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Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 0102-3772On-line version ISSN 1806-3446


BATTIKHA, Ethel Cukierkorn; FARIA, Maria Cecília Correa de  and  KOPELMAN, Benjamin Israel. The maternal representations about a baby who is born with serious organic diseases. Psic.: Teor. e Pesq. [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.1, pp.17-24. ISSN 0102-3772.

The birth of a baby with serious organic diseases has deep implications in the constitution of the initial link mother-baby. This research aims at investigating the maternal psychic representations about this birth. This qualitative study is based on the psychoanalytic-theoretical field. Semi- structured individual interviews with 11 mothers were carried out during the period of the baby hospitalization in the neonatal ICU. The obtained data were submitted to the content analysis method and showed that the birth of the baby with organic disturbances affects the maternal role, as it disorganizes the representations that were directed before to the idealized healthy baby, marking a recurrent tendency to the equivalence of this baby with his/her disease diagnosis. This birth implies, therefore, in the mourning of the desired child and in the decrease of the maternal self-esteem. The participation in the interviews had therapeutical effects, suggesting the need of an analytycal listening of these mothers during the period the baby remains in the hospital.

Keywords : Psychoanalysis; intensive neonatal therapy; mother-child relations; babies with problems.

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