5 Ways Drinking Alcohol Can Affect Your Motherhood : Alcohol is a destructive substance. It has the power of ruining your life by affecting your health, relationships and finances. But the worst part is, your drinking can also affect the people closest to you.
When I was little, my mother was an alcoholic. She suffered from depression, and alcohol was her way of escaping those feelings. She was lucky my father found out about her problem on time and looked for help. It took a lot of convincing, but my dad finally got her to accept she had a problem and go to rehab.
I’m the oldest of three siblings, and I’m the only one who remembers her alcohol addiction in detail. My brother and sister were too little to know what was going on. My mom got better soon enough and we had a safe, happy childhood. But this episode affected me big time. I developed severe emotional problems. That’s just one of the ways children can be affected by their parent’s drinking.
I grew up to become an alcoholic myself, but I don’t blame my mother for that. She was actually the one who helped me the most during my recovery. I experienced growing up with an alcoholic parent and being an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for 9 years now, and today I would like to share with you 5 ways in which alcoholism can affect your motherhood.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your baby can be affected by alcohol in different ways. When you drink, the alcohol goes straight from your blood to the placenta and into your baby’s blood system. Depending on the stage of pregnancy you’re in, the potential harms of alcohol may vary. But one thing is for sure and it is that alcohol can affect your baby’s development at any point.
Some of the risks associated with drinking during pregnancy include miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, small birth weight, and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). If you’re pregnant or you think you may be, it is best to stay away from alcohol altogether.
Alcohol and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding your baby can bring many benefits. According to the World Health Organization, breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development and protects your child against diseases.
Drinking alcohol while you are breastfeeding is not recommended. It takes about two hours for your blood to clear a small glass of wine. Meanwhile, almost the same amount of alcohol that goes into your bloodstream makes it into your breast milk. Your baby has an immature liver, which can be affected if he or she consumes breast milk with high alcohol levels. It can also affect their eating and sleeping. In addition, alcohol can reduce the amount of milk you produce.
Having an alcoholic parent is never easy. Children might blame themselves for their parent’s drinking. They can feel loneliness, helplessness, and a lack of self-esteem. Alcoholism usually comes with a number of other family problems. Marital issues, money problems and drug addiction are some examples. The pressure that kids experience to manage these situations in addition to their own life can leave them exhausted. This makes them more prone to develop mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Also, early exposure to alcohol can lead them to have a problematic relationship with this substance as they grow up.
Alcoholics are unpredictable and unreliable. One minute they’re having an outburst out of the blue. The next one they’re promising their children that they will change and things will get better. Even if the parent never physically abuses the child, the emotional neglect they experience can scar them forever. They get used to their parent not keeping his or her promises. They develop abandonment issues. As a result, it becomes harder for them to trust another person, which is problematic when it comes to forming relationships of any kind.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
The problems and traumas children develop can continue to affect them throughout their life. Being the child of an alcoholic parent is not a guarantee of future alcoholism, but there are many other dangers. According to PsychCentral, they may develop obsessive-compulsive disorders and be more impulsive.
Children of alcoholics grow up believing they need to put their parents’ needs over their own. Adult children of alcoholics may be so accustomed to this dysfunctionality that they unconsciously seek codependent relationships as adults. Codependency is when a person’s sense of self-worth is based entirely on their partner’s needs and desires. It is when a person depends on their partner for fulfillment.
Being a mother can be the most wonderful experience in a woman’s life.But, motherhood is anything but easy. You will make mistakes as a mother, and that’s okay, there is no such thing as a perfect mom. But you can try your best, and that means making a life-long commitment to your child’s health and safety. Avoiding alcohol is a great way to protect them from health problems and emotional issues.
If you consume alcohol regularly and think it may be affecting your children, you should get professional help as soon as possible. Recovery is possible, and it can improve yours and your children’s lives forever.
Do you have any questions about motherhood and alcoholism? If you’d like to share or suggest something, please leave a comment below.
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