Rus Articles Journal

How treated pregnant women in Russia? Some signs and beliefs of

our ancestors did not read books about perinatal education, did not attend courses for future mothers and fathers. However perfectly knew that the child finding in a womb feels and understands everything that happens to his mother. Therefore for the pregnant woman and for the people surrounding her there was the whole set of rules which were strictly observed. the alcohol was forbidden to drink

of Future mother, to lie, steal, be angry and to swear, be present at a funeral, to look at seriously ill patients, cripples and beggars. If the pregnant woman gave alms, she was recommended to look at the same time aside and to cover the face with a head scarf.

In general presence of the pregnant woman at a big congestion of people, in whatever occasion - festive or tragic - they gathered, was undesirable. Was considered that her or not born child can maleficiate.

However participation in cheerful family celebrations was welcomed that the child rejoiced. Our ancestors believed that when mother rejoices and has fun with the family, at the child connection with the family is established, the cheerful and sweet temper, generosity and hospitality is formed.

After the Christianization of Kievan Rus` there was a belief that the pregnant woman has to make affairs pleasing to the Lord as it provides to the child from the birth to a baptism when he the most helpless before an evil eye and the word, divine protection.

Before adoption of Christianity the pregnant woman was considered Makosha who is under the patronage of Slavic gods, especially. The pregnant woman believed the favourite of gods who found to herself their blessing. She was invited in a garden to be treated with apples. Believed that if future mother breaks and will eat apple from the apple-tree fructifying for the first time, then the tree will yield every year a plentiful harvest.

If there was a drought, then during a prayer to gods about a rain poured water over the pregnant woman that on the earth fertile moisture descended from heaven and provided a good harvest.

Childless women and molodukh of the first year of a marriage brought to the pregnant woman generous gifts and obligatory bread in hope to derive at it strength giving the chance to incur. Slavs believed that in forces of the pregnant woman to share blessing of gods who sent her the child.

A family, and especially the pregnant woman`s husband, should not refuse to it have to bought something, to present a desired gift. At a table the best piece was offered not the head of family, as usual, and the “zatyazhelevshy“ woman.

It was forbidden to abuse, offend the pregnant woman, especially “for eyes“. Was considered that it will draw anger of gods upon the head the most offending and members of his family. Besides, it caused general condemnation and in certain cases could even become the exile reason.

It was impossible to quarrel in the presence of the pregnant woman, to use expletives, especially to start a fight.

A great sin before gods - to push or hit the pregnant woman.

It was inadmissible to bypass a gift the pregnant woman on a holiday, not to bring her an entertainment, to force to perform the hard or dirty homework connected with a raising of weights, care of cattle, cleaning of garbage.

The pregnant woman it was forbidden to hang out on a rope the washed linen, to bend behind the fruits growing in the earth (turnip, onions, carrots) that the child did not last neither in the sky, nor to the earth. It is necessary to tell that the modern science confirmed justice of these beliefs. The concept of weights, physical overworks and dirty work can provoke loss of the child or development of complications in labor. The same can be told about signs - not to step through the trees which are tumbled down by a storm, not to get out in a window...

It was most strictly forbidden the pregnant woman to sit on a log hut threshold. Was considered that the threshold divides not only housing and the yard, but also the world of the dead, living with the world. Therefore that the child after the birth remained among live, mother should not have stopped on a threshold.

It was forbidden to sew, weave and spin on Friday and in Makoshin day because it was so possible to lose blessing of the goddess, and it could send difficult childbirth to punishment, and even take away the child. From there were more modern signs - mother should not prepare a dowry for the child, and till the birth for the kid nothing can be got. With adoption of Christianity the ban to be engaged in needlework “was displaced“ on the Christmas-tide and continuous weeks.

Slavs believed that not born child feels thoughts not only mothers, but also the father. Therefore the father of the child was recommended to be in the presence of the wife reserved in words and expressions, not to be angry and not to conceal offenses. It had to preserve future mother against shocks, not assume that she saw fights, a face of cattle, wild animals, otherwise the child will be born timid.

If the pregnant woman cried, she needed to be consoled that the child was not upset. If with it the hysterics became, then was considered that the soul of the child worries and can leave mother`s belly therefore it was necessary to console as soon as possible future mother, to bring it gift or a delicacy.

In Russia there was a custom of “the forgiven days“. Several months prior to estimated childbirth her relatives came to the house to the pregnant woman and apologized at it for obvious and secret offenses. The pregnant woman had to forgive them and in turn ask for them forgiveness. Not to forgive the pregnant woman was a great sin. The forgiveness had to be granted with all the heart on both sides as someone`s unpardoned offense could “connect“ childbirth and not allow the baby to be born.

Such rules - rituals observed up to the childbirth.

Day and hour of childbirth kept in secret. After the delivery a floor been born the child and his name was not declared. Was considered that to a baptism all of them - irrespective of a floor - call Bogdanami.