Warning messageThis content is filtered. APPPAH membership is required for full access to journal articles.
This paper addresses the important questions about the impact of deep emotional issues rooted in the mother’s early childhood on her pregnancy, breastfeeding, bonding with her baby and the baby’s development.
This paper addresses the important questions about the impact of deep emotional issues rooted in the mother’s early childhood on her pregnancy, breastfeeding, bonding with her baby and the baby’s development. Drawing on a study case described in the author’s book, Working with Parents and Infants: A Mind-Body Integration Approach (2007), it explores the mind-body disconnection in conditions such as mastitis, highlighting aspects of breastfeeding never addressed before. Whilst the body’s wisdom is largely an uncharted resource in healthcare practitioners’ work with mothers, counseling, and psychotherapy, the story told by the “somatic narrative”—gesture, posture, prosody (patterns of stress and intonation in language), sound, and movement—is arguably more significant than the story told by the words. The language of the body reveals implicit processes and their links with early trauma and dynamics with attachment figures. A mind-body, mother-baby relationship-focused approach, utilizing mindfulness abilities, provides mothers with a vital avenue of self-knowledge and change. It also mitigates the intergenerational transmission of developmental trauma and prevents breastfeeding difficulties.
Ammaniti, M., & Gallese, V. (2014). The birth of intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, neurobiology, and the Self. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Bion, W. R. (1962). Container and contained. In: W. R. Bion (Ed.), Elements of psychoanalysis London: Heinemann.
Branjerdporn, G., Meredith, P., Strong, J., & Garcia, J. (2016). Associations between maternal foetal attachment and infant developmental outcomes: a systematic review. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 1-14.
Bowlby, J. (1979). The making and breaking of affectional bonds. London: Tavistock.
Feldman, R., Greenbaum, C., & Yirmiya, N. (1999). Mother-infant affect synchrony as an antecedent of the emergence of self-control. Developmental Psychology, 35, 223-231.
Fraiberg, S. (1980). Clinical studies in infant mental health: The first year of life. London: Tavistock.
Freud, S. (1953-1974). Formulations on the two principles of mental functioning. Standard Edition, 12, 218-226.
Hopkins, J. (1990). The observed infant of attachment theory. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 6, 457-469.
Hrdy, S. (2009). Mothers and others: the evolutionary origins of mutual understanding. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
Klaus, M. H., Kennel, J. H., & Klaus, P. H. (1996). Bonding. Building the foundations of secure Attachment and independence. London: Cedar Press.
Levine, P. (2015). Trauma and memory. Brain and body in a search for the living past. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Lipton, B. H. (2008). The biology of belief: unleashing the power of consciousness, matter & miracle. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.
Mascarello, J.M., & LeDoux, J.E. (2013). Active avoidance learning requires prefrontal suppression of amygdala-mediated defensive reactions. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(9), 3315-3323.
Mate, G. (2012). When the body says no. The cost of hidden stress. Toronto: Vintage Canada.
McDougall, J. (1989). Theatres of the body: a psychoanalytical approach to psychosomatic illness. London: Free Association Books.
Murray, L. & Trevarthen, C. (1985). Emotional regulation of interactions between two-month-olds and their mothers. In T. Field & N. Fox (Eds). Social Perception in Infants, (177-197). Northwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.
Murray, L. & Stein, A. (1991). The effects of postnatal depression on mother-infant relations and infant development. In: M. Woodhead & Carr (Eds.), Becoming a Person. A reader, 144-166. London: Routledge.
Murray, L. (1997a). Postpartum depression and child development. Psychological Medicine, 27, 253-260.
Murray, L. (1997b). The early mother-infant relationship: a research prospective. Infant Observation, 1, 80-90.
Novak, (2004). Foetal-maternal interactions: prenatal psychobiological precursors to adaptive infant development. Current Topics in Developmental Biology, 59, 37-60.
Odent, M. (2015). Do we need midwives? London: Pinter & Martin.
Odgen, P. & Fisher, I. (2015). Sensorimotor psychotherapy: Intervention for trauma and attachment. New York: Norton & Company.
Piontelli, A. (1992). From foetus to child: an observational and psychoanalytic study. London: Routledge.
Porges, W. S. (2011). The polyvagal theory. Neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, self-regulation. New York: Norton & Company.
Sansone, A. (2002). The mother’s body image: attitude to her body-self and its relationship with the foetus’ life. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, 14(3/4), 163-175.
Sansone, A. (2004). Mothers, babies and their body language. London: Karnac.
Sansone, A. (2007). Working with parents and infants. A mind-body integration approach. London: Karnac.
Scherer, K. R. (1995). Expression of emotion in voice and music. Journal of Voice, 9(3), 235- 248.
Scherer, K.R. (2003). Vocal communication of emotion: A review of research paradigms. Speech Communication, 40(1-2), 227-256.
Schore, A. (1994). Affect regulation and the origin of the self: The neurobiology of emotional development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Schore, A. (2012). The science of the art of psychotherapy. New York: Norton and Company
Siddiqui, A., & Hagglof, B. (2000). Does maternal prenatal attachment predict postnatal mother-infant interaction? Early Human Development, 59, 13-25.
Siegel, D.J. (2007). The mindful brain. Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of wellbeing. New York: Norton and Company
Trevarthen, C. (2001). The neurobiology of early communication: intersubjective regulations in human brain development. In: Kalverboer, A. F. & Gramsberger, A. (Eds). Handbook on brain and behaviour in human development, 841-882). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.
Trevarthen, C. & Delafield-Butt, J.T. (2013). Autism as a developmental disorder in intentional movement and affective engagement. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 17(7).
van der Kolk, B. (2015). The body keeps the score. Mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma. New York: Penguin Books
Verny, T., & Kelly, J. (1981). The secret life of the unborn child. New York: Dell Publishing.
Winnicott, D. W. (1958). Collected papers: through paediatrics to psychoanalysis. London: Tavistock.
Winnicott, D. W. (1987). Babies and their mothers. London: Free Association Books.
Winnicott, D. W. (1988). Human Nature. London: Free Association Books.
Winnicott, D. W. (1991). The child, the family and the outside world. London: Penguin.
Yehuda, R. & Bowers, M. E. (2015). Intergenerational transmission of stress in humans. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41, 232-244.