Michel Odent

For several decades Michel Odent has been instrumental in influencing the history of childbirth and health research.As a practitioner he developed the maternity unit at Pithiviers Hospital in France in the 1960s and '70s. He is familiarly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concept of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms. His approach has been featured in eminent medical journals such as Lancet, and in TV documentaries such as the BBC film Birth Reborn. With six midwives he was in charge of about one thousand births a year and could achieve ideal statistics with low rates of intervention. After his hospital career he practiced home birth.As a researcher he founded the Primal Health Research Center in London (UK), which focuses upon the long-term consequences of early experiences. An overview of the Primal Health Research data bank ( www.birthworks.org/primalhealth) clearly indicates that health is to a great extent shaped during the primal period (from conception until the first birthday). It also suggests that the way we are born has long-term consequences in terms of sociability, aggressiveness or, otherwise speaking, capacity to love.Michel Odent has developed a preconceptional program (the "accordion method") in order to minimize the effects of intrauterine and milk pollution by synthetic fat soluble chemicals such as dioxins, PCBs, etc. His other research interests are the non-specific long term effects on health of early multiple vaccinations.Author of approximately 50 scientific papers, Odent has 11 books published in 21 languages to his name. In his books he developed the art of turning traditional questions around, looking at the question of “how to develop good health” rather than at that of “how to prevent disease”, and at the question of “how the capacity to love develops”, rather than at that of “how to prevent violence”. His books The Scientification of Love and The Farmer and the Obstetrician raise urgent questions about the future of our civilizations. His latest book ('The Caesarean') has been published in April 2004.
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