The mother's state of mind following the loss of a baby and the birth of the next infant

Prof Doc Thesis

Lawson Reid, Marguerite Elizabeth 2003. The mother's state of mind following the loss of a baby and the birth of the next infant. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsLawson Reid, Marguerite Elizabeth
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The mother's state of mind following the loss of a baby
and the birth of the next infant.
This thesis focuses on the maternal state of mind following the birth of a
baby when there has been a previous loss, either through late
miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a small child. Interest in this area
developed following individual psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic
interventions with children whose birth followed the previous loss of an
infant. These children were deeply troubled; they perceived their mother's
mind as being full of the dead baby, they appeared haunted by the loss
and to be struggling with their sense of identity.
Research has, in recent years, acknowledged that women require
emotional support following the birth of the next baby. This project
explores the mother's state of mind from the perspective of psychoanalytic
thinking. There was a wish to consider both the effect of the loss on the
mother's inner world and the meaning for the mother of her dead infant
and her new baby.
The design of the research project was based on an open ended
psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic intervention. The research group
included three mothers and their babies. The women were referred to a
hospital service for psychological help when professionals were concerned
about the women's mental health, either during late pregnancy or the
earliest months of the new baby's life.
The research showed that mothers were overwhelmed by persecutory
anxiety and knew they had not recovered from the loss of their baby.
There was evidence that the mothers were still grieving and there was little
sense that a lost baby could ever be replaced. They continued to remain

Publication dates
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Deposited10 Jun 2014
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