For more help call today 855-396-2924

Prenatal Depression and Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse and depression commonly accompany each other. Pregnant women who abuse alcohol face particular dangers related to their health and the health of their unborn babies. Depression that occurs while a woman is pregnant, commonly called prenatal depression, may be difficult to identify among other hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman feels depressed for more than two consecutive and is experiencing stressful events in her life, such as abuse from her partner, she may be at risk for prenatal depression.

Prenatal Depression Signs

According to a 2005 study by the New York State Department of Health, prenatal depression affects 10% to 20% of pregnant women. A number of symptoms may indicate prenatal depression, including the following:

  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in eating habits and appetite
  • Gaining less satisfaction from activities that were once pleasurable
  • Anxiety
  • Poor concentration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor fetal attachment

Prenatal Alcohol Abuse

Women who abuse alcohol during pregnancy often drink even though they understand that it can be destructive. According to a 2004 study on alcohol abuse among pregnant women published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, pregnant women who abuse alcohol may engage in a number of dangerous activities, including the following:

  • Having more drinks than planned
  • Unsuccessfully trying to drink less
  • Allowing alcohol use to alter their participation in work or social activities
  • Continuing to use alcohol even when it disrupts their lives

Alcohol abuse also has dangerous affects on a pregnant woman’s unborn baby. Drinking during pregnancy is commonly linked to fetal alcohol syndrome, also known as FAS. Symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome can include facial deformities, heart problems, behavior issues, mental retardation and poor growth. There is no level of alcohol consumption that is considered to be safe for a developing fetus.

Help for Prenatal Depression and Alcohol Abuse

Women who suffer from depression and alcohol addiction should seek professional treatment. Many pregnant women and their physicians are also concerned about the risks of antidepressants on fetuses. A 2009 report from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Psychiatric Association highlights the choice a depressed pregnant woman may face between the risk of allowing her depression to go untreated and the risk of treating her depression with prescription drugs.

A treatment program that addresses the mental and emotional reasons behind a woman’s depression and alcohol use can help her avoid damaging her baby’s health and find lasting recovery for her alcohol abuse.

Finding Treatment for Prenatal Depression and Alcohol Abuse

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression and alcohol abuse while pregnant, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about prenatal depression and alcohol abuse. We help individuals overcome addictions with emotional and physical support that can provide steps toward recovery. Please call now.