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Can I relieve my son's anxiety about my hospital stay?
Q: Our son is 27 months old and I am 7 months pregnant with my second child. I am a stay-at-home mom. My son has had a really hard time with separation anxiety (from me), but it is beginning to ease somewhat.

My second will be delivered by C-section and I will be in the hospital for several days. My husband and mother plan to care for our little boy during that time.

I am terrified of how our son is going to take this separation from me! Are there things we can be doing to help ease his anxiety when I am in the hospital? I want him to visit me in the hospital so he knows where Mommy is, but do you think that might confuse him? Will his visit just make him wonder why I am not at home with him?
A: It is wonderful that hospitals are so much more lenient today about allowing children to visit their parents than used to be the pattern. I would definitely let him visit when you are in the hospital. And let him feel your abdomen now and begin to be part of the pregnancy and delivery experience.

Take him to the library and check out a book about having a baby, going to the hospital, etc. There are many good ones available, and the librarian will help you find one. Also, I would talk to him about the fact that you and he were in the hospital when he was born.

Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education