DOI: 10.17720/2409-5834.v4.4.2017.06f

Natalya A. Mitsyuk1,
Natalya L. Pushkareva2,
Veronika M. Ostapenko1
28 Krupskoy St., Smolensk 214019, Russia
2a Leninsky ave., Moscow 119334, Russia

With the use of interdisciplinary approach, the history (the origins and the development) of professional obstetric aid in Russian provinces (as exemplified by Smolensk Governorate) in 19th – early 20th century is reviewed. Professional obstetric aid was provided by learned midwives whose main activity consisted in assisting home delivery. In rural areas aid of this kind was provided by local midwives, who lacked special tracking. The establishment of clinical obstetric aid in Russian provinces is connected with the emergence of zemstvos (local government bodies) in the 1860s. Newly opened maternity wards were not autonomous and functioned in local hospitals. In provinces, clinical obstetric aid was associated exclusively with pathological labor. Since the end of the 19th century, the number of maternity wards patients has been increasing, and their social make-up changing. The medicalization of clinical obstetric aid manifested itself in the increase in the number of surgical interventions. In the 1910s, more miscarriages and premature deliveries is registered, caused by a growing number of illegal abortions. In this regard, despite its criminal liability, even provincial doctors started to procure abortions on therapeutic grounds. The sphere of obstetrics was not considered a priority. However, in the beginning of 20th century the authorities and philanthropic organizations have developed low budget forms of social aid in this sphere.

Keywords: history of obstetrics, social history of medicine, history of social aid, obstetricians, midwives

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