© 2021 Kuksa T. L., Shnyrova S. V.

2021 – № 1 (21)

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Kuksa T. L., Shnyrova S. V. (2021). Vzgljad douly na prizvanie i professiju: prebyvat’ s zhenshhinoj v tochke boli [A Doula’s Perspective on Her Vocation and Profession: Being with the Woman at the Point of Pain]. Medicinskaja antropologija i biojetika [Medical Anthropology and Bioethics], 1 (21).

Author info:


Tatiana Kuksa is the Head of the Legislative Reforms Department at the Institute for Public Administration and Governance, HSE University (Moscow).

Svetlana Shnyrova is a doula, perinatal psychologist and yoga instructor.

Keywords: doula; vocation; contract childbirth; partner’s support during labor; doula’s support of childbirth; continuous emotional, informational and physical care; non-medical care during childbirth; birth pain

Abstract. The popularization of physiological approaches to childbirth and publications of the French obstetrician-gynecologist Michel Odent since 1996, the legalization of independent midwives in Moscow in 2006, infrastructural and legislative changes in the Russian obstetrics since 2011 have all contributed to the emergence of new perinatal jobs and intensive spread of emotional and physical care for women, beyond the medical system and biomedical conventions. The diversity, competition and interaction of agents of care, explanatory models and sectors (or arenas) of the health care system in childbirth and the postpartum period have contributed to, among other things, the transformation of grassroots women’s movements and the gradual transition from medical dissidence and stigmatization of “home” childbirth to “natural” and “soft” childbirth with an individual midwife or doula present in the hospital, as well as the transition from partner births to professional doula’s support. The article presents the history of the life path and a view on her vocation of a multifaceted participant of these processes, whose activities can be conditionally attributed to the first wave of personal perinatal specialists who actively produce and transmit the ideology and practice of “natural” childbirth, “soft” and “humane” childbirth, partner’s and doula’s personalized support of women during their stay in the hospital.


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