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ABSTRACT

This article examines the attaching and detaching experience of a mother encountering the perinatal death of a twin. Her experience is related to the relevant theoretical and research literature pertaining to prebirth and postbirth maternal-infant attachment and detachment (grieving). Literature for both single infants and twins is considered. The experience of this mother suggests that elements of postbirth attachment may have been accelerated into the prebirth period. In addition, her postbirth attaching and detaching experience suggests that an attachment and detachment to the twins as a unit preceded detachment from the twin who died. The health care provider's role in promoting maternal well-being, and indirectly the well-being of the surviving infant, is described.