Maternal anxiety – is for Real

Maternal anxiety

Maternal anxiety

If you feel that separation anxiety is just for kids, hold your thought and read on.

When you become a parent, you are likely to experience a fraught with emotions. You may find yourself feeling extremely happy and joyous at your baby’s birth at one moment, and may experience an immense sense of responsibility. At certain times you would feel an intense fear to do everything right for your baby.

There might be times an extreme desire to be able to protect your baby from the world around may lead to a couple of problems for your baby and you.

Maternal anxiety

What is maternal anxiety?

The guilty and awful feeling when you leave your baby behind is called maternal anxiety.

Do only mothers experience this anxiety?

It isn’t just the mothers who experience an anxiety after the baby’s birth, even father’s may become anxious and depressed.

What does maternal anxiety feel like?

The symptoms of maternal anxiety are:

  • Feeling alone and frightened
  • Unable to focus on one thing at a time and experience mind racing
  • Feeling unable to cope
  • Flitting from one task to another, and being unable to finish any task
  • Finding everything equally important, and finding it difficult to prioritise
  • Always being chaotic and disorganised
  • Feeling depressed
  • Getting physiological symptoms like- sweating palms, racing heart, rapid breathing and feeling a sense of something bad about to happen
  • Changes in sleep and appetite and loss of weight
  • Feeling disconnected from the baby and self
  • Not being able to enjoy motherhood
  • Always feeling anxious about the baby (not finding the baby’s behaviour normal)
  • Finding everything stressful
  • Unable to relax and let go
  • Not feeling like stepping out of the house
  • Having distressing thoughts about the baby and yourself

Maternal anxiety

What can lead to a maternal anxiety?

There can be various reasons that can lead to maternal anxiety, that includes:

  • Having a complicated pregnancy
  • Carrying an unplanned pregnancy
  • Facing a premature labour and birth
  • Worries related to various relationships
  • Having a disappointing or difficult birth Job, housing, money or any other pressure
  • Watching your baby fall sick and in need of a special attention
  • Lack of practical or emotional support
  • Post natal depression
  • Having a history of depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue
  • Alcohol or substance abuse Or probably no real reason at all

Why is maternal separation and maternal anxiety equally important?

It’s important for a mother and baby to be in close proximity to each other. It promotes comfort, safety and food. Maternal separation is equally important as close proximity for the development and growth of the mother child relationship.

What kind of separation is healthy for your child, and which kind is not?

Consistent and relatively brief separation leads to a healthy development of the relationship between the mother and the baby. When there is a complete lack of detestation between the two, it doesn’t show any growth and may also lead to various separation related problems in future. Inconsistent or prolonged separation (with absence of any means of comfort), may lead to distress, illness, attachment disorder, anxiety disorders or relationship problems.

Why is it important to let go of maternal anxiety?

It’s extremely important for a parent to have a control over his/her emotions. Most of the sweetest memories of your baby would occur when you are away from him. If you learn to let go of your maternal anxiety, it would be really healthy for your baby’s development. It’s observed that babies whose mothers haven’t registered high levels of maternal anxiety, show high level of school readiness and attachment security.

What happens if maternal anxiety is left untreated?

If this anxiety is left untreated, it may lead to an unhealthy attachment in the parent and child relationship. Mothers who frequently have a maternal anxiety, eventually become controlling parents. This can lead to low self esteem, separation anxiety and issues with competency in the child. This also leads to having a negative impact on school readiness, attachment security and phycological state of the child.

When can maternal anxiety be a cause of concern?

When physical symptoms like – sleeplessness, racing heartbeat or heart palpitations occur, you should definitely visit your doctor.


Read: Anxiety in kids – Part 1

Read: Self love is the key to being a happy mother.

Read: Life Coach For kids who could help your kids reach their goals.


Get on a discovery session With Life Coach Preet and discover new horizons. Reach me on Instagram to book one to one session or a group session.

