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Re: [sig] Re: Russian Orthodox dogma about breastfeeding: myth or not?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 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.

          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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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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