An Analysis of the Efficacy of Modernizing Practices in Soviet Obstetrics




Winsten, Samuel

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Even before the Cold War, the Soviet Union put special emphasis on cultivating the appearance of modernity within their society in an attempt to promote socialism as the new political paradigm. Science, industry, and healthcare were among the most important spheres of society considered in this endeavor, and the Soviet healthcare system was certainly one of the most admired in the world during the mid-twentieth century. This work considers both the publicly documented and advertised pronouncements of modern advancement as well as recorded information suggesting the gloomy reality of Soviet obstetrics in order to make a judgment on the true modernity of the specialty within the USSR. Through the analysis of publications such as Soviet Life magazine, the testimonies of physicians visiting the USSR from the West, and Russian mothers’ recorded experiences during the latter half of the twentieth century, the disparity between public reports on maternity and the true experience of the Soviet people becomes clear. The facilitation of childbirth in the Soviet Union could by no means be considered modern by twentieth century standards, and the practices that greatly contributed to this conclusion continue to negatively affect the Russian Federation today.



Soviet Union., Medicine., Obstetrics.