Expecting a baby is a joyous time in life, but for soon-to-be parents who are struggling with addiction, the joy is not as great. Some couples who are expecting a baby are experiencing the devastation of addiction in the form of one person abusing a substance or an activity, or both people abusing a substance or activity. Either way, dysfunction is inevitable. Fights break out, health declines, behavior is erratic and priorities are mismanaged. In a time that is supposed to be focused on preparing to bring a person into the world, stress and chaos prevent the happy preparation that is supposed to take place.
Any kind of addiction is possible when expecting a baby. It would be ideal if no expecting parent was involved in any kind of addictive behavior, but it happens quite frequently. Addiction in parents can range from alcoholism, drug abuse, sex addiction, food addiction, gambling addiction and many more. Obviously, if it is the expecting mother that is struggling with addiction, the risk to the baby is greater, especially if it is a substance abuse problem. It is very urgent to bring help into this situation when it is occurring. Expecting mothers pass their substance abuse problem to their baby, making the baby born dependent on the substance and often with birth defects. If it is the expecting father who is addicted, the risk is still high for the entire family as the lifestyle of an addict affects everyone they are close to.
When both people in the relationship are addicts, the situation only becomes more volatile. The likelihood of erratic, even violent behavior is increased, putting everyone, including the baby, in danger. Two addicted expecting parents will behave very irresponsibly, not making necessary preparations for the baby’s arrival, not being as concerned for the baby’s health as they should be and generally more focused on their addiction than on how their lives are about to change. If you or anyone you know is addicted and expecting a baby, refer them to a local addiction treatment center right away.