Perceptions of the Pregnant Body: A Russian Study

The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the medieval to the modern. Today’s post is contributed by Tatiana Novikova and Irina Filistovich of St Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University. 

The bodily changes that surround pregnancy have two meanings. The first one is cultural or socio-cultural: the body becomes an indicator of pregnancy. As the changes can be visualized and perceived, in a way, they create a new social context in which a pregnant woman should be involved. The second meaning relates to the pregnant woman herself: it creates a new understanding of self. In our psychological research we’ve paid attention to the second of these meanings and tried to answer the question:

how are the bodily changes surrounding pregnancy connected with the personhood of the pregnant woman and her system of social relations (especially with her partner)?

Continue reading