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Russian Orthodox dogma about breastfeeding: myth or not?

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  • Jenne Heise
    I came across a statement in a book discussing russian childbirth rituals that claimed that the churchmen of medieval Russia believed that until a woman had
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 4, 2001
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      I came across a statement in a book discussing russian childbirth rituals that claimed
      that the churchmen of medieval Russia believed that until a woman had accomplished her
      40 days purification after giving birth, no christened/baptised person, including her
      infant, could eat in her presence. Since babies were supposed to baptised before they
      were 8 days old, wetnurses were resorted to. (This doesn't make sense to me, because
      you're talking about having someone stop breastfeeding for a month right after her milk
      comes in, and yet be able to breastfeed later.

      Is this a myth, or what?

      --
      Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
      disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
      "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
      to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
    • Anthony J. Bryant
      ... Let s put it this way. They don t teach this at the seminary, neither the archbishop nor any of my priests ever mentioned it, and I ve never seen anything
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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        Jadwiga wrote:

        > I came across a statement in a book discussing russian childbirth rituals that claimed
        > that the churchmen of medieval Russia believed that until a woman had accomplished her
        > 40 days purification after giving birth, no christened/baptised person, including her
        > infant, could eat in her presence. Since babies were supposed to baptised before they
        > were 8 days old, wetnurses were resorted to. (This doesn't make sense to me, because
        > you're talking about having someone stop breastfeeding for a month right after her milk
        > comes in, and yet be able to breastfeed later.
        >
        > Is this a myth, or what?

        Let's put it this way.

        They don't teach this at the seminary, neither the archbishop nor any of my priests ever mentioned it, and I've never seen anything about it in the Pedalion or Typikon.


        Effingham
      • Jenne Heise
        ... Well, I was certain that even if the doctrine existed in period, it didn t exist now, so that isn t what I was asking about. But what are the Pedalion or
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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          > Let's put it this way.
          > They don't teach this at the seminary, neither the archbishop nor any of my priests
          > ever mentioned it, and I've never seen anything about it in the Pedalion or Typikon.

          Well, I was certain that even if the doctrine existed in period, it didn't exist now, so
          that isn't what I was asking about. But what are the Pedalion or Typikon-- do they
          describe medieval religious dogma, or just modern?

          --
          Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
          disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
          "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
          to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
        • MHoll@aol.com
          This does not sound right to me. XII-XIII century texts concerning parish life and containing instructions on dealing with various aspects of it are very
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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            This does not sound right to me. XII-XIII century texts concerning parish
            life and containing instructions on dealing with various aspects of it are
            very sensible and sometimes more reasonable and understanding of life than
            some of the stuff people say today.

            If an infant is allowed to nurse before taking communion (Orthodox Christians
            are supposed to fast from midnight on before taking communion), then I can't
            see that it would be prevented from drinking it's mother's first milk.

            I haven't found (yet) any references to this subject specifically, but here's
            an interesting passage:

            "He said it is wrong to drink premilk for it is wieth blood [probably "is
            contaminated by the calf's birth", not actually containing blood]. And it was
            given for 3 days to the calf, and then it was also drunk [by people]. And his
            priest told him: many drink it [i.e. premilk] in this city."

            The response to this is a puzzling: "He should have remained silent." Early
            example of "don't ask, don't tell"?

            Anyway, it's obviously not a big issue.

            And here's another tidbit:
            "If a woman, having given birth, starts diying that day, or the next, then
            bring her into the church, give her communion, having washed her."

            Sense over ritual.

            Jadwiga, was there a reference to the source of the statement? If so, I might
            be able to check it (in the original). On the other hand, other Slavic
            countries had different rules. An interesting overview of such practices is
            Eve Levin's "Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs._

            Predslava


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jenne Heise
            ... I believe the article was discussing something from the fourteenth century or later... ... Did infants take communion in medieval Russia? I m aware that
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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              > This does not sound right to me. XII-XIII century texts concerning parish
              > life and containing instructions on dealing with various aspects of it are
              > very sensible and sometimes more reasonable and understanding of life than
              > some of the stuff people say today.

              I believe the article was discussing something from the fourteenth century
              or later...

              > If an infant is allowed to nurse before taking communion (Orthodox Christians
              > are supposed to fast from midnight on before taking communion), then I can't
              > see that it would be prevented from drinking it's mother's first milk.

              Did infants take communion in medieval Russia? I'm aware that the rules
              for when and who got to take communion were different from those in the
              West (in the medieval church of Rome, most people only recieved
              communion once a year).

              > And here's another tidbit:
              > "If a woman, having given birth, starts diying that day, or the next, then
              > bring her into the church, give her communion, having washed her."
              > Sense over ritual.

              The writer commented on that particular rule, and others allowing some
              limited service to unchurched postnatal women.

              > Jadwiga, was there a reference to the source of the statement? If so, I might
              > be able to check it (in the original). On the other hand, other Slavic
              > countries had different rules. An interesting overview of such practices is
              > Eve Levin's "Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs._

              I don't believe there was a clear reference to a source, but I will find
              the book and verify it. The article was by N.L. Pushkareva. " Childbirth
              in pre-Petrine Russia : canon law and popular traditions"

              --
              Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
              disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
              "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
              to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
            • MHoll@aol.com
              In a message dated 6/5/2001 12:17:12 PM Central Daylight Time, ... I might have more trouble with later dates. I m afraid I don t hold Muscovite Russia in very
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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                In a message dated 6/5/2001 12:17:12 PM Central Daylight Time,
                jenne@... writes:


                > I believe the article was discussing something from the fourteenth century
                > or later...

                I might have more trouble with later dates. I'm afraid I don't hold Muscovite
                Russia in very high esteem.

                > Did infants take communion in medieval Russia? I'm aware that the rules
                > for when and who got to take communion were different from those in the
                > West (in the medieval church of Rome, most people only recieved
                > communion once a year).

                Yes, infants did and do take communion as soon as they were baptized and
                churched (introduced into the Church). Rules were more loose in Kievan Russia
                when priests were not always available all the time for every rite. Even
                common-law marriage was recognized, and must be sanctified as soon as a
                priest was available.

                > I don't believe there was a clear reference to a source, but I will find
                > the book and verify it. The article was by N.L. Pushkareva. " Childbirth
                >

                Pushkareva is usually reliable, but even her analyses and conclusions should
                be double-checked. It also matters when the article was written in relation
                to 1991. Long before -- and the analysis will reflect official opinion;
                shortly before -- the author's opinion comes through more clearly. And
                post-1991 -- it's anyone's guess.

                There is also the issue of Soviet scholarship: the methodology is not very
                reliable.

                Predslava.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jenn/Yana
                Eve Levin in her article Childbirth in Pre-Petrine Russia , talks about just this issue (and I think that this is the article which Jadwiga may be thinking
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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                  Eve Levin in her article "Childbirth in Pre-Petrine Russia", talks about
                  just this issue (and I think that this is the article which Jadwiga may be
                  thinking of). It is part of a wonderful book about how women, in
                  particular, retain agency within their lives, in the face of seemingly
                  arbitrary and illogical beliefs. So now I will quote from Levin's article...

                  From Levin's article of the above name, pages 49-50 in "Russia's Women:
                  Accomodation, Resistance, Transformation," edited by Barbara Evans
                  Clements, Barbara Alpen Engel, and Christine D. Worobec. Univ. of
                  California Press, 1991.

                  "Russian canons introduced an additional prohibition [to the beliefs about
                  the defilement caused by childbirth]: no one was permitted to eat in the
                  woman's company until her purification. This rule created a particular
                  problem for the newborn child, who in theory could not nurse from his or
                  her mother. There were a number of solutions to this problem. One was to
                  delay the baptism of the child until the fortieth day--an infant not yet
                  admitted to the Christian community could not be defiled by association
                  with its impure mother. The concern for protecting Christians from a
                  woman's postpartum impurity was so great as to raise questions about what
                  to do if the infant's fraility prompted an early baptism. Metropolitan
                  Ioann in the eleventh century had to rule specifically that an infant be
                  allowed to nurse, even from an impure mother, to preserve life.

                  "There was a second alternative for the problem of feeding the
                  newborn--finding a baba [wet nurse, in this circumstance]...The church
                  regarded wet nurses favorably, comparing them to their biblical forebears.
                  Blessings lauded them for "recieving this infant in Thy name." It appears
                  to have been rare for a new mother to have permanently turned over nursing
                  of an infant to another woman except when she had no milk. Otherwise the
                  mother would take up feeding the child herself as soon as she had undergone
                  initial purification. When a wet nurse took on the responsibility of
                  feeding an infant, she also acquired a special role in the rituals
                  surrounding birth. If the mother was not able to present the child for
                  naming or baptism, the baba would tak on this role. Furthermore, whoever
                  nursed the infant, either its mother or the wet nurse, would undertake the
                  prebaptismal fasts on behalf of the child. This involved abstinence from
                  meat and milk for eight days--obviously impossible for the infant."


                  So you see, even though the religious restrictions seem illogical and
                  impossible to overcome without endangering the continuation of the
                  community, people still manage to live with them by actively coming up with
                  solutions. A society which fails to preserve the life of its members will
                  simply die out, after all.

                  --Yana
                • LiudmilaV@aol.com
                  In a message dated 6/5/2001 7:02:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... This is fascinating, but I still don t understand how could a woman begin nursing 40 days
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 5, 2001
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                    In a message dated 6/5/2001 7:02:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                    slavic@... writes:


                    > It appears
                    > to have been rare for a new mother to have permanently turned over nursing
                    > of an infant to another woman except when she had no milk. Otherwise the
                    > mother would take up feeding the child herself as soon as she had undergone
                    > initial purification.

                    This is fascinating, but I still don't understand how could a woman begin
                    nursing 40 days after giving birth! As a newly nursing mother, I read a lot
                    on the subject and know that it is possible (but hard) to restart lactation
                    (and even induce it in adoptive mothers), but milk supply remains low. So,
                    how id they do it?

                    Liudmila


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jenne Heise
                    ... Yes, it is. I had out two books and apparently got them confused. ... Well, this is what puzzles me. It seems like either women were routinely expressing
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                      > Eve Levin in her article "Childbirth in Pre-Petrine Russia", talks about
                      > just this issue (and I think that this is the article which Jadwiga may be
                      > thinking of).

                      Yes, it is. I had out two books and apparently got them confused.

                      > So you see, even though the religious restrictions seem illogical and
                      > impossible to overcome without endangering the continuation of the
                      > community, people still manage to live with them by actively coming up with
                      > solutions. A society which fails to preserve the life of its members will
                      > simply die out, after all.

                      Well, this is what puzzles me. It seems like either women were routinely expressing
                      breast milk (an option not mentioned in the article) or routinely delaying baptism. I was
                      always led to believe that a long, for instance, 30-day, hiatus in breastfeeding is going
                      to seriously impact lactation. The body believes that there is no baby to feed, and shuts
                      down lactation.

                      It's possible that women of the class from which wet nurses came simply delayed baptising
                      their babies until the 40th day, and women of the class that hired wet nurses had their
                      babies baptised within the 8 day recommendations, then hired a wet nurse to nurse their
                      child.

                      --
                      Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                      disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                      "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
                      to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
                    • Jenn/Yana
                      ... Well, Levin says that the mother would take up feeding the child herself as soon as she had undergone initial purification. Could this have been some
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                        >This is fascinating, but I still don't understand how could a woman begin
                        >nursing 40 days after giving birth! As a newly nursing mother, I read a lot
                        >on the subject and know that it is possible (but hard) to restart lactation
                        >(and even induce it in adoptive mothers), but milk supply remains low. So,
                        >how id they do it?
                        >
                        >Liudmila

                        Well, Levin says that "the mother would take up feeding the child herself
                        as soon as she had undergone initial purification." Could this have been
                        some time earlier than the 40 days?

                        I know that women can continue lactation without the stimulous of suckling
                        for quite some time by expressing milk. I have read of women doing this
                        for several weeks (the woman I am thinking of was on an extended camping
                        trip without her very young baby), so perhaps the mother kept her milk
                        supply going in this manner (it is too bad that the baby may have not
                        gotten the colostrum, the pre-milk filled with antibodies and such). Also,
                        the canons stated that no one was to eat in the _presence_ of the woman,
                        not that the baby could not drink the milk that the mother had produced.
                        Maybe the woman expressed the milk and had someone else (the baba?) feed it
                        to the baby, away from the mother. There may have been some question about
                        whether the milk itself was "defiled", but perhaps there was a way around
                        the problem.

                        So with the combination of delaying baptism, the possible early start to
                        purification, feeding the baby with expressed breast milk, and continuing
                        lactation by manual expressing, and feeding the baby for a time via a wet
                        nurse, it appears that there were many alternatives to the baby starving or
                        needing to be fed permanently by a wet nurse. Babies obviously survived
                        the restrictions placed on the mother, so the community must have figured
                        out some way to follow the canons without killing off all the new members.
                        Humans have a marvelous capacity to work with impossible-looking situations.

                        --Yana
                      • Jenne Heise
                        ... That s a good question. In the context it appears that it is in fact the 40 days purification, but perhaps those learned in Russian medieval religion can
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                          > Well, Levin says that "the mother would take up feeding the child herself
                          > as soon as she had undergone initial purification." Could this have been
                          > some time earlier than the 40 days?

                          That's a good question. In the context it appears that it is in fact the 40 days
                          purification, but perhaps those learned in Russian medieval religion can give us a better
                          answer. Was there an additional part-purification undergone before the end of the 40
                          days' seclusion?

                          > I know that women can continue lactation without the stimulous of suckling
                          > for quite some time by expressing milk. I have read of women doing this
                          > for several weeks (the woman I am thinking of was on an extended camping
                          > trip without her very young baby), so perhaps the mother kept her milk
                          > supply going in this manner (it is too bad that the baby may have not
                          > gotten the colostrum, the pre-milk filled with antibodies and such).

                          Presumably, since the baby was not yet baptised, he/she could nurse during the time the
                          colostrum was coming down.

                          >Also,
                          > the canons stated that no one was to eat in the _presence_ of the woman,
                          > not that the baby could not drink the milk that the mother had produced.
                          > Maybe the woman expressed the milk and had someone else (the baba?) feed it
                          > to the baby, away from the mother. There may have been some question about
                          > whether the milk itself was "defiled", but perhaps there was a way around
                          > the problem.

                          Expression of milk would certainly be possible, but the technical issues involved in a)
                          expression of milk from the human mammary gland, and b) widespread 'bottle' feeding of
                          babies, make me think that if this was widely practiced there would be archaeological
                          artifacts of the technology. Further, modern women note that even with a combination of
                          nursing and modern expression technology it's often difficult to maintain appropriate
                          amounts of lactation flow. It's possible that when the mother resumed nursing the child
                          (at the age of a month and a half) was put on some sort of supplemental feeding.

                          > So with the combination of delaying baptism, the possible early start to
                          > purification, feeding the baby with expressed breast milk, and continuing
                          > lactation by manual expressing, and feeding the baby for a time via a wet
                          > nurse, it appears that there were many alternatives to the baby starving or
                          > needing to be fed permanently by a wet nurse.

                          Unfortunately, none of the alternatives are satisfactory solutions to the physical and
                          theological dilemma. When using a wet nurse who had delayed her own child's baptism, or
                          delaying one's own child's baptism, one was disobeying that dogma about time of baptism.
                          One could feed a baby with expressed breast milk, but even today infants in that
                          situation require supplemental feedings.

                          --
                          Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                          disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                          "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
                          to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
                        • Brent Rachel
                          From my reading, most of Levin s research in her Sex and Orthodox Slavs was from sources stating what SHOULD happen and not what DID happen . When she
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                            From my reading, most of Levin's research in her "Sex
                            and Orthodox Slavs" was from sources stating "what
                            SHOULD happen" and not "what DID happen". When she
                            talks about penance for certain sexual activities, she
                            IS able to cite a FEW examples.., but for the most
                            part she states the penances that OUGHT to be assigned
                            for the activity. There is no way to determine if
                            they were ever imposed that way, and how widespread
                            any applications might be.

                            Now, I haven't read the work by Levin that we are
                            discussing., but might it not be the case that what
                            she is descibing was the "official" policy.., one that
                            you are all discovering is impractical in the extreme?
                            Are most of her sources records of what DID happen?
                            I find it unlikely that there would be many such
                            sources.., judging by Levin's previous work.

                            So, I hypothesize that this restriction was probably
                            adhered to about as much as the requirement that women
                            not attend church during their cycle. Who's to know?
                            And if such a wholely impractical rule (directly
                            influencing procreation - the MAIN driving concern in
                            all matters of intergender relations, per Levin,
                            herself) *was* strictly enforced I believe that the
                            ensuing chaos would have been recorded by visitors to
                            a greater degree, and would have had PAGES devoted to
                            it in the Domostroi. I think it is *just that
                            impractical*.

                            Just one man's opinion.

                            Brent / Kazimir

                            --- Jenn/Yana <slavic@...> wrote:
                            > >This is fascinating, but I still don't understand
                            > how could a woman begin
                            > >nursing 40 days after giving birth! As a newly
                            > nursing mother, I read a lot
                            > >on the subject and know that it is possible (but
                            > hard) to restart lactation
                            > >(and even induce it in adoptive mothers), but milk
                            > supply remains low. So,
                            > >how id they do it?
                            > >
                            > >Liudmila


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                          • stasi.wa
                            ... From: LiudmilaV@aol.com To: sig@yahoogroups.com Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 11:36 PM Subject: Re: [sig] Russian
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: LiudmilaV@... <LiudmilaV@...>
                              To: sig@yahoogroups.com <sig@yahoogroups.com>
                              Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 11:36 PM
                              Subject: Re: [sig] Russian Orthodox dogma about breastfeeding: myth or not?


                              >In a message dated 6/5/2001 7:02:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                              >slavic@... writes:
                              >
                              >
                              >> It appears
                              >> to have been rare for a new mother to have permanently turned over
                              nursing
                              >> >This is fascinating, but I still don't understand how could a woman
                              begin
                              >nursing 40 days after giving birth! As a newly nursing mother, I read a lot
                              >on the subject and know that it is possible (but hard) to restart lactation
                              >(and even induce it in adoptive mothers), but milk supply remains low. So,
                              >how id they do it?
                              >The same way working women do it. They continue to express the milk even
                              when they are not acutally feeding the child. We put it in bottles and
                              refridgerate it, but they would have probably dumped it being "un pure". You
                              don't need a pump to get the stream going, you know.
                              B. Anastasia with two babies to her credit>
                              Liudmila
                              >
                              >
                              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >


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                            • Jenne Heise
                              ... Yes, but do you need a pump to get any significant amount expresssed after you ve got it going? I was under the impression that the average human mammary
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                                > >The same way working women do it. They continue to express the milk even
                                > when they are not acutally feeding the child. We put it in bottles and
                                > refridgerate it, but they would have probably dumped it being "un pure". You
                                > don't need a pump to get the stream going, you know.
                                > B. Anastasia with two babies to her credit>

                                Yes, but do you need a pump to get any significant amount expresssed after
                                you've got it going? I was under the impression that the average human
                                mammary gland was not well configured for manual milking purposes.

