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Synopsis

No longer defined by reproductivity, women have a choice—whether, when, where, and how to have and/or mother a baby. If women wish to understand their own female experience, they can no longer be framed within a masculine model but must attend to and express their inner voices. Men and the growing baby also have inner experiences to unfold.

Drawing on many thousands of hours of listening, Joan Raphael-Leff explores aspects of the inside story in the book: What meanings does childbearing carry in the internal world? How does a pregnant woman live with two people under skin? what unconscious forces are involved in an expectant partner's experience? Which dreams, fears, and fantasies proliferate around pregnancy and birth? When do women become who they are in relation to babies and their own baby selves? Why does exposure to the naked needs of a newborn so affect caregivers? And how do parental preconceptions influence the emotional climate in a household after the birth?

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