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‘The Psychoprophylactic Method of Painless Childbirth in Socialist Czechoslovakia: from State Propaganda to Activism of Enthusiasts

Citace:
HREŠANOVÁ, E. ?The Psychoprophylactic Method of Painless Childbirth in Socialist Czechoslovakia: from State Propaganda to Activism of Enthusiasts. MEDICAL HISTORY, 2016, roč. 60, č. 4, s. 534-556. ISSN: 0025-7273
Druh: ČLÁNEK
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: ?The Psychoprophylactic Method of Painless Childbirth in Socialist Czechoslovakia: from State Propaganda to Activism of Enthusiasts
Rok vydání: 2016
Autoři: Mgr. Ema Hrešanová Ph.D.
Abstrakt EN: This paper explores the history of the ?psychoprophylactic method of painless childbirth? in socialist Czechoslovakia, in particular, in the Czech and Moravian regions of the country, showing that it substantially differs from the course that the method took in other countries. This non-pharmacological method of pain relief originated in the USSR and became well known as the Lamaze method in western English-speaking countries. Use of the method in Czechoslovakia, however, followed a very different path from both the West, where its use was refined mainly outside the biomedical frame, and the USSR, where it ceased to be pursued as a scientific method in the 1950s after Stalin?s death. The method was imported to Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s and it was politically promoted as Soviet science?s gift to women. In the 1960s the method became widespread in practice but research on it diminished and, in the 1970s, its use declined too. However, in the 1980s, in the last decade of the Communist regime, the method resurfaced in the pages of Czechoslovak medical journals and underwent an exciting renaissance, having been reintroduced by a few enthusiastic individuals, most of them women. This article explores the background to the renewed interest in the method while providing insight into the wider social and political context that shaped socialist maternity and birth care in different periods.
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