Michel Odent, MD, has been in charge of the surgical unit and the maternity unit at the Pithiviers (France) state hospital (1962–1985) and is the founder of the Primal Health Research Centre (London). He is the author of the first articles in the medical literature about the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth and of the first article about use of birthing pools (The Lancet 1983). He created the Primal Health Research database. He is the author of 15 books published in 22 languages. His 2015 book, titled Do We Need Midwives?, is followed by an addendum titled Will Humanity Survive Medicine? Co-author of five academic books, he is also a contributing editor to Midwifery Today magazine.
His approach has been featured in eminent medical journals such as The Lancet and in TV documentaries such as the BBC film Birth Reborn. After his hospital career he practiced homebirths. As a researcher Michel Odent founded the Primal Health Research Center in London, England, which focuses on the long-term consequences of early experiences. An overview of the Primal Health Research data bank www.primalhealthresearch.com demonstrates how health is shaped during the primal period (from conception until the first birthday). The research also suggests that the way we are born has long-term consequences for sociability, aggressiveness—in other words, for our capacity to love. Michel Odent has developed a pre-conception program (the “accordion method”) that minimizes the polluting effects of synthetic fat-soluble chemicals, such as dioxins and PCBs, during pregnancy and breastfeeding. His other research interests are the nonspecific long-term effects of early multiple vaccinations. Visit Michel Odent’s website at www.wombecology.com/. For further information on Michel Odent, his books and the Primal Health Research Center, visit www.primalhealthresearch.com. Learn about the Paramana Doula Course by Michel Odent and Liliana Lammers, an experienced doula, at www.paramanadoula.com. To view Michel Odent’s responses to questions on the Mothering magazine site, see www.mothering.com/sections/experts/odent-archive.html In addition to approximately 50 scientific papers, Odent has published 15 books in 23 languages. His books demonstrate his artistry in turning traditional questions around: “How do we develop good health?” instead of “How do we prevent disease?” or “How do we develop the capacity to love?” instead of “How do we prevent violence?” Michel Odent is the author of the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools (The Lancet 1983), of the first article about the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth, and of the first article applying the “Gate Control Theory of Pain” to obstetrics. He is the author of 12 books published in 22 languages. After his hospital career he practiced homebirths. Odent’s 21st-century books (The Scientification of Love, The Farmer and the Obstetrician and The Caesarean) may be regarded as a trilogy. They raise urgent questions about the future of our civilizations. Other books by Michel Odent:
Photo by Serge A McCabe
Photo by Lauren Kay
This is an obligatory topic for students of human nature who understand Homo as a primate endowed of the capacity to develop sophisticated ways to communicate.…
Read more…. The Future of Lullabies
This question was the title of a book intended for the British public (Odent 2017). In the United Kingdom, everybody is familiar with the term midwife. Traditionally, midwives were considered vital and respectable persons. There is even a Royal College of Midwives.
Read more…. Do We Need Midwives?
Illustration by David Zydd
A short course in hypno-suggestive birth methods as well as predictions for the future.
Read more…. The Future of Hypno-suggestive Methods in Childbirth
For a long time, many women have noticed that they are not as mentally sharp as usual at the end of their pregnancies. They mention anecdotes of memory loss and, occasionally, poor concentration. Their topics of interest become different. Their need for socialization may be reduced and reoriented.
Read more…. Preliminary Phase of Labor: What Does It Mean?
Photo by Trevor Cole
A great discussion of births during pre-agricultural times versus our current socialized birth, and the fetus ejection reflex. We need to go back to privacy for birthing women. Read more…. Is Labor a Complication of Socialized Birth?
Dr. Odent argues that rather than relying on so much unfiltered information related to birth, women focus on what nature intended.
Read more…. Birth in the Age of Information Bombardment
Just as we are learning about human nature from new perspectives, we are also at a turning point in our understanding of human births. Until now, the focus has been on mechanical difficulties. Countless textbooks have reproduced drawings showing the size and the shape of the fetal skull in relation to the maternal pelvis as a way to explain why the birth process cannot be easy in our species. If the main reasons for difficulties were mechanical, how to explain that, occasionally, women who are not special, from a morphological perspective, have their first baby easily within a few minutes, while others need a caesarean section after one or two days of tough labour?
Read more…. A Turning Point in Our Understanding of Human Birth
In order to feel protected during this time of neocortical inhibition, some modern women naturally prefer to rely on a doula. Read more…. Doulas: A Global Phenomenon
In the land of Utopia, the statistics are impressive. Whatever the place of birth—hospital or home—most women can deliver babies and placentas thanks to the release of cocktails of love hormones alone.
Read more…. Midwifery in the Land of Utopia
From bacteriologic and immunologic perspectives, there are two kinds of twenty-first-century births: birth at home and birth “elsewhere.”
Read more…. Birth at Home vs. Birth “Elsewhere”
Today, we have at our disposal a standardized and simple way to introduce a great variety of topics. We just need to explain why we are “at a turning point.”
Read more…. A Turning Point in the History of Mothering
Today, it is commonplace to present Homo sapiens as an ecosystem with a symbiotic interaction between the trillions of cells that are the products of our genes (the “host”) and the hundreds of trillions of microorganisms that colonize the body (the “microbiome”).
Read more…. Homebirth vs. Hospital Birth, The Bacteriological Perspective