Monique Bydlowski

Dreaming a Child Publication date : February 4, 2010

Why have some women always wanted to have children? Why do others, while believing that they don't want children, “unexpectedly” become mothers? Why do others remain childless? What do pregnant women dream of for nine months? Of their future child? Of the child they once were? How can we explain the fact that the child's birthday often coincides with the birthday of a close friend or family member? And why is the experience of giving birth often forgotten as soon as it is over? What maternal dream is the newborn infant invested with? What family memory will be carried through that infant?

This journey through motherhood shows that, despite scientific progress, creating a child remains an unparalleled experience, tightly woven into the life of each mother.

• “The author, who is both a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst, distances herself from the ‘normative' lectures normally directed at mothers, and instead examines the ambivalent ‘internal experience' of maternity.” Psychologies magazine

Monique Bydlowski, a physician, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is a research director at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM). She has worked for more than twenty years in a maternity hospital. She is the author of Les Enfants du désir (2008).