Much love,
Preetjyot Kaur
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Preetjyot Kaur
Preetjyot Kaur is an Internationally Accredited Life Coach for Kids and a Certified Parenting Coach who strongly believes in breaking the stereotypes. She helps her clients to learn how to fulfil their dreams by helping them train their mind, manage emotions & energy to achieve what they truly desire. For over 6 years she has mentored quite a number of kids and parents to move closer to a better way of living.


  1. yes maternal anxiety is real and I had also felt similar kind of emotions during my initial days of motherhood. I always had a over protective attitude for girls, when they were little but with the time, I had learnt the way to cope up with these feelings. loved all the pointers you had mentioned in this post. really informative .

    1. Glad you found the post informative! It’s common to experience maternal anxiety, and it’s great that you found ways to cope with it over time. It’s important for mothers to take care of their mental health and seek help when needed.

  2. I have had this experience with my mother. Her anxiety was very tough to handle. But those days awareness was menial. Hence it ended up spoiling my relationship with my mother. Later when I got married it piqued and my mother was in hospital every other day. No one knew. Finally a neurologist found the reason and put her under medication. Now she is all happy and stressfree

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with maternal anxiety. It’s unfortunate that the lack of awareness impacted your relationship with your mother. I’m glad to hear that she received the appropriate treatment and is now doing well. Thanks for reading my post!

  3. Anxiety is the most real and neglected condition. Awareness is still needed as to how and when we should deal with it..the taboo should be removed. As you said, medication is imperative and we should not hesitate to take meds.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I agree that anxiety is a neglected condition and awareness is needed to remove the taboo around seeking medication for it. It’s important to prioritize our mental health and seek the support and treatment we need. Thanks for reading my post!

  4. Much needed post. We need awareness about all these neglected condition because it will affect the relationships in the long grow up thinking that this is normal and start behaving the same way, though unknowingly. It has happened in many families I know.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I completely agree that raising awareness about neglected conditions like maternal anxiety is crucial, as these issues can have a long-term impact on both the mother and the child, as well as their relationships. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms and seek help when needed in order to break the cycle of these behaviors and ensure healthy relationships. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I’m glad that you found the article informative, and I completely agree that it’s important to share this information with parents. Maternal anxiety is a serious issue that can affect both mothers and children, and it’s important for people to be aware of the signs and symptoms in order to seek help when needed. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post!

  5. I never realized that anxiety could have such long term effects not just on the mom but also on the child. This was informative read for me.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I’m glad that you found the post informative and that it shed some light on the long-term effects of maternal anxiety on both the mother and the child. It’s important for people to be aware of this issue and to take steps to manage maternal anxiety in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for both themselves and their children.

  6. This was very informative. Thanks for the useful Post. I had read about post natal depression but this was the first time I read about maternal anxiety.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I’m glad that you found the post informative and that it shed some light on maternal anxiety. It’s important for people to be aware of this issue and know that there are resources available to help manage it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post!

  7. Maternal anxiety is definitely real and I did go through a phase of it after my daughter but not for long or to be very serious. Her being away from me for a while used to bother alot. I’m glas you have addressed this issue and brought it to light for other fellow moms.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. Maternal anxiety is a real issue that affects women differently. I’m glad to hear that my post shed some light on the topic for other moms. It’s important to know that there are resources and strategies available to help manage maternal anxiety.

    1. Great to hear that you found the post helpful! As a pre-school teacher, you have a unique perspective on how maternal anxiety can impact children and their development. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of maternal anxiety in both the parent and child and approach the situation with sensitivity and empathy. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I appreciate your insights and perspective.

  8. Such an important topic you have chosen to write about, I am sure many mother/parents are not even aware of this term. And I agree with you, one should have some control over their emotions. I did not face any anxiety during the initial years but I do face it now when my son is almost 5, maybe it’s because we have spent so much time together during the lockdown that it really bothers me now to leave him at his granny’s house. I hope it goes away soon.

    1. Thank you for your feedback, and I’m glad you found the post helpful. It’s true that spending more time with our children during the pandemic can heighten our emotions and increase anxiety, but it’s important to remember that it’s okay to take breaks and seek support when needed. It’s also normal for anxiety to ebb and flow, and seeking help from a therapist or mental health professional can be beneficial in managing those feelings.

