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Addiction Recovery and Pregnancy

Addiction Recovery and Pregnancy

One concern many women have after they have suffered from drug addiction and alcohol addiction is whether or not they will have struggles or problems with their addiction recovery and pregnancy.  This is a valid concern to a degree, but some take it too far.  Some worry that their bodies are not well outfitted for a pregnancy, and others feel as though the baby will in some way be damaged by spending its first nine months in the body of an ex-drug addict or alcoholic.  These claims and concerns are pretty insubstantial, but that does not mean that other concerns are not valid.

What To Be Aware Of with Addiction Recovery and Pregnancy

What a pregnant mother who is also a recovering substance abuser does need to be aware of however is the threat of relapse.  A threat of relapse is something that is always present and always possible, and it is something that should be watched out for at all costs. True enough, relapse can come at any time and when one least expects it.  Experiencing a relapse though in addiction recovery and pregnancy would make the situation much, much worse indeed.

When one is addicted to drugs and alcohol, one really is in a bad place.  When one beats addiction, to a degree one is still in a bad place.  However, one is in a place that is not nearly as bad, joust concerning and potentially worrisome.  This condition involves a constant state of vigilance and watchfulness over oneself that necessitates a constant guard over one’s sobriety.  Relapse, (the falling back on to addiction and drug abusing habits), is something that occurs in about forty to fifty percent of all recovered addicts.

Sobriety needs to be cherished on and on even after one does complete rehab, and this is what needs to be working toward and what needs to be guarded, especially for a soon-to-be mother.  Relapse can severely affect the pregnant mother herself, and her unborn child.  It’s one thing to willingly experience a relapse and harm yourself in doing so, but it is a wholly different crime when one involves an unborn child in it too.

Tips for Recovered Mothers Who Want to Have a Baby

Below are some tips and tidbits of advice on tools and techniques that one can follow to really prepare oneself for a pregnancy.  Those who have been addicted to drugs and alcohol before who want to try their hand at being a mom need to be extra careful and watchful as there is more to it for them.

Some advice would be along the lines of:

  • Get fit and stay in shape for the pregnancy.  When it comes to getting fit, why wait until you are pregnant?  Why wait until after you have the baby?  You or your loved one need to start your exercise habits now by choosing simple things you can do nearly every day. This could be walking, swimming, yoga, or other activities too.  They need to be fun activities, and they need to be activities that you will enjoy and take pleasure in.  Of course, when the time comes, you’ll need to speak with your doctor about the types of exercise that are safe during various stages of pregnancy, and just do those exercises.
  • Make sure you are getting good nutrition.  Establish good eating habits now well in advance of and before your pregnancy so that you or your loved one can be as healthy as you can from the beginning to the end. Once you become pregnant, you may notice some differences in appetite and food preferences, and this is totally normal and fine.  While these may be unavoidable to greater or lesser degrees, you can handle it all better if you have been sticking to a healthy diet and not going off to something else. Plus, everything you eat will benefit your baby down the road too, so keep that in mind too.
  • Double check on your relapse triggers, support network, and a backup plan.  As mentioned above, the biggest concern about addiction recovery and pregnancy is the threat of relapse, which could be very terrible, even fatal, for the unborn baby.  When it comes to this the truth is that if there was ever any time that you needed to get your support network around you, it is now and it is now in a big way. You need to have people around you who will keep you encouraged and keep in touch after the baby is born too. You may even want to arrange for some help after the birth so you can get enough rest and not risk any more stress than absolutely necessary. The lack of sleep and constant care are stressful enough for most mothers without previous addiction issues. You need to watch for anything related to your relapse triggers too such as: family issues, sleep loss, trouble focusing on positive things under stress, etc.

A recovered addict who wants to get pregnant and have a child should not be all too worried about it.  This area of addiction recovery and pregnancy often gets blown out of proportion.  However, there does exist some areas and aspects of concern that do need to be taken up and, as long as you or your loved one follows these bits of advice, then all will go well and happiness will certainly follow as a result of it.  Having a baby and starting a new family is a beautiful thing and no one, recovered addict or not, should be denied the pleasures of doing that which is one of the most human things to do.  Some say that addiction stays with us always.  Relapse is certainly an ever-present threat but, with the proper tools and techniques, one can easily and without effort stay away from drugs and alcohol for the rest of one’s life.  When a child is involved, this can often act as an incentive to do so.

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