Behavioral medicine has neglected social aspects for a long time. In the pre- and postnatal context, these are especially important, as parental competencies in the relational objects of the infant may be compromised by both inner and outer factors, thus potentially compromising the infant’s psychic development. The findings on pre- and postnatal stages of human development have shown that early psychosocial interventions can help out to some extent. Approaches for parents, which have mainly evolved from the findings of psychoanalysis and mother-infant research, must be augmented by a social perspective, just like postnatal concepts have been augmented by prenatal intervention approaches. The latter reach from how parents-to-be can be prepared for parenthood to how to support attachment and relation in infants, toddlers, and older children. Scientific behavioral reasoning, augmented by subjectivity- and objectivity-related concepts, provides a framework to work with, so that potential deprivation can be faced seriously. Intervention approaches focusing on bonding, on relational issues, and on educational practices are introduced, covering the most important time spans of psychic development from the mother-unborn period to the mother-infant period.
Part of the book: Behavioral Neuroscience