2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Becoming a mom, especially for the first time, is a real adventure. Pregnancy is better and better monitored, childbirth more and more medicalized and everything is done for the safety of the mother and the baby.
On the other hand, we easily overlook pregnancies and births that are not idyllic and/or without major medical problems, and also those that have meant that the mother and the baby do not "meet". 10% of women who give birth in France every year have maternal difficulties and can be taken care of by hospitals. But how to realize that the meeting does not take place?
The birth of a baby gives parents strong emotions, but the baby, what does it need to be born? What does he need to go from one state to another, from this belly full of warm and enveloping amniotic fluid, to a cold atmosphere and with an apprenticeship of several months, to become autonomous.
Indeed, at birth, the human baby cries and manifests, but he is incapable in terms of motor skills. The other small mammals – the kitten, the puppy, the fawn – walk the very evening of their birth!On the other hand, they find, alone, the way to the nipple while the human baby must be carried, either to the breast or the bottle. The toddler is therefore very dependent on the goodwill of his parents and his human environment and needs several months to acclimatize to his new environment.
Are we complete at birth?
There would be a theory called “natal incompleteness” where the newborn is said to be in an incomplete state! Freud himself defended the idea that our uterine life is shortened and Lacan, in this regard, speaks of “prematuration”.
We would, then, perhaps, come into the world before the completion of our being and it would take long months to learn to walk, apprehend, feed ourselves, speak. But we tend to forget a faculty that seems easy for the baby, that of exchanging glances with his mother in particular, but also with the world around him.
To "feed through the eyes"
Indeed, a toddler knows how to feed himself through his eyes and it is even very important. Sucking the breast or drinking the bottle is not only a question of dosage, of calories, it must also be nourished psychologically. This child comes from a life where everything was peaceful, liquid, muffled, where everything is planned for his well-being 24 hours a day and birth takes away this state. By connecting with his mother, especially during meals, he has the opportunity to create a real bond, to make a real encounter and to reconnect with a state of protection and well-being.
The expression "eating from the eyes" takes on its full meaning for this little one and it is a way for him to find a previous state in the eyes of the one who takes care of him.
To give birth is not to be born
Indeed, coming into the world is better and better technically mastered, childbirth is easier, infant mortality is decreasing. But welcoming your baby in the early care of breastfeeding, bathing and playing is a major step. The outside life, so new for a newborn, passes through the arms, the eyes, the touch of the one who takes care of him and it is a sensitive passage. What can be called "psychic birth" is actually the possibility of relating to the world and for this it requires precise care at critical moments.
The maternal dimension
This is why the stain of the mother and the father is immense. It is limitless, because it must allow the baby to pass from one world to another through other beings, themselves, with their own experience of their childhood. Giving birth is in a way “giving birth again”.
And when the meeting does not go well?
Often, we talk about the ideal moment when father, mother, baby "tune their violins well" and the majority of births and newborns go well. But we do not know enough that, in France in particular, 80,000 mothers who have given birth do not seem to feel this so-called state of grace after childbirth and the connection with the baby isdifficult: we then speak of baby blues or postpartum depression.
Having a baby, for a mother, can be destabilizing and even make her relive moments of her own childhood which are not always happy memories. It is therefore a step back which can, in certain cases, give rise to surprising psychological states for the mother, the father and the entourage where one has the impression that this birth is not rosy.
Maternal difficulty is a frightening expression, because any birth is necessarily synonymous with happiness. However, if this difficult period is recognized by the parents, the family, the entourage, then everyone is prevented from having a bad start.
Many mother/baby units in France have emerged since JM Delassus created the first unit in Jouy en Josas, in the Paris region, in 1987. These units welcome any woman with maternal difficulties, which means with difficulty “connecting” with this new baby.
If you too doubt your maternal relationship with your baby, a consultation with a mental he alth professional, a gynecologist, a general practitioner, a midwife, can help you find out what is going on. Don't hesitate!
This article was inspired by the article "The natal need of the newborn" written by JM Delassus in April 2011 in the JDP Petite Enfance. He is the initiator of maternology and has published fifteen books on prenatal life, birth and psychic maternity.
- Blues Mom. Non-medical site for support, listening and advice in the context of maternal difficulties. List of mother/baby units in France and Europe.
- The meaning of motherhood, JM Delassus, Dunod editions, 2002, ISBN: 978210006545
- The maternology memory aid by JM Delassus, Laurence Carlier, Véronique Boureau Louvet, Dunod Editions, collection The tools of the psychologist, 2010, ISBN: 9782100534524
- Mother and World is a maternity center that provides pregnant women with information and support to safely experience their pregnancy to the full. Interveners, birth companions and he alth professionals (nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, specialized educators, sexologists and massage therapists are available for you 24 hours a day).
- Passion Baby
- Francophonie Mother-Child Network
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