As you prepare to become a mother, you face an experience unlike any other in your life. Having a baby will redirect your preferences and pleasures and, most likely, will realign some of your values. As you undergo this unique psychological transformation, you will be guided by new hopes, fears, and priorities. In a most startling way, having a child will influence all of your closest relationships and redefine your role in your familys history. The charting of this remarkable, new realm is the subject of this compelling book. Renowned psychiatrist Daniel N. Stern has joined forces with pediatrician and child psychiatrist Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern and journalist Alison Freeland to paint a wonderfully evocative picture of the psychology of motherhood. At the heart of The Birth of a Mother is an arresting premise: Just as a baby develops physically in utero and after birth, so a mother is born psychologically in the many months that precede and follow the birth of her baby. The recognition of this inner transformation emerges from hundreds of interviews with new mothers and decades of clinical experience. Filled with revealing case studies and personal comments from women who have shared this experience, this book will serve as an invaluable sourcebook for new mothers, validating the often confusing emotions that accompany the development of this new identity. In addition to providing insight into the unique state of motherhood, the authors touch on related topics such as going back to work, fatherhood, adoption, and premature birth. During pregnancy, mothers-to-be talk about morning sickness and their changing bodies, and new mothers talk about their exhaustion, the benefits of nursing or bottle-feeding, and the dilemma of whether or when they should return to work. And yet, they can be strangely mute about the dramatic and often overwhelming changes going on in their inner lives. Finally, with The Birth of a Mother, these powerful feelings are eloquently put into words.