Brief note

The perception of the fetus in mothers with liver transplantation. Brief communication


Background. In this brief note we present the preliminary findings of a study of 16

women who underwent liver transplants before becoming pregnant and giving birth. The

aim of the study was to show the similarities and differences between ways women experience

the transplanted organ (liver) and the fetus.

Methods. To explore bodily experiences, a semi-structured ad hoc interview was done on

a sample of 16 transplanted women who had completed a pregnancy. The interview was

designed to explore the possible similarities between their perception of the transplanted

organ (liver) and of the fetus.

Results. The main findings that emerge from our study are the following: a) in the posttransplant,

pre-pregnancy phase, these women develop a polarized attention on the

transplanted organ; b) during pregnancy this attention shifts towards the fetus; c) after

childbirth the hyper-attention on the transplanted organ disappears and the subject resumes

a normal relationship with her body.

Conclusions. Therefore, pregnancy and childbirth are experiences that can normalize

relations between a person who has undergone a transplant and their transplanted organ.


liver transplantation; pregnancy; childbirth; bodily experience

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