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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2010 December;51(4):317-36

language: Italian

Pain at delivery, maternal care, development of the future individual: assumption for the detection of predictive indexes

Imbasciati A., Dabrassi F.

Psicologia Clinica, Dipartimento Materno Infantile e Tecnologie Biomediche, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università di Brescia, Brescia, Italia


After a review of the psychophysiological literature on pain, the present work highlights the problems related to woman’s perception at delivery, and to the nursing staff’s evaluation on what the woman in labour communicates, expresses or requires. The physiological function of pain at delivery and, the risks that its peculiar physiology can involve are here examined, together with the various possible forms of intervention. A synthesis of the psychological literature on the importance of the maternal abilities of care, interaction and empathy with the newborn, of the effects on the neuropsychic structure maturation that determines the physical, psychic and psychosomatic development of the baby, as well as the importance that the neuropsychic primary development of the newborn has both on the future mental development of the individual and on the possibility of transgenerational psychic transmission to future children, from an anthropological-social perspective are exposed. Moreover, this articles examines the positive and/or negative effects of pain perceived by the woman in labour and the positive and/or negative effects that can derive from the various interventions directed to moderate or avoid pain.

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