pregnant women

Personal space of a pregnant woman expands during the third trimester

As per the reports published in the journal of scientific research, it has been stated that pregnant women undergo a noteworthy mental as well as physical change during the third or final stages of pregnancy. The scientists of Anglia Ruskin University and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Addenbrooke’s hospital termed this as peripersonal space.

What is peripersonal space?

This is the stage where our brain constantly monitors the activities of our body as it is where most of the interactions takes place with the external world. This has been commonly defined as the area within an arm’s length of a person. By using an audio tactile device for the first time, the scientists has found out the boundaries of peripersonal space of a pregnant woman. This test has been applied on those women who were not pregnant or at the first or second stage of pregnancy.

The test revealed the fact that a pregnant woman’s sense of personal space gradually expands during the third or final trimester of pregnancy. No such specific changes were observed during early stages or even after giving birth, comparing that peripersonal space with non-pregnant women.

How does it develop?

The senior lecturer of the Department of Psychology Dr. Flavia Cardini at Anglia Ruskin University said: “Pregnancy brings massive and rapid changes to the body both mentally and physically as the body starts changing its shape while the fetus is growing.”

She also concluded that when the body undergoes significant changes during the second trimester of pregnancy, the maternal brain also starts to make adjustments immediately considering the body activities. Peripersonal space is considered as safety bubble and this kind of personal space expansion at the final stage of pregnancy might be developed to protect the vulnerable abdomen during everyday interactions. Therefore, when the baby bump grows, this peripersonal space also expands which is the brain’s way of protection baby bump.

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