Being Born Human, Becoming a Parent, and Being a Sonographer

By Sylvain Missonnier

In order to become a space of interdisciplinary medico-psycho-social prevention, obstetrical ultrasound testing calls for an overcoming of the divide between specialists of the soma and the psyche working in the maternity ward. In its usual practice, ultrasound scanning now plays an essential role in the evolution of the process of motherhood and fatherhood and their confrontation with the uncanny nature of the foetus and the uncertainly of its human destiny. Similar to a projective test, the ultrasound test induces a kind of parental psychic effusion, amplifying the conflicts inherent to the process of prenatal parenthood. During this meeting, parents and practitioners enter into a close intersubjective reciprocity. The menace of fetal abnormality or its confirmation, which may result in the possibility of a induced abortion (often carelessly denied), gives a potentially tragic tone to ultrasound-aided prenatal diagnosis. A more well-tempered preparation to childbirth and parenthood would include a space of reflection to this prenatal diagnosis.

  • prenatal echography
  • Balint
  • perinatality
  • parenthood
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