Leningrad: Izd. Otdela Okhrany Materinstva i Mladenchestva N.K.Z., . 53x69,5 cm. Very good, tears of edges.
The poster was released by the Department of the Maternal and Child Health Protection (MCHP). It was founded in 1918, as a part of the People’s Commissariat for Health. The Department of the MCHP took up the creation of women’s and children’s consultants, as well as mass educational institutions, especially in villages where summertime nurseries and children’s areas were needed. The organization worked on the prevention of women’s diseases, abortion and contraception practices, juridical consulting for mothers, activity against homeless life of orphans, labor exchange for single mothers. Educational editions and prints supplied a woman with a simple scientific account of her condition, mechanics of giving birth and a description of the main ills which accompany pregnancy and how to deal with them. Some of them explained that either an induced miscarriage or surgical abortion are procedures of high risk that might harm women. This poster was printed primarily for peasant
women as they frequently relied on unprofessional midwives [babki]. Babki were those women who were regarded by provincial people as wise enough to supervise childbirth or to induce miscarriage.
They were also called to treat babies with folk remedies. Enchained by religious ideas about the soul, these midwives performed backstreet procedures: in a closet, a bathhouse or in a house itself when no one was there. In general, they used what had been collected in stereotypical thinking for years: prayers, rituals, mixtures prepared with their own hands, – all of them weren’t based on science. To terminate pregnancy, such an obstetrician gave a woman some poisoned drinks, made a woman jump high or even used sharp tools. In three pictures, the poster outlined the possible future of a poor patient who accepted a potion from an amateur obstetrician. The poster was created by artist Sergei Iaguzhinskii (1862-1947) known for book designs and agitation posters. He studied at the Stroganov School of Technical Drawing in 1875–1881 and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1881–1889. Before the revolution, he designed books, fabrics, wallpapers, furniture,
labels, household items, after 1917 Iaguzhinskii turned to agitation posters and trains and performed posters for the Maternal and Child Health Protection.