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Re: Russian Orthodox dogma about breastfeeding: myth or not?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 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.

            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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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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