ABSTRACT

One of the most challenging times in my work was during my first pregnancy. I had anticipated the emotional upheaval of this life-changing event, but the impact of this on my work with children and adolescents was quite unexpected. On my return from maternity leave, the priority was to slot back into the clinic and pick up new work that awaited me. There was no space to think about the impact of such a personal event on my clinical practice, and the wish to shelve the experience was strong. Were it not for attending a conference soon after my return from maternity leave, where Jessica Yakeley presented a paper about the pregnant analyst (later published as Yakeley, 2013) I might well have put it all aside. Instead, I was inspired to investigate work that, in my mind, had been obscured, ambiguous, and clouded by my altered state during pregnancy.