When the Portuguese colonizers arrived in Brazil, they didn't all tarry along the country's beaches, and there's no reason modern-day visitors should either. Many colonial settlers hiked over the mountain range that twists along the curving littoral, and on the high plains of what is today the state of Minas Gerais they found what they had gone looking for: gold. There's none of that left now. Where there's gold, there's usually greed, and the newcomers tore at the veins with such ferocity that in 25 years the mines were close to exhaustion.
The concept of primary maternal preoccupation, introduced by Donald Winnicott in the 's, refers to a state of profound attunement between the mother and the infant during the first months of the baby's life, implying in the temporary retrieval of her personal investments to be able to deeply identify herself to the emotional needs of her baby. Our question in this article then consists in how, in the present socio-cultural context, especially in the middle classes, the establishment of this delicate maternal state occurs. We observed that the increase in social demands on women, principally in relation to professional investments, compared to what we had at the time the concept was created, has repercussions on the maternal experience, adding new nuances to the state of primary maternal preoccupation. The subjective position of the mother in the early life of the child was vastly theorized by the English pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott in the s.