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This book on motherhood by Helene Deutsch is the second volume of her study of the psychology of women. The first volume deals with girlhood and the female psyche from infancy to the age of adolescence. In the second volume the author gives a detailed psychoanalytic study of the essential successive life phases connected with reproductive activity of the mature woman. The complicated psychobiologic interrelationship of all stages of the reproductive function frequently leads to pathologic psychosomatic manifestations. These disturbances are often discussed and mentioned. The main emphasis, however, is placed on the demonstration of the normal female psyche.
In the first chapter the biologic and social aspects of motherhood in different cultures and societies are briefly presented. The subsequent chapters deal with the relation of motherhood and sexuality, the psychology of the sexual act, conception, pregnancy, delivery and confinement, and the first mother-child relationship. In the epilogue the period