Birth & Midwifery in Russia
Resources for parents and practitioners
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Some of the following sites may not be in English; an online translator may be useful.
Midwifery Today Country Contact*
*To learn what a Country Contact is or to reach any Midwifery Today Country Contact, click here.
Katerina Perkhova and Veronika Nazarova
Katerina Perkhova, editor in chief Domashniy Rebenok (Home Child) magazine, journalist, photographer and mother of two homebirthed children. Katerina and her husband, Philip Perkhov, the magazine’s publisher and art director, say they first envisioned their magazine after their second child, Masha, was born at home, surrounded by a close group of loved ones. Their first son, Michael, had already introduced them to the worlds of "natural parenting" and "attachment parenting." Katerina explains that, in the Soviet Union, information about natural parenting had been closed, like secret knowledge. Today, there is more than enough information available about natural childbirth, breastfeeding, using a sling, natural medicine, natural health, alternative education and a healthy lifestyle. With Home Child magazine, they hope to make these resources more easily accessible and to help parents separate fact from opinion, and scientific evidence from mythmaking.
Katerina and Philip are planning to publish Midwifery Today magazine in the Russian language. For subscription information: domrebenok.ru/podpiska-midwifery-today.html
Veronika Nazarova is a family doctor and homeopath who has been practicing homebirth midwifery for 15 years. Her greatest life passion is gentle, undisturbed births. Veronika is convinced that knowledge and information give women and families strength to make their own choices. She works at Russia’s first Center for Traditional Midwifery (www.center-akusherstva.ru), founded by her friend and fellow midwife, Tamara Sadovaya.
Besides being doctor and midwife, she enjoys teaching other midwives, doctors and parents about normal physiology, natural ways of giving birth and living. For that she participates in Midwifery Today conferences, reads books, journal articles and Web sites in different languages and shares this knowledge with parents and colleagues. She has translated several homeopathic books from English into Russian. Together with her colleagues from the Wonderful Child Parents’ Center, Veronika developed the first Russian-language Web site on midwifery called Akusherstvo Segodnya at www.midwifery.ru. She is always happy to help parents and childbirth practioners make contact and find each other all over the world!
- Professional Midwives Association—the first in Russia Professional Association for midwives of different educational levels and ways of practicing who work independently. It was founded in 2009 and it has no state support and recognition yet. Incorporates about 30 members, including obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatricians as well as lay midwives. The Association provides various educational programs for midwives, develops professional standards and sees to create this profession—independent midwife—not existing in Russia yet. Midwives have regular meetings, discuss their practice and birth cases, offer charity consultations for pregnant women. Parents can seek for a midwife here.
- Parents’ public organization Birth—Web site in Russian, represents public organization, created by parents who stand for natural birth and conscious parenting. Provides a lot of information about birth in Russia and abroad.
- Natural Birth—an Russian language Internet community
- Akusherstvo Segodnya—(this name in Russian means “midwifery today”) Russian-language informational and educational Web site for childbirth practitioners and parents
- Solo-birth—Russian language Internet community of parents who have given birth, unassisted by professional midwives or doctors, but sometimes with a doula or husband. Includes about 1500 participants. Lots of stories about solo-birth personal experiences. Online support for solo-birthing women by other participants and the woman-obstetrician who created this Web site. Mothers of this community live in different countries and continents, including America, Australia, and Japan; there is a subcommunity of solo-birthing Muslim women from Middle East and Egypt.
- VBAC—informational Web site on vaginal birth after caesarean section. Articles, videos, birth stories and a list of clinics, obstetricians and midwives who support and attend VBAC in hospital and home settings in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
- Igor Charkovsky’s official Web site (www.charkovsky.ru)—news, articles, videos, discussions. A precious chance to read the notes that Charkovsky (the most well-known figure of early Russian natural birth movement) wrote and said himself.
- Tatiana Sargunas’ Web site Natural Birth—Tatiana is one of the pioneers of natural birth, especially waterbirth and spiritual midwifery in Russia. She has practised midwifery since 1984.
- Moscow Wonderful Child Parents’ Center—parenting and midwifery center based on the midwifery model of care: prepare for natural pregnancy, for birth. Has English-speaking midwives. Classes for children and parents.
- Moscow Vozrojdenie Family Center—Russia’s midwifery center based on the midwifery model of care: birth in hospital with midwife, birth at home. Preparation for natural pregnancy. Classes in sauna and swimming pool. Has English-speaking midwives.
- Moscow Rojdestvo Parents’ School—Russia’s parenting and midwifery center based on the midwifery model of care: prepare for natural pregnancy, homebirth. Classes for children, antenatal classes and meetups in sauna for parents.
