Alcohol and Mommyhood: Three reasons why Mothers should not drink alcohol the first yearAug 28, 2023
Alcohol and Mommyhood:
Three reasons why Mothers should not drink alcohol the first year
Becoming a mother was one of the best days of my life. I wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember. It took some time, but in 2021 at thirty-eight years old, my son was born, and the last twenty-three months have been some of the most beautiful and challenging days of my life.
Sleepless nights, feedings, smiles, laundry, readjustment to life with my husband, diaper changes, keeping a human alive, hormones, post covid depression, writing a book, and an overwhelming amount of love for one person can sum up some of my first year of motherhood.
In a blink, it all changes, and you don’t know it until you are in it.
One thing I know for sure is that I’m so grateful I do not drink alcohol. In fact, I can see how alcohol would be very dangerous for any new mother.
I got sober on August 18th, 2012, and it was the best decision of my life. I owe everything to my sobriety, even my son. I stopped a cycle of generational patterns by making the one decision to quit drinking alcohol.
About three months into my motherhood journey, I started to get a little wonky in my sobriety. With the sleepless nights, a borderline colic baby, and all that happens to a woman’s body post-birth, I was a mess, and the further I was away from the daily self-care that I did for so long in my sobriety, the more and more drinking alcohol sounded appealing to cope with my new normal.
When I recognized what was happening, that’s when I had to dig deep and start respecting my sobriety again. Starting off with my gratitude journal, personal development reading, and meditation. I also sought out the help of a sleep coach for my son, which was by far the best investment I made in the parenthood journey. I tried everything, and five months of not sleeping was insanity. I was a shell of a woman in such a special time in my life.
As I started coming out of my haze and feeling better, I thought more and more about how the mommy wine culture is ruining women's and children’s lives and how women should not touch alcohol, especially during that first year of Motherhood.
Here are three reasons why mothers should not drink alcohol during the first year:
Hormones. According to What to Expect When Expecting, by six months postpartum, hormonal changes in estrogen and progesterone should reset to pre-pregnancy levels if that is where you fall into line. Not everyone’s body is in the same time frame. My hormones didn’t start getting back to normal after eleven months. Alcohol can impair the hormone system’s ability to work properly. Drinking alcohol affects energy levels and sleep. Both things you need to take care of a human. When you add alcohol into the mix, you will never heal your body, which you need to do in postpartum. Alcohol also only makes anxiety and depression one hundred times worse. When you drink, you are only adding to the chaos of what your body is going through post-baby.
Coping. Trust me, I understand it. I lived it. I wanted so badly to have a few drinks to take the edge off those first few months, but what would that solve other than me being a mess and breaking promises to myself? This is where mothers can get into trouble with alcohol. What starts out as having a glass of wine to take the edge off eventually becomes a daily habit, then that one glass of wine turns into a bottle, and so on and so on. You wake up three years down the road, drinking wine all day long and wondering how you got there. Alcohol abuse disorder is real, and no one is safe from it. Choosing to cope in an unhealthy way with alcohol can eventually lead you down the wrong path. Other ways to cope in a healthy way are to go for a walk, meditate, journal, take a shower, or rest.
Presence. That first year of motherhood is your life's longest, quickest year. You wake up at six months when the sleeping through the night starts, and you realize what a blur that time frame was. You even say to yourself, I feel like that was a dream. Now, imagine drinking alcohol on top of that. How much would you really remember? Were you present in the days with your child, or were you irritable and prayed for naptime so you could sleep the hangover away? When you are drinking alcohol, the presence is never there. Your focus is skewed, and your energy is not aligned with the mother you want to be and the mother your child deserves.
I believe staying away from alcohol during this time in your life will make for an easy transition in your motherhood journey.
If you’re feeling the twinge of sober curiosity, I have a quick quiz for you! Courtney Andersen is an Author, Host of the Sober Vibes Podcast, Founder of National Sober Day, and Sober Coach. She helps women quit drinking alcohol and thrive in Sobriety. She founded Sober Vibes in 2016, an online community for Sober and Sober curious women. Follow Sober Vibes on Instagram for daily motivation and support in your sobriety journey.
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