Becoming a mother, the transition from the role of daughter to that of mother

During pregnancy anxiety and worries exist as in any other phase of life. In this period various thoughts concerning the transformation of one’s body, fantasies about the child to be born and doubts related to changes in the relationship with one’s partner intertwine.

Pregnancy must therefore be considered as a period of growth and change also in the relationships that take place between the expectant mother, the unborn child and the entire relational context.

The body changes and, consequently, also its role. This often produces a period of strong emotional instability that precedes the acquisition of a new equilibrium. This is a very important maturation phase which requires a good elaboration of previous experiences.

Becoming a mother presupposes an adjustment of one’s identity in the transition from the role of daughter to that of mother. It is therefore necessary to create a stable image of oneself as a parent and this image includes the ability to create an internal space for the child and for the relationship with him. Becoming a mother also inevitably leads to emotional confrontation with one’s mother.

The legacy that the daughter received from her mother in her first bond with her affects her maternal aptitude, that is, the ability to give and to make herself available to the other. It’s kind of a script to refer to. Awareness of this script allows you to decide whether to repeat it or not. In fact, the attachment style experienced with one’s mother influences the bond with one’s child but this does not necessarily determine a repetition. Any experiences of disappointment, frustration and conflict can be processed, modified and made positive by greater awareness. In this sense, motherhood represents the possibility of coming to terms with the past and presupposes an evolution in the relationship with one’s mother.

Parenthood is a function that is formed and transformed even before the birth of a child. The ability to build representations on the parental functioning of one’s parents is a fundamental prerequisite with respect to the elaboration of projects and wishes concerning one’s own parenting.

Parenthood can therefore be considered an internal function prior to conception and can be understood as a mental capacity to give love, a love open to others, the capacity to contain, desire and take care of even a dreamed child.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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