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Perinatal Clinical Psychology

Volume chapter author (s): Imbasciati A., Dabrassi F., Cena L.

Birth is the most important event in family life. Since pregnancy, worries, anxieties, joy, responsibilities take over every-day life. Midwives and pediatricians give advice, rules, prescriptions, to mothers who are in fact looking for being reassured that everything will be fine. “Is your pregnancy somewhat unusual? Doesn’t your baby move the way he is expected to? Will he be healthy?” After birth, many problems often occur: the baby won’t attach itself to th breast, the milk dries up, the baby does not eat enough or eats too much, he doesn’t sleep at the proper times.
Many mothers are overwhelmed by these problems, and it often happens that, due to lack of sleep, many helpless mothers –as a result of the demanding rhythms their babies impose on them– try in vain to observe all prescription and advice. But in fact, maternal care, so frequently spoken about, cannot come from a scrupulous observation of rules; it comes from the “heart” and is spontaneous in most mothers but not all. Here Clinical Psychology helps –by “clinical” we do not mean ‘treating a pathology’ but accessing the world of the unconscious relationship between the mother and her baby, the inner world of experiences and emotions which goes beyond prescribed rules or good intention of the mother.