Why do women want to have children? How does one 'learn' to be a mother? Does having babies have anything to do with sex? At a time when mothers are bombarded by prescriptive and contradicting advice on how to behave with their children, The Maternal Lineage highlights various psychological aspects of the mothering experience. International contributors provide clinical examples of frequent and challenging situations that have received scarce attention in psychoanalysis, such as issues of neglect and psychical abuse. The transgenerational repetition from mother to daughter of distressing mothering patterns is evident throughout the book, and may seem inevitable. However, clinical examples and theoretical research indicate that, when the support of partner and friends is not enough, the cycle can be brought to an end if the mother receives psychoanalytic-informed professional help. The Maternal Lineage is divided into four parts: An Introduction including a review of the literature focusing on the mother-daughter relationship Pregnancy and very early issues Subfertility and its effects on a woman's psyche The psychological aspects of major mothering problems: miscarriages, post-natal depression, adolescent motherhood. This timely book will be of value to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and health professionals - obstetricians, psychiatrists, midwives and social workers.