If you or your partner are struggling with harmful addictions such as cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, food or gambling - this is the time to change. Below are some straightforward pointers to get you on the right track.
- Commit to quit
Immediately throw out or destroy all items associated with your addiction. Avoid interactions with people who support your addiction. They will only serve as triggers to relapse at this point.
- Seek support & accountability
Make yourself accountable by telling your family and close friends about your struggle to overcome your addiction. Take advantage of community resources (they're online too!) and therapy as needed. It is critical you form a network of friends and family who support your fight for health.
- Stay honest
The temptation to return to the addiction will be strong - especially if you're feeling stressed, hurt, weak, or otherwise out of control. Every time you feel weak, reach out and let someone know you're struggling. Just admitting it will give you additional focus to fight for your child's health.
- Breathe instead
Whenever the urge to indulge in your addiction and associated rituals kicks in (and they will), stand-up stretching your arms out and away from your body, loosening your neck, breathe deeply and slowly until the urge subsides. Not only will breathing give your baby precious oxygen, it will calm you and re-focus your mind. If the urge continues after calming yourself, let someone know you're struggling so they can help you fight.
- Believe in your strength
The choice to change reflects a desire to give your child the best start possible, which is rooted in your growing love and sense of personal responsibility to protect and nourish. By quitting your addiction, you are meeting and succeeding at one of the fundamental challenges of motherhood: protecting and guaranteeing your child's health and well-being with your daily choices.