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Cultural Practices and Medical Beliefs in Pre-Revolutionary Russia Compared to Modern Textbook Advice: Did Russian Women Breastfeed the "Wrong" Way?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22424467     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Abstract Background and Aims: Historical accounts of infant feeding practices can inform our understanding of current-day practices and the ways in which cultural traditions are incorporated into infant care. Pre-revolutionary Russian feeding practices have not previously been summarized, to our knowledge. The purpose of this study is to collect information about pre-revolutionary feeding practices. We may then be able to better understand the motivation for suboptimal practices and tailor feeding messages to the specific population. Methods: Materials were collected from libraries and from the Internet regarding medical, demographic, and ethnographic literature of the 19(th) century and early 21(st) century, primarily in Russian. Results: Breastfeeding was pervasive in pre-revolutionary Russia, but suboptimal patterns such as withholding colostrum and early introduction of other foods and liquids were common. Breast problems were treated with folk remedies and comfort measures, some of which are similar to modern-day treatments. Around 1906, child rearing and infant feeding recommendations were subsumed by male physicians espousing the "scientific approach." Conclusions: Many of these medical recommendations were detrimental to the previously successful breastfeeding practices that, despite barriers, had allowed Russian women to continue breastfeeding for 2 years or longer.
Authors:
Natalie Gerbeda-Wilson; Nancy G Powers
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1556-8342     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101260777     Medline TA:  Breastfeed Med     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Wichita State University , Wichita, Kansas.
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