Luis Alvarez, Véronique Cayol

Psychology and Psychiatry of Pregnancy Becoming a Mother Publication date : February 18, 2015

Luis Alvarez-Zalamea is a child psychiatrist working in the Department of Child Psychiatry of the Institute of Child Welfare, in Paris.
Véronique Cayol is an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Necker Children’s Hospital, in Paris, and at La Fontaine Hospital, in Saint-Denis.

Parenthood profoundly disrupts an individual’s sense of identity, much as does the passage from childhood to adolescence. Becoming a parent implies a new status: the child of one’s parents is turned into the parent of a child. In addition, the mother must cope with the physical upheaval of a changing body, but both parents must deal with altered psychological identities and with the reworking of family relations. And such changes are often painful.
The authors examine the future mother’s situation, as well as the father’s, through pregnancy, childbirth and the initial encounter with the infant. In an accessible, detailed manner, the authors focus on the highly complex psychological transformations of this stage in adult life.
Their aim is to examine this crucial phase, in light of the principle stages in the construction of an adult person, and to illustrate the trajectory, unique for each individual, from childhood to parenthood.

• A study of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, and its normal and pathological, somatic and psychic aspects.
• A unique, in-depth work aimed at a wide readership.
• The psychological cataclysm resulting from pregnancy is rarely considered.