In the maternal mind


Discover that one has not always existed1 implies a deep narcissistic wound for anyone. There is always a story that pre-exists us and that sustains us, a story that is built from object relationships, generation after generation.

This work aims to be a reflection on the vital moment of maternity in women, the laborious and necessary psychological work that must be done to make possible the psychic birth of the subject-baby. What happens in his world of instincts/drives, how the relationship of object is gestated and how the current society can impact on the process will be some of the questions raised.

The central axis will be one of the paradoxes of D. Winnicott (1945): «There is no such thing as an infant, what exists is always a nursing couple». Only within the framework of maternal care will the baby begin to be, only the mother-baby unit will exist, which must be supported and nurtured in by a third person. During the process of construction to be, the absence, the transition and the gradual separation should also be achieved.

Key words
Maternity, woman, identity, maternal care, holding, mother-baby dyad

1.  This assumption and other hypotheses that are presented in the paper take shape in the supervision of clinical cases and in the discussions in the framework of a study group on A. Green, led by Margarita Solé.

[Automatic translation from Spanish]:

Women and motherhood

What happens to the woman’s psyche? Is this an intrapsychic reorganisation? Will she construct a new identity as a mother? Can the reality sometimes be overwhelming and even traumatic?

We could also refer to this process as ceasing to be the one I am in order to be the one formed by me and the baby. Then a transitional space will be built that will allow for separation in order to become two. At the same time, in order to become two, it will be essential for us to be three.

In order to achieve this task, the psyche will modify its usual functioning and will have to deal with and adjust to the new demands and conflicts that arise.

From the metapsychological point of view, there will be changes in the three psychic instances, as well as in the usual functioning of the psyche. Investitures will be reorganised and transformations will take place in the intrapsychic world of the woman.

In the pulsional world, […]

Sílvia Aznar
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