Drinking to Cope with New Parenthood

Drinking to cope with stress usually begins before you become a parent. If you have used alcohol as a way to deal with anxiety or stress in the past, these habits may continue after your child is born. Many people make resolutions to change when their child is born, but trying to change in the middle of a stressful situation and big life change is difficult. It is better to become sober and learn to manage stress in a healthy way before your child is born.

Babies Cause Change and Stress

New additions to the family can be exciting, but change is stressful even when it comes from something positive. The first child can fill a person will feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. It can be difficult to adjust to the changes in your eating and sleeping schedules that having an infant in the house requires. This kind of stress must be managed in a healthy way, or it can lead to unhealthy coping methods such as drinking. Healthy ways to manage stress include taking care of yourself physically and emotionally.

Postpartum depression (PPD) affects many new mothers and fathers and amplifies the stress involved in new parenthood. A history of depression, smoking, low self-esteem, unplanned pregnancy and relationship issues can all contribute to a person’s chances of developing PPD. This is a serious disorder that can lead to long-term depression, addiction and a poor relationship with your child. If you think you are suffering from PPD, talk to your doctor about treatment and counseling. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can have a positive life both with your child and outside of parenting.

Parents’ Relationships Can Cause Stress

If you are experiencing issues in your relationship with your partner, having a child can complicate things. It is more important than ever to communicate your concerns to your partner. Talk about issues as soon as they arise, and don’t be afraid to talk about negative thoughts and emotions. Make sure you take time with each other at least once a week.

If you are raising your child alone or you are no longer romantically involved with the child’s other parent, parenthood can be even more daunting. Don’t be afraid to ask family or friends for help. Talk to someone you trust about parenting concerns rather than turn to drinking to cope with feelings. Consider finding a support group for single parents or talking with a counselor who can help put parenthood in perspective.

Learn More about Parenting and Alcoholism

If you think you or your partner is abusing alcohol, call us now. Our helpline is toll free and available 24 hours a day, and we can answer your questions about learning to cope without alcohol. We can listen to your concerns and connect you with the valuable resources for parenting and alcohol abuse or addiction recovery.