Date Posted: January 24, 2017
Contributing Author: Emeric Bojarski, MD
Overview: Infant developmental theory revolves around the concept of a ‘good enough’ mother (1) who provides contingent care and reassurance to her newborn child, allowing the infant to resolve the initial Eriksonian conflict of trust vs. mistrust and empower the infant to better tolerate anxiety and distress. Psychoanalysts have formulated that pregnancy itself prepares the mother to enter this caretaker role through, in the final weeks of pregnancy, ‘maternal reverie’ – a state of increased focus on the child in utero, which guides the mother to identify with the baby’s shifting affective states (2). But are there any physiologic changes in the brain that support this concept?
Author Affiliations: Emeric Bojarski, MD is a PGY-IV resident at Yale School of Medicine. David Ross, MD, PhD and Ashley Walker, MD are the Contributing Editors for this publication. The National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative is a collaborative effort with AADPRT and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning and receives support from the NIH (R25 MH10107602S1) ©National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative.