Michel Odent

Michel Odent 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

Two Particularities of the Human Placenta

We focus on two reasons why the human placenta is special. First, it is highly effective at transferring maternal antibodies toward the fetal bloodstream. Second, it is not eaten by the mother.

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U-Turn in the History of Human Births

From the studies of human groups that had retained palaeolithic characteristics until the twentieth century, we can conclude that before the “neolithic revolution” women were isolating themselves to give birth and that procreation was usually starting soon after puberty (Everett 2008; .Shostak 1990; Schiefenhovel 1978)

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Understanding the Phase of Human Birth Preparation

It is more and more common, in the framework of modern obstetrics, to shorten the duration of pregnancy through such interventions as labor inductions (and pre-labor cesareans). This is the reason we will summarize the conclusions of recent studies suggesting that the importance of the short phase of “physiological birth preparation” is underestimated (Odent 2019).

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Are Midwifery Today Readers Marine Chimps or Aquatic Apes?

Midwifery today readers must realize that we are at the dawn of a radically new understanding of human evolution and human nature. The main reason is that we are now in a position to consider the evolution of Homo and the evolution of our planet—particularly the enormous fluctuations of sea levels—as two inseparable topics. Furthermore, we are currently giving increased importance to fast-developing disciplines such as genetics and virology. My objective is to popularize the “marine chimpanzee concept” and to classify “the aquatic ape theory” in the framework of the history of sciences.

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Interventions That Interfere with the Length of Pregnancy

It is usual, in the framework of modern obstetrics, to shorten the duration of pregnancy through such interventions as labor induction or pre-labor cesarean. This is the reason why we’ll summarize the conclusions of recent studies. Their common point is to suggest that the importance of the short phase of “physiological birth preparation” is underestimated (Odent 2019).

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Shoulder Dystocia in the Realm of Mysteries

I find it mysterious that in some midwifery circles there are endless and passionate discussions about shoulder dystocia, while among other groups there is no interest in this topic.

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Putting an End to the Global Slaughter of Women Bleeding to Death

Regular everyday events are rarely newsworthy. The media typically induces emotional reactions through constant reports of deaths related to emerging diseases, accidents, murders, human conflicts, and natural disasters. There is a widespread tendency to ignore the amplitude of chronic problems. Few people realize that bleeding is the single most common cause of maternal deaths worldwide. Read more…. Putting an End to the Global Slaughter of Women Bleeding to Death

The Future of Homo In the Age of Question Marks

The age of Covid 19 has reinforced interest in The Future of Homo, the latest book by Michel Odent, published by World Scientific.

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The New Coronavirus and the Future of BCG

Between 1921 and the mid-1970s, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) was identified and studied exclusively as a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis and leprosy (infections by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae). Let us recall that BCG contains a weakened strain of Mycobacterium bovis.

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The Conflict Between Humanity and the Virosphere

With the permission of Michel Odent, we find it relevant to save from oblivion extracts from his 2014 book titled Childbirth and the Evolution of Homo Sapien”. The selected chapter is about “Homo sapiens and the Virosphere.” Published originally in 2014 (too soon!), this book is now understandable.

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The Future of Lullabies

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

Do We Need Midwives?

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.

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