Coping With Separation Anxiety

5 tips to help moms deal with school or daycare dropoff.

Coping With Separation Anxiety

As we say goodbye to summer and all its memories, the first week of September marks an emotional shift from having your kids at home to likely saying "ta-ta" to them when dropping them off to school or daycare. For some moms, it could seem like a relief, and the transition to Fall (aka reality) is seamless. However, for many other moms, it may trigger anxiety and stress -- both of which have an impact on emotional, physical and mental health. Because you aren't alone in feeling this way and because we're feeling it too, we've put together some ways to cope with the transition and keep yourself positively thinking. Here 5 ways you can manage separation anxiety:


  1. Find new activities. As your time becomes more and more available, you may slowly r remember what you used to do before the kids came along. It's good to revisit some old hobbies and also pursue new ones. Websites like Gilt City offer new experiences, discounts on leisure activities, and fitness classes. If you find activities that work within the timeframe your child is away, that'll keep you busy and fulfilled. In addition, Meetup is a great way to explore groups of people who may have similar interests.
  2. Remember that moving forward is a good thing. Your child is moving forward. As he or she is getting older, going to school and growing into a social being are a part of a child's development. Remember that it's not just an inevitable change, it's also a positive one! You want your child to be social and eventually navigate the world outside the home without always needing mom or dad. Reminding yourself of all the positives may help you keep all your anxieties (and the nostalgia) at bay.
  3. Get support. You are not alone! Nope. For every emotion you likely feel through this process, there's someone else feeling the same exact way. Joining mom groups or talking to your current network of friends about how you're feeling are great ways to channel that anxiety and get some "free therapy." Better yet, meeting with other moms who are also experiencing back-to-school anxieties and ranting over a glass of wine or during a workout is a great way to cope.
  4. Exercise. One word: endorphins! Exercise is one of the most therapeutic ways to feel better -- instantly. The best part is that it doesn't have to be intense, but rather something enjoyable that puts a smile on your face and helps you relax. A calming yoga flow, a power walk to an upbeat playlist, or utilizing a gym membership are all excellent ways to boost your mood and relieve anxiety. It's important to schedule the exercise activity so that you have something to look forward to once you drop off your child to school or baby to daycare.
  5. Manage Breastfeeding Changes. If you are still breastfeeding and putting your baby in daycare, it's important to keep your stress level low and talk yourself through the shift before it actually happens. For a few months, your schedule may have been on demand and likely more carefree. But as you're getting back to work and moving into a daycare schedule, you need to plan ahead. Start pumping well before dropping baby off at daycare and introduce him or her early on. A smooth breastfeeding-to-pumping transition will make for a smoother daycare transition and will help rid yourself of some anxieties.

While there's plenty to look forward to as your "me" time becomes more available, the emotions you may be experiencing as you are away from your kids are still very real, and you should address them. Whether it's back to school, back to work or a simple change in scheduling, these coping mechanisms should hopefully relieve some anxiety. Just remember, we've all been there.

Photography by Jonica Moore for Well Rounded NY.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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