Risk and Relapse
While in hospital to give birth, clients will usually enter withdrawal.
Post-birth, clients returning home must be made aware that their tolerance for substances will be reduced due to their withdrawal period.
Discussions around this subject should take place as early as possible so that clients are well versed in the risks of using substances again after withdrawal.
In addition to the mental and physical tolls of withdrawing, clients are heaped with a host of other stresses post-birth; namely, the emotional rollercoaster brought on by hormonal changes, extreme fatigue, strained finances and the disruption of eating, sleeping and socialising routines.
These new parental stresses can be overwhelming and so it’s important that you, the worker, stay in close contact, especially considering that much of the service support offered through a client’s pregnancy tapers off post-birth.
A couple of months after the birth is usually considered a high-risk period. At this time, talk with your client about linking in some new services and establishing a solid network of community connections. These connections might include a mental-health focused service to help alleviate a client’s anxiety, a young mother’s group to help her feel connected to others, the maternal and child health clinic for specific support and information regarding babies’ sleeping patterns etc. or whatever else could be useful in aiding the client’s ability to cope in her new role as a mother.