how scared she would be and how she'd cry and think I abandoned her.

I had thoughts about to commit sexual abuse to my daughter and then we will separate forever, has been the most difficult time, but know I understand that I am more than my thoughts, and my anxiety 🙏

When my second baby was maybe 8 weeks old, he had been fed and was laying on a changing pad sleeping. My 16 month old was eating lunch and i thought - they're safe. They're fed. My husband would be back soon. I could just .... leave. I envisioned leaving in my sweats in the middle of winter and just walking away from everything and disappearing from my family. (It disturbed me so deeply that I ultimately sought help)

When I’m driving with my 2 year old in the back I imagine myself just turning the car into on coming traffic to see what would happen. I can’t get the thought out of my head

I’m so terrified of going anywhere near water and have been since he was born. Anytime I see a body of water I imagine my toddler face down and floating in it. It makes me physically sick to imagine.

When I first had my son I was so mentally unwell that I didn’t think I could (or didn’t want to) take care of him and would have to put him up for adoption

I’ve just given birth to my second child and my toddler who used to be my absolute world is absolutely killing my soul with his constant tantrums and changed behaviour. Some days I hate him, and, that “unconditional mothers love” just isn’t there. I know it’s not his fault at all but sometimes I feel like I no longer have any connection to him and I dream of giving full custody of him to my partner and running away with our baby. It shocks me to the core that I could have these thoughts about my beautiful first born.

Sometimes when I’m driving and I see a cyclist or pedestrian, I have a panic attack that my car will swerve and hit them and I will go to jail and leave my kids without a mum.

bout 2 weeks postpartum with my first I noticed our knives. The thought flashed in my mind - what If I start stabbing her and can't stop myself? It was horrible. I had to run past the knives when I held my daughter or the thoughts of hurting her with the knives popped up.

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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