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Having a Healthy Pregnancy After Drug Addiction

You’ve hit the bottom with your drug addiction, yet you’ve fought your way back up. Now you’re at the point where you are thinking about having a baby. Whether this is your first pregnancy or your fifth, you need to prepare your mind and body for this major change.

You also need to stay on track with your recovery plan. Here are a few valuable tips to help you have a healthy pregnancy during your addiction recovery.

Get a Strong Body for Pregnancy

When it comes to getting in shape, why wait until you are pregnant? Start your exercise habits now. Choose simple things you can do nearly every day such as walking, swimming, yoga, or other activities. Of course, when the time comes, you’ll need to speak with your doctor about exercising safely during the various stages of pregnancy.

Remember, exercise is an important part of your recovery plan as well. Exercise is a great way to keep your stress levels low all the time. When you have a tense day, exercise a great way to unwind. Working out helps your blood circulation, your energy levels, and even your mood. Each of these is vital to your continued addiction recovery plan as much as they are your pregnancy.

Good Nutrition is Essential

Nearly every drug addict or alcoholic has poor nutrition when they start recovery. Addiction isn’t a healthy lifestyle, so they aren’t getting regular well-balanced meals. Addiction can change a person’s appetite dramatically. Just two examples make this point – meth addicts typically lose a great deal of weight because of a suppressed appetite, and alcoholics can have weight problems because of the empty calories in alcohol. Proper nutrition helps the healing process. Nutrients supply the body with energy. They provide substances to build and maintain healthy organs and fight off infection.[1]

No matter what your drug of choice was, you’ll need to be sure you are on track with your nutrition before becoming pregnant. If you went to a treatment center that focused on nutritional counseling, you may be a step ahead. If not, talk to your doctor or a local nutritionist for some guidance.

Establish good eating habits well before your pregnancy so you can be as healthy as you can from the start. Once you become pregnant, you may notice some differences in appetite and food preferences. While these may be unavoidable, you can handle it all better if you have been sticking to a healthy diet. Plus, everything you eat will benefit your baby down the road.

Use Your Support Network

Pregnancy is a time of wonder, but it can also be a stressful time. Your emotions and hormones will likely take a roller coaster ride. Once the baby is born, some women struggle with their emotions. You want to take intentional steps to avoid drug cravings during times of stress. When you were a participant in substance abuse, you likely used drugs as a way to handle stress. Know that stress will likely be a trigger for you.

A trigger can be thought of as anything that brings back thoughts, feelings, and memories that have to do with addiction.[2]

Now is the time that you need to engage your support network. You need to have people around you that will encourage you after the baby is born. You may even want to arrange for some help after the birth so you can get enough rest. Watch for anything related to your relapse triggers – family issues, sleep loss, trouble focusing on positive things under stress, etc.

Healthy Pregnancy After Getting Sober

You can have a healthy pregnancy while in recovery. Just be sure you plan ahead to get a healthy start. Be prepared and do not overlook the support you need to have a healthy pregnancy. If you need some help, please know you can contact us at Michael’s House. We are here to help you live a life without substance abuse. Please reach out to us at 760.548.4032 now.

[1] Substance Use Recovery and Diet

[2] Triggers and Relapse, a Craving Connection for Addicts. Jaffe, Adi. Published on March 17th, 2017.