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Title: The mother's state of mind following the loss of a baby and the birth of the next infant
Author: Lawson Reid, Marguerite Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 2364
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2003
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available