                                --
                                Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                                disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                                "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
                                to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
                              • MHoll@aol.com
                                In a message dated 6/5/2001 9:01:58 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Is there a footnote, a specific reference to the Russian text? I know the book it comes from,
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                                  In a message dated 6/5/2001 9:01:58 PM Central Daylight Time,
                                  slavic@... writes:


                                  > "...Metropolitan Ioann in the eleventh century had to rule specifically that
                                  > an infant be allowed to nurse, even from an impure mother, to preserve
                                  >

                                  Is there a footnote, a specific reference to the Russian text? I know the
                                  book it comes from, I'm sure I even read the article, but I don't have it
                                  now.

                                  Predslava,
                                  who just loves to check the original of a quotation. Saves her from doing any
                                  *real* work.


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • LiudmilaV@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 6/6/2001 1:42:40 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Of course, and it was silly of me not to think of expressing. You actually can do this by
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 6, 2001
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                                    In a message dated 6/6/2001 1:42:40 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                                    jenne@... writes:


                                    > > >The same way working women do it. They continue to express the milk even
                                    > > when they are not actually feeding the child. We put it in bottles and
                                    > > refrigerate it, but they would have probably dumped it being "un pure".
                                    > You
                                    > > don't need a pump to get the stream going, you know.
                                    > > B. Anastasia with two babies to her credit>
                                    >
                                    > Yes, but do you need a pump to get any significant amount expresssed after
                                    > you've got it going? I was under the impression that the average human
                                    > mammary gland was not well configured for manual milking purposes.
                                    >
                                    >

                                    Of course, and it was silly of me not to think of expressing. You actually
                                    can do this by hand (that is, you or someone else might, I can't master the
                                    skill so far). I have a relative who expressed milk by hand for her baby
                                    back in Ukraine about 20 years ago, when there weren't any pumps available
                                    and her baby refused to nurse.

                                    What still bugs me is what did they do with the milk? There is a strong
                                    sentiment in Russian culture not to waste food, so could they throw it away?
                                    If not, how would they feed it to the baby? I understand that without a
                                    nippled bottle this could be very tricky and time-consuming. Also, what
                                    about going back to work in the fields soon after giving birth? How would
                                    this non-nursing thing work?

                                    Liudmila,
                                    wondering if male populations of the list heard more than they'd ever want to
                                    know about breastfeeding.


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Robert J Welenc
                                    ... milk even ... and ... pure . You ... after ... human ... No, it s not -- but I found that manual expression worked much better than a breast pump. I kept
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jun 7, 2001
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                                      At 04:36 PM 6/6/01 -0400, you wrote:
                                      >> >The same way working women do it. They continue to express the
                                      milk even
                                      >> when they are not acutally feeding the child. We put it in bottles
                                      and
                                      >> refridgerate it, but they would have probably dumped it being "un
                                      pure". You
                                      >> don't need a pump to get the stream going, you know.
                                      >> B. Anastasia with two babies to her credit>
                                      >
                                      >Yes, but do you need a pump to get any significant amount expresssed
                                      after
                                      >you've got it going? I was under the impression that the average
                                      human
                                      >mammary gland was not well configured for manual milking purposes.

                                      No, it's not -- but I found that manual expression worked much better
                                      than a breast pump.

                                      I kept lactation going during a 10-day hospital stay, (forbidden to
                                      breastfeed because I was being pumped full of antibiotics) but it was
                                      awkward and painful. I can't imagine being able express enough to
                                      keep it going for 6 weeks. (And like many young nursing babies, my
                                      5-month-old refused to take a bottle.)

