Document Detail

The externality of the inside: body images of pregnancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11882199     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This paper draws on literature, empirical data and a range of theoretical perspectives on the maternal body to examine understandings of the relationship between a pregnant woman and her foetus, with a particular focus on the body images used by women to represent this relationship. Psychoanalytic and nursing accounts of the relationship between mother and foetus have often described a symbiotic 'oneness' or unity during pregnancy. Such accounts, however, stress the temporary nature of this unity and identify a series of 'stages' of separation or 'polarisation' between mother and foetus during pregnancy. In contrast, many of the 25 women who participated in our interview study of new motherhood described a confusion of the boundary between self and foetus. For many women the experience of pregnancy and the relationship with the unborn baby was ambiguous and uncertain. Importantly, none of these women described her relationship with the foetus as a series of developmental stages, but rather saw it as fluctuating throughout pregnancy. These findings are more consistent with the work of feminist theorists who describe pregnancy as a dynamic and fluid merging of the inside and the outside of the body/self.
V Schmied; D Lupton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nursing inquiry     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1320-7881     ISO Abbreviation:  Nurs Inq     Publication Date:  2001 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-03-07     Completed Date:  2002-09-05     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9505881     Medline TA:  Nurs Inq     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  32-40     Citation Subset:  N    
Centre for Family Health and Midwifery, University of Technology, Sydney and School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies, Charles Sturt University, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Body Image*
Conflict (Psychology)
Longitudinal Studies
Mother-Child Relations*
Mothers / psychology*
Nursing Methodology Research
Nursing Theory
Object Attachment
Philosophy, Nursing
Pregnancy / psychology*
Psychological Theory
Self Concept

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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