Addiction is a big problem for those who have no plans of parenting, but for soon-to-be parents, it is devastating. In a perfect world, impending parenthood would be motivation enough for anyone to recover from their addiction, but this is not the case. Many babies are born to parents who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, food, tobacco or any number of things, and are deeply affected by their parent’s choices. Expecting a baby is a very exciting time in a person’s life, but for someone who is afflicted with addiction or planning to co-parent with someone who is afflicted with addiction, the joy is strained.
Addiction is a type of disease that requires treatment, and letting it go unchecked while raising a child is highly irresponsible. When either parent is still immersed in addiction after the child is born, the child is being exposed to an unhealthy environment. Sadly, it is not uncommon. One in five children is raised by a parent who is addicted for some amount of time. This does not mean that the household will be completely dysfunctional. There are many addicts who raise very functional children, however, this area of the family’s life will always be problematic unless the issue is addressed.
A very tragic form of addiction in parents-to-be is a substance addicted mother who is abusing substances while pregnant. This almost unavoidably causes complications for the unborn baby, either in the form of birth defects, health problems or a dependence on the substance being used. This type of addiction in a parent-to-be is the most dangerous to an unborn fetus, but it is not the only one that poses a threat to the child.
In the case of a substance abusing mother-to-be, an intervention should be held immediately for the sake of the fetus’s health. Bringing a baby into an addicted household is a decision that a parent will regret for the rest of their lives. Children of addicted parents are far more likely to become addicted themselves because of the psychological exposure to addiction as a way of life. If you are addicted and expecting a baby, please do not hesitate to reach out to an addiction treatment professional to learn about the treatment options that are available to you. The best thing an addicted parent-to-be can do is to bring their addiction under control before the baby is born.