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Lewis, E. Casement, P. (1986). The Inhibition of Mourning by Pregnancy A Case Study. Psychoanal. Psychother., 2(1):45-52.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 2(1):45-52

The Inhibition of Mourning by Pregnancy A Case Study

Emanuel Lewis and Patrick Casement

Pregnancy tends to inhibit the mourning process so that a bereavement which occurs during pregnancy may be inadequately mourned. When a bereavement occurs during the period of “primary maternal preoccupation” (Winnicott) a woman has the impossible task of making “an exclusive devotion” (Freud) to two people. The bereaved woman usually opts for her live baby and mourning is postponed. The complexities of this process are discussed; and these are illustrated by a case of pathological mourning, following a bereavement in pregnancy, that was successfully treated by psychoanalytical psychotherapy.

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