a black and white photo of apregnant woman holding her belly and wearing a large coat standing in front of a bridge

Motherhood and motherland: One woman’s pregnancy experience in Russia

Amie Ferris-Rotman, a global news editor for New Lines Magazine, wrote a personal essay about her experience being pregnant in Russia, where many citizens believe it is a woman’s patriotic duty to give birth and become a mother. She talked about it with The World’s Marco Werman.

The World

In Russia, where the Kremlin promotes traditional values, many citizens believe it is a woman’s patriotic duty to give birth and become a mother. 

The experience was surprising for Amie Ferris-Rotman, who is originally from the UK and has lived in Russia for years as a foreign correspondent. 

a pregnant woman in the forefront of a bridge and waterway
Amie Ferris-Rotman in St. Petersburg, Russia during her 2019 pregnancy.Joel van Houdt

In 2019, she became pregnant with her first child. 

Ferris-Rotman, a global news editor for New Lines Magazine, said that while the experience was “overwhelmingly positive,” she did notice many cultural differences. She wrote about it in a personal essay called, “What my pregnancy in Moscow taught me of Russia’s Putin.”

In the essay, she details some of the reasons why motherhood and motherland are linked throughout history. She said that throughout her pregnancy in Russia, notions of motherhood and motherland were inextricably intertwined

“Everything about it is about women and what women can then do for the state,” she said.

She talked about it with The World’s host Marco Werman. 

 To hear the full interview, click on the audio player above.

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