Making the decision to live a sober life takes courage and strength. The disease of addiction can be an all-consuming disorder, causing you to act out of character and neglect the things most important in your life.
Having to overcome its grip can be one of the hardest things you ever accomplish, but dealing with an alcohol addiction while pregnant and/or after your child is born requires complete commitment to your recovery journey and a strong sober support network.
Because, at this point, it is no longer your life alone that is being impacted by your substance use or addiction to alcohol. The health and wellbeing of your child is impacted by every decision you make, including the decision to relapse.
Understanding the emotions associated with childbirth and an alcohol addiction is imperative. It can help you better prepare yourself for the potential roadblocks ahead and better care for the needs of your child.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a mental health disorder that affects women after they give birth. For most women, it is completely normal to feel mild depression or the “baby blues” for a few weeks after delivery.
However, with postpartum depression, those feelings of sadness, loneliness, worthlessness, restlessness and anxiety can last much longer and feel much more severe.
It’s important to know that postpartum depression develops in about 10 to 15 percent of all births in the U.S., so being aware of the warning signs is essential.1
Signs of Postpartum Depression
The need to understand the signs of postpartum depression is as important as requesting and receiving the help you may need to overcome your depressive state and to avoid a potential relapse.
Symptoms that can occur within the first year after delivery include:
- Feeling depressed, isolated, hopeless and empty
- Frequent crying or tearfulness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in many or all activities
- Feeling restless, irritable or anxious
- Significantly increased or decreased appetite
- Inability to care for yourself or your baby
- Intense worry about your baby or disinterest in your baby
- Feeling as if life is not worth living2
Being aware of these warning signs or having a loved one point them out is the first step toward getting proper clinical help.
If you are not sure if your feelings are postpartum depression, it is best to consult with a mental health professional. They can help you differentiate between what is normal and what is excessive.
Postpartum Depression and Alcohol Use: What You Need to Know
When a woman is suffering from postpartum depression, she may be more inclined to self-medicate through substance abuse or alcohol consumption.
For a recovering addict, postpartum depression that goes undiagnosed and untreated routinely results in relapse, driving a person to fall back into old habits in order to handle the stressors associated with life.
These addiction impulses are particularly dangerous for a mother dealing with postpartum depression because of the manner in which alcohol can worsen depressive symptoms. These symptoms can cause a mother to neglect the duties associated with being a new mom and reduce her ability to connect emotionally with her child.
This can lead to feelings of animosity and bitterness, resulting in a scenario where the child becomes neglected or, worse yet, abused because alcohol is impacting feelings and actions.
It is also important to know that, if a woman is breastfeeding, drinking alcohol to self-medicate could potentially be harmful to the baby, as well. Alcohol reduces the production of milk when lactating and can be passed to the baby through breast milk. Exposure to alcohol while breastfeeding can cause altered sleep patterns, growth issues, and developmental delays in newborns.3
Are you Living with Postpartum Depression and Alcohol Addiction? There is Personalized, Life Changing Help Available.
Overcoming an alcohol addiction is no small task, but battling a substance use disorder and postpartum depression requires clinical guidance and professional support.
The fact of the matter is that asking for help does not mean you are weak or insufficient. On the contrary, having the courage to admit that you need assistance to manage the symptoms associated with your alcohol addiction and postpartum depression displays your insight and bravery.
Taking the steps necessary to find a treatment facility that can properly address both your mental health issues and substance use disorder shows that you are not only capable of overcoming your addiction, but also capable of achieving a greater level of personal responsibility – one that understands the importance of maintaining sobriety and positive mental health, not only for yourself but also for the precious life you have welcomed into this world.
Holistic Alcohol Addiction & Rehab Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
Alcohol has no power over you and it certainly does not have to cause any harm to your baby. Your new life starts the moment you declare you have complete control over your actions, health and
At Ranch Creek Recovery, we provide holistic detox and alcohol recovery treatment that offers
personalized and long-lasting care. Learn more about our life-changing, holistic alcohol treatment program or contact us today to start your journey toward detox and recovery.
Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.
CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607
1 National Institute on Mental Health. Postpartum Depression Facts. Accessed November 12, 2019. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml
2 Medline Plus. Postpartum depression. Accessed November 12, 2019. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007215.htm
3 Medical News Today. Is it safe to drink alcohol while breast-feeding? Accessed November 12, 2019. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322631.php