  9. We all have gone through maternal anxiety at some point of time but was not aware about the serious consequences if not addressed on time. Thanks for sharing such an insightful post.

  10. Been there done that. Maternal anxiety is real and every mom goes through it. This post made me nostalgic since I asked and answered many of these questions for myself too.

  11. I think most moms go through this phase in their motherhood journey. Really appreciate that you have discussed this so elaborately

    1. Thank you for your feedback. It’s true that many moms face challenges during their motherhood journey, and it’s important to have open and honest conversations about them. I hope that my article was helpful to you in some way.

    1. I’m glad the post resonated with you and brought up some nostalgia. It’s important to bring attention to maternal anxiety and raise awareness about its potential impact on both the mother and child.

  12. This is an insightful read Preetjyot. I never knew there was something called as Maternal Anxiety. Recently, as I delivered my second child, I think I went through an unknown fear for my firstborn.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! Maternal anxiety can definitely be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the demands of a new baby as well as the needs of an older child. It’s important to recognize and address these feelings in order to provide the best care for all of your children.

  13. Somehow, I never suffered from maternal anxiety. we were in a joint family and i had full faith that my baby was in good hands. instead, I suffered from postnatal depression which became chronic. still haven’t recovered from it. its been 36 years now.:(

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you have been dealing with postnatal depression for such a long time. It’s important to seek professional help and support to manage and overcome the condition. There are various treatments available, including therapy and medication, that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s never too late to seek help, and I encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about your condition and treatment options.

    1. Maternal anxiety is a type of anxiety that can occur during any stage of motherhood, from pregnancy through the child’s teenage years. It is characterized by excessive worry and fear related to the health, safety, and well-being of the child. While it can share similarities with the “baby blues” or postpartum depression that some women experience after giving birth, maternal anxiety can occur at any time and is not always related to hormonal changes. It is important to recognize the signs of maternal anxiety and seek support if needed to manage the symptoms and maintain a healthy relationship with your child.

  14. Well explained. I have a separation anxiety with my kids. Though not very grave but if my kids are out my eyes vision, I want to knw where are they and with whom are they. Even when I drop my kids to classes that they have joined for the 1st time, I scan the entire place to make sure my kids are safe and worry about them but it gets adjusted later. As a couple too we never leave our kids behind for longer hours. Max 3 hours.

    1. It’s natural to have some degree of separation anxiety as a parent, especially when it comes to the safety and well-being of our children. It’s good to hear that you are taking steps to ensure that your children are safe and that you are gradually adjusting to the separation. It’s also important to remember that as children grow and develop independence, it’s healthy for them to have some level of separation from their parents. As long as you are taking reasonable precautions to keep your children safe, it’s okay to allow them to explore and experience new things on their own.

  15. Well written and helpful article it goes a long way in explaining something which people don’t really talked about but something that I see people go through without even knowing it.sharing this as a feel it will help them find the right balance and get the help they need.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you found the article helpful and I hope it can help others as well. Maternal anxiety can be a difficult topic to discuss, but it’s important to raise awareness and provide support for those who may be experiencing it.

  16. Maternal anxiety is real and something all moms go through. I think am still going through it. I guess as parents we learn to deal with it with time. As kids grow we too grow as parents and slowly learn how to let them go away and fly on their own.

    1. You are right, maternal anxiety is a common experience for many mothers, and it can be difficult to overcome. It’s important to remember that it’s normal to have worries and concerns about our children, but we need to learn how to manage these feelings in a healthy way. As our children grow and become more independent, it’s important to give them the space they need to learn and explore, while still being there to support and guide them when needed. It’s a balancing act, but with time and practice, we can learn to navigate it in a way that works for us and our families.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found the post helpful in overcoming the guilt trip that can come with being a parent. It’s important to remember that we are all doing the best we can, and that it’s okay to prioritize self-care and take time for ourselves.

  17. To be honest I didnt know about this kind of anxiety. I feel in this lockdown many moms would have faced this overwhelming feeling but thanks for sharing the tips I am gonna practice it.

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