In the time extending from conception to the end of the second year of a baby’s life, women experience significant biological and psychological changes. This period signifies a unique existential experience.
In the time extending from conception to the end of the second year of a baby’s life, women experience significant biological and psychological changes. This period signals a unique existential experience, as women become mothers mentally, that is, in their eyes, in the eyes of others, in the eyes of their own mother and children.
The internalised image of pregnant women’s mothers, along with their relationship and unresolved conflicts, come back to occupy a dominant position in the representational world of expectant or new mothers. This period sets off emotional issues associated with the mothers’ memories that were only in the background. This emotional release enables mothers to invest their energy in the baby and speaks to the broader “maturational crisis” that pregnancy is.
Contemporary women are often surprised to notice the return of maternal images and identification models, which they thought they had disposed of during development and adult life. We should not lose sight of the burden imposed by modern-day cultural factors, which have brought about profound changes at the level of female identifications.
Young women do not only grapple with the “historical” goal of giving birth to and raising many children while remaining fully available to fulfil their needs. The personal fulfilment of contemporary women is also achieved by performing roles and actions that were previously occupied exclusively by men. As a result, women might experience the desire for a child as an intense mental conflict between new identification systems and the traditional roles of their mothers.
However, this very point of conflict establishes the significance and efficacy of therapeutic intervention during this period. The pregnancy period offers expectant mothers the opportunity—perhaps their only opportunity—to come to terms with the thornier parts of their life history and thus prepare the cradle of their children.