- Moscow Dragotsennost’ (Gem) Parents’ School—Russia’s midwifery and parenting center based on the midwifery model of care: birth in hospital with midwife, birth at home, prepare for natural pregnancy. Classes for children and parents. Has English-speaking midwives.
- St. Petersburg “Kolybelka” Center for Parenting Culture—prepares families for healthy and conscious conception, for natural gentle births (including waterbirth). Yoga, fitness, aquatraining, singing in chorus. Postnatal care, breastfeeding support. Breastfeeding moms club. Swimming and exercises for babies. Groups for babies and children early development. Has English-speaking staff.
- Moscow “Sadovoy” Center for Traditional Midwifery—Russia’s first midwifery center based on the midwifery model of care. The staff includes midwives, homeopaths and osteopaths as well as obstetricians and pediatricians. Offers antenatal care by a professional midwife, antenatal classes run by midwives, standard antenatal care by obstetrician and all necessary medical documents. Languages spoken by staff members include English, French. The Center provides ultrasound, lab work, educational and exercise classes. It doesn’t provide homebirth officially, but many midwives here are trained and experienced in this field as well as in clinical birth.
- Domashniy Rebenok—Russian-language informational Web site for parents about natural birth, health, attachment parenting, home education, ecology. Editorial staff speak English; those who need any information on natural birth/parenting/eco-living in Russia or seeking any help in this field are welcome!
- Oranjevaya Mama—the Russian-language Web site for natural, harmonious, joyful and happy parenting. Information on slings, natural childbirth, breastfeeding, communication, sleeping together, etc. The authors are teachers, psychologists, anthropologists, midwives and moms who share their experiences. The Web site’s mom, Marianna, speaks and writes English.
- La Leche League—Russian representative is Katya Lokshina; you can contact her by Moscow Mommy Milk Meet-up Groups (see above).
- The Natural Feeding Consultant Association—Web site of the non-profit organization, whose purposes are: to promote, advocate and support breastfeeding, to provide information and education to Russian-speaking breastfeeding consultants. NFCA includes more than 200 members in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Byelorussia. Web site provides high-quality scientifically-based information. You can easily find English-speaking consultants here.
- Soznatelno.ru—the name means “consciously,” the Russian-language Web site for parents and professionals; full of videos, online consultation and articles about natural way of living, attachment parenting, birth, relationship and upbringing. You can contact its creator, Evelina, in English.
- Health: the Informed Choice—Web site of the same-name public organization. Information on vaccines, legal bearings of vaccination, online free legal counselling, as well as articles on naturopathy and homeopathy.
- 1796—Homeopathy and Vaccination—very informative Web site by doctor-homeopath Alexander Kotok on homeopathy and vaccination. Translations of the rare homeopathic articles and books. Forum, online homeopathic counseling.
- Mommy Milk Meet-ups with other nursing and expecting moms. Originally created by American Theresa Yaroshevich for expats’ families in Moscow, now it is a big English-speaking community of mothers from many countries, including Russia. You may ask participants any questions about pregnancy and living with children in Moscow after joining this community.
- Birthlight Moscow—perinatal yoga, aqua yoga, baby yoga, baby swimming and yoga for women. Birthlight system is originally founded in England and has never stopped attracting more and more specialists and parents from all over the world since then. English-speaking groups and staff.
- “Vmeste s mamoy”—means “Together with mom.” Here mother and her very small children (from 1 month old) can enjoy live music. The concerts take place in the comfortable and beautifull hall where kids feel free to crawl, dance, sing, eat mother’s milk and even sleep. The project provides not only concerts, but other different activities for moms with small kids in Moscow and other Russian cities. Good things spread very quickly! English-speaking people are welcome.
- Moscow “Mam-studio” Future Parents Club—in the big Moscow Family Center Mir Detstva
- Toliatti Center for Healthy Family—Web site and prenatal class “Pavushki” (old Russian name for pregnant women); dancing/fitness/swimming for future moms and for mom and baby
- Professional Midwives Association—see above.
- The Discussion Club of the Russian Medical Server, Forum on obstetrics and gynaecology. Unique and precious place for doctors to learn from experienced colleagues from ALL OVER the WORLD, for parents to seek for good professional medical information, compare practices in different countries and to consult with good qualified obstetricians. Doctors publish the most important articles (in Russian and in English), protocols and other valuable information here.
- International School of Traditional Midwifery (Moscow)—provides seminars and educational programs for midwives with well-known specialists from all over the world, international conferences, translation and publishing of books on traditional midwifery.
- Michel Odent in Russia—the project of International School of Traditional Midwifery that includes organization of seminars, translation and publishing of Michel Odent’s books and running this Russian-language Web site dedicated to his works, books and articles. Temporarily the information from this Web site is here: www.soznatelno.ru