Parents' zone

Infant Harm Related Thoughts

Expert: Dr Caroline Boyd

Masterclass structure: 7 lessons (37:39 minutes)

Also available in podcast: Listen here

About this class

**Trigger warning – talk of intrusive thoughts of harm. Please take care when listening.
If this masterclass raises any concerns for you please talk to a trusted health professional.

Harm thoughts can be common following the birth of a child. These thoughts can occur in the form of word thoughts (e.g. such as “my baby is not safe” or “my baby might die”), images (e.g. a mental picture of the baby falling down the stairs), or impulses or urges (e.g. the urge to smack, shake or throw the baby). These harm thoughts can pop into a mother’s mind unexpectedly and cause distress – even though she would never hurt her baby intentionally.
Research has shown that nearly all new mothers experience some unwanted thoughts of harm coming to their new baby, and around 1 in 2 mums have reported thoughts of intentionally harming their baby – even though they knew they never would. In this masterclass, clinical psychologist, Dr Caroline Boyd, explains in a clear and calm manner, everything you need to know about infant harm related thoughts. The most important message is that having these thoughts doesn’t make you a bad mother. This masterclass is recommended for all soon-to-be parents and parents of young babies.

About the expert

Chartered clinical psychologist Dr Caroline Boyd has over 10 years’ experience working in the NHS and mental health settings, and she supports parents from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond. Caroline is the author of Mindful New Mum, and her published research explores mothers’ experiences of intrusive thoughts about their babies. Caroline is an Ambassador for UK perinatal mental health charity, PANDAS, and her work has been featured in You magazine, Grazia, and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
Caroline specialises in supporting parents around anger and anxiety in her independent psychology practice, Parent Therapy Hub. She shares psychology ideas on Instagram and in the media to help parents feel more connected – to themselves and their children – and less alone.
You can reach Caroline at or via Instagram @_drboyd
Caroline offers anger courses for mothers:
Caroline’s book, Mindful New Mum: A Mind-Body Approach to the Highs and Lows of Motherhood, is available to buy online Amazon, Waterstones or Bookshop

Lessons in this class

9 Lessons (1:15:08hour)
0. Lesson - The complete masterclass 37:39
1. Lesson - Meet your expert 1:01
3. Lesson - How do I know if I have postnatal depression? 2:41
5. Lesson - Why do we have these thoughts? 3:34
6. Lesson - What is the advice for mothers experiencing these thoughts? 13:39
7. Lesson - Infant harm thoughts in mothers of neurodivergent children 1:22
8. Lesson - Take home message 2:12

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