We all know that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. The mother-to-be from this week’s experience story had already stopped drinking a while before she got pregnant, which is a really soothing thought for her. And who knows, maybe she’ll turn the switch for good. Your health is certainly not unimportant! Especially now:
What do you do in everyday life?
I am self-employed and used to work in events. I made theater costumes and decor. Now I am setting up a children’s clothing company.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I drank wine, beer, Gin-Ginger Ale and other cocktails. The amount varied greatly from period to period. Some periods I drank daily. Then I sometimes drank 6 drinks in one night or more. Other periods I drank once a month, but really too much. I had some trouble controlling myself there.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I stopped drinking for 1 year and 5 months now. 516 days. Also, I am pregnant at the moment. Luckily I hadn’t had any alcohol for nine months before I got pregnant. So I didn’t have to worry that I accidentally drank a few glasses of alcohol early in my pregnancy. The fact that my body has not had to endure alcohol for quite some time before pregnancy also makes me feel good. After all, it is the place where a baby grows for nine months. I’m still surprised that it’s the exception rather than the rule to stop drinking well before your planning to get pregnant, because in my opinion your body needs to be healthy and clean to create new life.
Was this your first attempt?
I also stopped drinking alcohol for six months four years ago. This was after a pleasant evening with a friend, doused with alcohol. The next day I had a huge hangover and it was a bit of a shock when we looked at the bills of the previous evening. Then I thought my health was more important than this, and so I stopped. After half a year I started drinking again with the occasional glass of wine. I was also quite young to quit drinking altogether, and alcohol was such a normal thing socially at the time. I was often asked why I didn’t drink. Everyone was so used to my drinking, that so it took some getting used to for the people around me.
My second attempt to stop drinking was easier because I did not go out that often. The fact that I stopped drinking for my health, also gave me a clear motivation. I wanted to stay off alcohol for at least a year. This was to make it easier. Now with my little baby on the way, I can see myself giving up alcohol completely.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
I started drinking when I was 14. That is a period of life where you can be quite insecure. Since booze made me looser and less self-conscious, I used it often in social situations. Drinking didn’t make me feel shy. Because I was so used to that, I didn’t realize for a long time that I could also have a party without the alcohol. And that I am also social without alcohol and easily start a conversation. The advantage is that without alcohol, I do not quickly cross my own social (and sexual) boundaries.
What made you finally flip the switch by stopping anyway?
Because I noticed that the hangovers were really against me. The feeling of being sick and down and the side effect of the unhealthy appetite you have on a hungover day make drinking extra unhealthy. I also had a hard time controlling my emotions when I was drinking. I could be quite fierce and over-emotional.
What have you experienced as the biggest benefits so far?
That I went into my pregnancy completely alcohol-free. I feel fit and have no hangovers anymore. It saves me a lot of money by not drinking. I didn’t have to worry about drinking alcohol during my pregnancy because I didn’t drink before I got pregnant
And what do you miss most?
The crazy evenings with friends.
What do you do when you have a hard time and still want to drink or have drunk again?
I have not experienced this lately. In the beginning of my quitting I went out less.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
Occasional non-alcoholic beer. And Gimber. That is a ginger drink that you drink with sparkling water.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
I don’t want to drink anymore in the future. I have chosen my health and as an example for my future child I do not want to drink at all. How am I going to tell my child about the dangers of alcohol, if I keep drinking in the meantime? This is contradictory to me. I think it will become much more common in the coming years for people not to drink or to moderate with alcohol. Also among the younger generation. After all, alcohol is a very addictive and unhealthy drug.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also quit alcohol?
Life is just very nice without alcohol. You save a lot of time and money that you can spend usefully. It takes some getting used to, but once you’ve found your way, it’s actually very natural and normal.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
There really is a nice life waiting for you without alcohol! It may be hard to imagine, but if you do it and get through the rough times, you can be proud of yourself!
And that’s just how it is! I am secretly proud of that myself every day. And certainly in light of my two small children at home. Apart from the exemplary function, babies and hangovers are of course an incredibly bad combination!
Thank you so much for your nice contribution, and on behalf of everyone who reads this I wish you lots of love and happiness with your little one on the way. Enjoy and good luck with life 2.0!
If someone else would like to share his or her experiences about quitting alcohol with us after reading this story: please do! If you enter your email on this page, I’ll contact you as soon as possible!