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A Winnicottian psychoanalytic analysis on postpartum depression and the concept of primary maternal concern

Grant number: 16/22949-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Psychological Treatment and Prevention
Principal Investigator:Diana Pancini de Sá Antunes Ribeiro
Grantee:Giulia Maria Bertolucci
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


The period of pregnancy requires women and the whole family group adaptations generally lived with anxiety and ambivalence for everyone, but especially for pregnant women. This moment is decisive and remarkable for the mother-infant relationship, as it in the prenatal to the pregnant woman will seek to prepare for the changes demanded by the coming of a child. The development of a puerperal depression frame might be sparked by various conditions, from elements of social, psychic and organic, even hormonal or obstetric order. Such factors can already begin in the prenatal. Maternal depressive episode after birth and shall up to one year after childbirth is manifested by symptoms that resemble a clinical condition of a general depression. However, for Winnicott's psychoanalysis there is a special condition called primary maternal preoccupation that looks like a depressive state, but it is important for the mother to return completely to the baby soon after birth. It is necessary to distinguish between puerperal depression and the state of primary maternal preoccupation to not pathologizing healthy aspects of puerperal women. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to identify symptoms of postpartum depression in mothers, analyzing them in the light of primary maternal preoccupation concept established by Donald Winnicott. Aims to develop this research through quantitative and qualitative method, using a socioeconomic questionnaire, a semi-directed interview and postnatal Edinburgh Depression Scale. Aims to contribute, this way, to greater understanding of the phenomenon of depression in the postpartum period from a psychoanalytic reflection. This work could potentially contribute also to measures to prevent mental health of the mother and consequently, your baby can be better established. (AU)

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