5 Reasons Why Mothers Murder Their Children And How To Prevent It

5 Reasons Why Mothers Murder Their Children And How To Prevent It

Why Mothers Murder is a difficult topic to read as it is difficult to write, but this is a topic that needs a light shed on it. There are so many cases of child neglect, and abuse that can lead to a child’s death, that any prevention or awareness is a necessity in order to save the lives of hundreds or possibly thousands of children.

The 5 Reasons Mothers Murder Their Children

  • Mental Illness: Mental illness can be in the form of severe depression, personality disorder, psychotic paranoia. There are many different forms of mentally illness, but whatever the illness they can all drive a person to do extreme acts of violence, depending on the person, the situation, the triggers etc.
  • Neglect is another reason that some women may cause the death of their child. Through the sheer fact of neglecting their childs needs of nutrition, medicine, care, love etc., can lead to the demise of a child.
  • Unwanted Child: In some cases the mother never wanted the child, she may have been too far in her pregnancy to get an abortion, or she never liked children. She could have had a horrible experience as a child, or possibly her mother didn’t want her. There are numerous reasons as to why a woman might not be interested in having a child. This resentment and hatred can fester and grow into a terrible case of child abuse which can lead to death.
  • Revenge: now this is a very self involved narcissistic view that the mother may have, she believes that she is getting revenge on the spouse or partner by harming the child. She cares nothing for the life of the child, she cares nothing for the feelings of the partner, everything revolves around her. If she cannot be happy than her partner will not be happy either. The child is used as a pawn as is so commonly seen in divorce cases, and child custody cases.
  • Killing Is Merciful: In a psychotic sense of altruism, mothers in this situation believe that the child is in danger from the world, spouse, family, whomever they maybe, and death is the only merciful thing that can be done. In this scenario the mother believes that death is more merciful than letting them live. In some cases it is also hallucinations or delusions that cause the mother to believe that God is telling her to save the children from evil, and the only way to do that in the mothers mind is to murder the child.

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Prevention


  • Consistent depressed mood
  • Manic behavior, paranoia about the children’s welfare
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Uncaring in relation to childrearing, motherly duties(feeding, changing, cuddling, soothing ), letting the child constantly scream without checking on the child
  • Voicing thoughts of harming the children, or saying She’s a horrible mom constantly, and saying the children would be better off without her.
  • Constantly trying to isolate herself from everyone especially the child.
  • Particular distaste or like for a particular child and it is very noticeable

In many of these cases there may be a definite need to contact the physician, psychiatrist, hospital etc. The mother needs to be evaluated right away, as a precaution, possibly admitted and placed on medication. This is a definite in the case of her wanting to harm herself or anyone else.


A diagnosis has to be made by a psychiatrist, or medical doctor. Someone who specializes in this area is an excellent source to start the evaluation process. Most individuals that suffer with some type of severe, untreated mental illness are usually admitted to the hospital after a major incident and are then evaluated by the psychiatrist on call. The process hopefully starts there and is redirected and followed up by the personal psychiatrist and physician. They should all work together to find the best treatment for the mother.


  • Prevention starts with awareness and observation, be aware of what’s going on, never be afraid to speak up.
  • Early Intervention, at the first signs of distress
  • Postpartum depression, at the first signs of the mother not wanting to be around her child, or feelings of severe inadequacy. Just to be safe have her evaluated by a physician, there is treatment and success for mothers of postpartum depression.
  • Improving the knowledge/education of health practitioners at recognizing the signs of neglect, abuse, mental psychosis, severe depression, etc.
  • Parenting classes can be taken, there are free classes offered in all major cities.
  • Emotional Support Groups, joining one is a great way to be around others who are going through the same things.
  • Emergency numbers: prevention, support, hotlines

Final Word

Mental Illness, substance abuse, physical abuse and mental abuse are all conditions that can cause anyone to do terrible things. Violence and mental illness and substance abuse does not discriminate, it affects all colors, all races, all genders, all economic classes. No one is immuned!, so be aware, look out for each other, your neighbors, friends, family and if you see the warning signs that something is terribly wrong, speak up, you may save someone’s life.


(Susan Hatters Friedman & Phillip J. Resnick)

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