The mother’s body, the role of pleasure in the mother–infant relationship, and the traumatic risk

  • In this paper, I wish to talk about the process of becoming a mother, with particular attention to the role of the mother's bodily experience, during pregnancy and childbirth, in developing maternal competencies. Studies on neurophysiological mother–infant interaction allow us to focus on a series of specific bodily based processes that support their relationship in order to guarantee the establishment of a secure attachment. The experience of pregnancy and childbirth, through the body, reactivates the somatic memories of the woman, with the possibility of a re-enactment of traumatic experiences on the one hand, but also with the possibility of a transformation and an integration of these experiences through physiological, biological, psychological processes characteristic of motherhood. Neurophysiological processes related to bodily pleasure can make the difference. The literature at hand describes a post-traumatic stress disorder in women due to the conditions of giving birth, with particular attention to women with a history of sexual abuse during childhood. We should ask ourselves exactly how psychoanalysis considers this new emergent issue and how it should reconsider the role of the mother's body.

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Author:Ornella Piccini
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 30 (No. 3, 2021), pp. 129-138.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2021
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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