The loss of a baby and the birth of the next infant

Reid, Marguerite (2007) The loss of a baby and the birth of the next infant. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 33 (2). pp. 181-201. ISSN 1469-9370

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This paper considers the area of perinatal death by focusing on the mother's experience. An argument is made for questioning whether mothers attempt to replace a dead infant. It is suggested instead that they long to mother their lost baby and as a result their new infant is mothered in the shadow of the dead baby. The term 'penumbra baby' is suggested instead of 'replacement baby'. Literature is considered from an historical perspective. Three clinical cases are discussed: one patient was seen immediately following a late miscarriage, the second soon after an intrauterine death and the third patient during both her pregnancy and the post-natal period, following a neonatal death. Consideration is given to the relationship between the parental couple when there has been a perinatal loss, and the way this may impact on the woman's ability to mourn and regain her emotional well-being.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Perinatal death, Stillbirth, Late Miscarriage, Mourning, Replacement Child, Penumbra Baby, Anniversary Dates
Subjects: Emotions, Affective Psychology > Grief/Mourning/Loss
Families > Childbirth
Department/People: Honorary Staff

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