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
The concept of prematurity is a key to understanding the human phenomenon since, compared with other mammals, human beings are born in a state of neuromotor immaturity. This implies that human beings complete their maturation in a social environment.
Read more…. Prematurity and Creativity
I want to suggest that, in the case of twins, trying to give birth vaginally in an inappropriate environment (e.g., in the presence of a scared doctor or a scared midwife) is a recipe for disaster. We must adapt to our cultural lack of understanding of birth physiology.
Read more…. Why All the Fuss about Twins?
Natural childbirth advocate and obstetrician Michel Odent speaks of placentophagy as a ubiquitous behavior amongst mammals and primates even though it has never been an instinctively human behavior.
Read more…. Placentophagy
Natural childbirth advocate and French obstetrician Michel Odent sheds light on the history of cord cutting while interpreting the contradiction of routine interference and current scientific research.
Read more…. Cord Cutting: in the Framework of Neonatal Beliefs and Rituals
Natural childbirth advocate and obstetrician Michel Odent speaks about the side effects of synthetic oxytocin and how these and other reasons seem to suggest that induction of labor should be banned.
Read more…. Should We Ban Labor Induction?
French obstetrician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent shares the importance of concepts, such as planned in-labor cesareans and the fetus ejection reflex, in regard to breech birth.
Read more…. Breech Presentation at Term: Beyond the Dominant Strategies
Internationally known French obstetrician Odent shares the importance Oxytocin has on the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage.
Read more…. Preventing Postpartum Haemorrhage
“I am your bodyguard.”
This is how Liliana Lammers, a highly experienced London doula, answered a question asked by a young pregnant woman. This was a concise way to suggest in daily language the importance of the concept of protection. Today, physiological perspective supports this answer.
Read more…. The Doula Phenomenon and Authentic Midwifery: Protection as a Keyword
French pediatrician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent shares his thoughts on the basic needs of a laboring woman and how if these needs were better understood, many shoulder dystocias would be prevented.
Read more…. Preventing Shoulder Dystocia
From the early days of microbiology until the 1970s, one of the roles of midwives and doctors involved in childbirth was to protect the newborn babies against all microbes, including those from maternal origin. It was usual to shave the mother at the beginning of labor, to give her an enema and to put antiseptic solutions around the nipple.
Read more…. Childbirth from a Bacteriological Perspective
A look at how the hormone oxytocin behaves similarly to a shy person “who does not appear among strangers or observers.
Read more…. The Role of the Shy Hormone in Breastfeeding
Michel Odent covers the importance of the fetal ejection reflex as it relates to the second stage of labor.
Read more…. Understanding Stages of Labour after the Paradigm Shift