When to seek help for maternal separation anxiety

Maternal separation anxiety can be normal to a certain degree. It encompasses worry, sadness and guilt when separated from your infant for short periods of time.

It’s hard leaving your child, and it’s meant to be - biologically and emotionally you are meant to be attached and want to keep your child safe and nurtured by being present. These feelings may be more prevalent when there is inadequate social support for a mother.

So, when should you worry about the stress and anxiety that you are experiencing?

If your anxiety about being separated from your little one impacts upon your wellbeing, you are encouraged to consult your healthcare professional.

Look out for the following:

  • You sleep much more OR less than usual
  • You have a shift in appetite (eating more OR less)
  • You find it difficult to concentrate
  • You experience social withdrawal
  • Your mood is low, and you see little pleasure in life

Remember, parenting can be overwhelming at the best of times, and it’s not meant to take place in a vacuum. Ask for help and make use of your support systems (friends, family, mom groups, therapy) where you can to help make the challenges more manageable.

Mom kissing baby