                                      What does the Domostroi say about women feeding their babies? Was it
                                      common for the upper class to put their babies out to a wetnurse as a
                                      matter of course, as was done in western Europe? If so, I imagine
                                      that this was the only class that observed such a rule.

                                      Otherwise it's wholly impractical and unlikely. Professional
                                      wetnurses wouldn't exist in small villages, only in larger cities,
                                      and the key there is 'professional'. Where does a peasant find space
                                      to house and money to pay a wetnurse?

                                      Perhaps you could have a relative or friend nurse the child, with the
                                      understanding that the next time she gave birth, you would do the
                                      same for her. Is there any evidence for such a practice? And having
                                      a newborn and an older baby at the breast at the same time wouldn't
                                      be easy. They have completely different suckling patterns. A strong
                                      let-down reflex on the part of the woman can be handled easily by an
                                      older infant, but tends to choke a newborn with too much milk all at
                                      once.



                                      Alanna
                                      ***********
                                      Saying of the day: You cannot unscramble eggs.
                                    • Art Plazewski
                                      ... From: Robert J Welenc [mailto:rjwelenc@erols.com] Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 7:55 AM To: sig@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [sig] Russian Orthodox dogma
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jun 7, 2001
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                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Robert J Welenc [mailto:rjwelenc@...]
                                        Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 7:55 AM
                                        To: sig@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [sig] Russian Orthodox dogma about breastfeeding: myth or
                                        not?



                                        Otherwise it's wholly impractical and unlikely. Professional
                                        wetnurses wouldn't exist in small villages, only in larger cities,
                                        and the key there is 'professional'. Where does a peasant find space
                                        to house and money to pay a wetnurse?

                                        Perhaps you could have a relative or friend nurse the child, with the
                                        understanding that the next time she gave birth, you would do the
                                        same for her. Is there any evidence for such a practice? And having
                                        a newborn and an older baby at the breast at the same time wouldn't
                                        be easy. They have completely different suckling patterns. A strong
                                        let-down reflex on the part of the woman can be handled easily by an
                                        older infant, but tends to choke a newborn with too much milk all at
                                        once.



                                        Alanna
                                        ***********
                                        Saying of the day: You cannot unscramble eggs.



                                        Up until today wet nurse is a common practice in almost every village I
                                        know of in Poland. They did not have to take money - goods and services
                                        are most common to exchange for that service. Also what was a theory (
                                        don't feed the baby till 40 days) was theory only , observed in some
                                        sporadic examples.
                                        Art.
                                      • Jenne Heise
                                        ... I don t remember the Domostroi saying anything about women feeding their babies. Is it possible that the issue never came up for the author (because babies
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jun 7, 2001
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                                          > What does the Domostroi say about women feeding their babies? Was it
                                          > common for the upper class to put their babies out to a wetnurse as a
                                          > matter of course, as was done in western Europe? If so, I imagine
                                          > that this was the only class that observed such a rule.

                                          I don't remember the Domostroi saying anything about women feeding their
                                          babies. Is it possible that the issue never came up for the author
                                          (because babies weren't nursed in front of men, or priests, or something?)

                                          Maybe it was only the wives of priests that obeyed the rule? ;)


                                          --
                                          Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
                                          disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
                                          "It's no use trying to be clever-- we are all clever here; just try
                                          to be kind -- a little kind." F.J. Foakes-Jackson
                                        • MHoll@aol.com
                                          In a message dated 6/7/2001 5:40:54 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Yep, or else, considering the personality of the author, since it s woman s work, it s not
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jun 7, 2001
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                                            In a message dated 6/7/2001 5:40:54 PM Central Daylight Time,
                                            jenne@... writes:


                                            > Is it possible that the issue never came up for the author
                                            >

                                            Yep, or else, considering the personality of the author, since it's woman's
                                            work, it's not really worth mentioning, as it doesn't immediately affect the
                                            household.

                                            Predslava,
                                            being her cynical feminist self.


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