Escola de Teràpia d'Integració Psico-corporal (ETIP) - Escuela de Terapia de Integración Psico-corporal

The right to the psychoemotional connection between mother and fetus

By Llúcia Arilla

 We come into this life with a series of needs that we must be able to satisfy in order to develop as people. We cannot undertake this process alone and for this, we need to communicate and interact with the world. The result of this interaction should be that satisfaction outweighs frustration. This is only possible if the person has been able to establish a favorable psycho-emotional connection with his/her pulsional objects: principally the mother and the father. Without a good connection, it will be difficult for the parents to adequately perceive what is occurring and what their child needs in each stage of his/her development.

The possibility of establishing a good affective bond, which is to say, that the objects are capable of satisfying our most basic necessities, is the only thing that can genuinely motivate a person. Without the presence of the other, a person lacks the true profound motivation to live and to feel.

A life that does not interact with something external to itself, to have a human reference to hold on to, will lack something indispensable:  the support that goes beyond itself. This support is the mother.

Given the importance of this process, we must ask ourselves in what moment of our development does it begin. Normally, mothers do not internally predispose to enter into contact with their child at the beginning of pregnancy. The message that is sent out on many occasions, by the official medical community, is that the woman should not worry because she will not feel the fetus until the third month of pregnancy, which is when, because of its increasing size, she becomes more aware of its presence. However, we consider it to be of great importance for the mother to connect with her son/daughter from the very moment of conception, or as soon as it is possible, in that during these first stages of development, the survival and evolution of the child depend absolutely on the contact that is established with his/her mother.

As we already know, an ovule is detached from the ovary and moves towards the Fallopian tubes where it unites with a spermatozool. When the ovule is fertilized, it continues its journey through the tube during six or seven days, until entering the uterus and implanting itself in the endometrium. This is a very powerful stage of fusional contact, where the new being finds itself totally immersed in the mother’s fluids, on a pilgrimage to reach a solid center to implant itself. 

However, it may happen that the Fallopian tube is filled with mucous, that the chemical medium in which the zygote finds itself is excessively acidic, that the temperature is too high or that violent contractions may occur. The reason that the biological conditions may not be the most optimum for the being that is beginning to take form may be that on an unconscious psycho-emotional level, the woman does not accept her pregnancy. This may be due to her not feeling the desire to have a child or because she may be going through an emotionally conflictive situation. She may also suffer from a disease that impedes the biological processes that give rise to bodily changes that favor the implantation and protection of the new being, to the point of presenting serious difficulties for its survival.

In these cases, the biological processes of the embryo-fetus, come into conflict with the intrauterine ecosystem, a veritable resonance chamber of the mother’s psycho-emotional processes and, in as much as the survival of the new being depends entirely upon the bond it establishes with its mother, the loss of this contact may very well cause its death. If the new life does not perish, these setbacks leave a deep imprint and unconscious rejection in the person that, quite probably, will be maintained throughout his/her entire life.

All of us have passed through these experiences, in a positive or negative way.  The relation we establish with our children and that which we established with our mother, begin here. These first stages of development are not usually given importance, but our clinical experience confirms that they are just as significant as those that follow.

If women are in contact with our bodies and we can feel them, we will be aware of when we become pregnant. This gives us the space and time to become conscious of what is occurring and enables us to connect on a psycho-emotional level with our children at a very early stage. Our children have the right to develop in a womb that, from the very moment of conception, welcomes, receives and wraps them with love, warmth and responsibility.