Having a baby is a wonderful time in a woman’s life typically. It is filled with joy, excitement, and anticipation. Unfortunately, most first-time moms don’t realize how difficult and stressful this time can be. Giving birth and recovering from the stress that your body goes through can be painful and last longer than just a few days. All of this stress can cause a relapse if you aren’t careful.

Many People Relapse After Giving Birth

Women who are addicted to drugs when they get pregnant often go through treatment in an attempt to find recovery from their addiction. Many have great success with their recovery but have a hard time maintaining their sobriety after they give birth. Physical pain and mental stress can be difficult to handle when you are a new mother.

If you have had a problem with addiction in the past, it’s important to let your doctor know so that he or she can prescribe you a treatment that isn’t addictive, if possible. This decreases the chances of you relapsing and getting hooked on drugs again.

Taking Medications for Pain isn’t Always Safe

While it is possible to safely take some medications while you are breastfeeding your child, they have to be taken as prescribed. If you have had an addiction in the past, there is a good chance that you may not be able to control yourself and could start taking them more than you should or in higher doses than is recommended. When this happens, the medications can go into your child’s bloodstream when you breastfeed. This could cause them to become addicted to drugs too. Seeing an infant go through detox symptoms is heartbreaking and the addiction could have negative effects on their development in the future.

Postpartum Depression Makes Relapse Even More Likely

Postpartum depression is a condition that is totally unpredictable. There is no way for a doctor to know that you are going to develop postpartum addiction before you give birth. If you have suffered from depression in the past, there is a change that you could develop postpartum depression after you have your little bundle of joy. The condition can make you feel worthless or like you are failing as a mother because you don’t have the bond with your child like you feel you should have.

Many women who suffer from postpartum depression end up trying to self-medicate because they don’t know why they are feeling the way they feel. They are embarrassed and ashamed of the way they are feeling and don’t ask for help from their friends, family or even their doctor. This can lead to them taking drugs more often to try to numb the pain. Coupling an addiction with postpartum depression is a recipe for disaster. The drugs will make you feel even less motivated to do the things that you need to do for your child and could cause you to become even more distant from them.

If you feel that something is off when it comes to the relationship you have with your child, you need to talk to your doctor about it right away. There are treatments available that can help you cope with your postpartum depression that are safe for both you and your baby.

An Opioid Addiction Can Lead to Death

Taking pain pills to treat your pain is safe as long as you take them as directed by your doctor. The problem is that over time, your body may develop a tolerance to the drugs. This often causes people to take a larger dose of the medications or to take them more frequently. Eventually, someone addicted to opioids will no longer track when they are taking the medications or how much they are taking. They will just take more pills the second they start to feel the high wear off. This is often what leads to an overdose. The body cannot handle the high number of opioids in its system and eventually shuts down altogether.

Treatment May be the Best Option for You

In order to be the best mother that you can be, you need to have a clear head and be able to focus your attention on your little one. When you have an addiction to drugs, you focus on where you are going to get your next high or how you are going to pay for it rather than focusing on what your baby needs or providing him or her with the attention and affection that they deserve.

Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy to do on your own, especially when you have a baby to take care of at the same time. If you relapse, going to a professional drug treatment center will allow you to get the focused medical attention you need to recover. There are medications that can be given to you to lessen your withdrawal symptoms and psychological counseling available to help you treat your postpartum depression or any other mental or emotional issue that you may need help addressing.

Being a great mother means more than just putting a roof over your child’s head or food in their stomach. You need to be able to provide them with love, support, attention, and affection. If you are in active addiction, it’s not possible to give them what they need. Going to get professional help from a few months could make the difference between life and death for you and the difference between being able to provide your child with a stable, happy home or a home that is filled with worry, anxiety, and stress.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.