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The Farmer and the Obstetrician [Paperback]

Michel Odent
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2002
This title seeks to show how farming and childbirth have been industrialized side by side during the 20th century with dramatic and disturbing consequences. In both cases innovations have been presented as the long awaited solution to an old problem. The advent of synthetic pesticides has increased agricultural productivity, similarly the advent of the safe caesarean section has offerd new reasons to create gigantic obstetrical departments. In both spheres sceptics voiced fears concerning the negative long term consequences of the use of novel, little tested practices. The industrialization of farming has sparked a series of disasters, industrialized childbirth has not, yet, reached the same phase of its history.


Product details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Free Association Books (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853435651
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853435652
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 12.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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). In the 1970s he introduced the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals.
He is the author of the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools (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 created the Primal Health Research database (www.primalhealthresearch.com) and the website www.wombecology.com. He is the author of 13 books published in 22 languages and author (or co-author) of 92 articles listed in www.pubmed.com.

Product Description

About the Author

For several decades Michel Odent has played multiple and complimentary roles in influencing the history of childbirth and health research. Familiarly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms. He is the uthor of more than 50 scientific papers and 10 books including "Scientification of Love"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odent imagines the future of human birth 3 July 2002
Format:Paperback
Reading Michel Odent is like entering a new universe of possibility. Even the book's title shows how his mind is capable of making great leaps and unlikely connections - in this case, between technocratic farming methods and the future of human birth. But what a powerful analogy it is.
We skate through the long history of farming and arrive at two major modern catastrophes: foot and mouth disease and BSE. If this is where reliance on technology leads us, Odent says, just imagine what catastrophes might be ahead for a society that is heavily reliant on technological birth. He draws on statistics which make you blink: Holland, a country with 30 per cent home births, has lower rates of crime and a smaller police force per capita than, say France or Italy. He considers drug addiction and autism, suicide and aggression, sociability and the capacity to love. What effect might the 40 per cent rate of Caesarian sections in Korea be having on the population in the long term?
And as always, Michel includes a vision of the future, one where (for instance) midwives would be expected to have had a positive experience of vaginal birth before training. (This clause would, of course, instantly debar Odent himself from practice.) I particularly liked the section on advice-giving to pregnant women: that all test results and examinations should be presented constructively to include images which would allow the mother to feel that her body was working normally, not pathalogically. So "gestational diabetes" would not be presented as a disease, but a transitory response - the baby is sending a message, via the placenta, to the mother, to receive more sugar. The recommendation to avoid refined sugars and eat more complex carbohydrates should be given to all pregnant women anyway.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing Our Earth by Healing Birth 8 July 2002
Format:Paperback
Possibly Michel Odent's most important book to date, The Farmer & The Obstetrician details how agri-business and the medical MANagement of childbirth were co-arising in the last century and the devastating impact these industries have had upon the Earth. The author suggests what we can do about it by adopting a sustainable model of childbirth care -- at the close of the chapter entitled, "Being a Midwife or an Obstetrician Before 2032", Odent writes, "Understanding the laws of nature and working with them ... is the main characteristic of a biodynamic attitude, whether in plant, cultivation, animal breeding or childbirth. The evolution of antenatal care gave us an opportunity to illustrate and clarify the comcept of a biodynamic
attitude."
As an author, speaker, and midwife for the conscious childbirth movement this last generation, I heartily recommend Odent's
new book to not only perinatal professionals but anyone who eats and was born. After reading The Farmer and the Obstetrician, your view of food and having babies will be transformed! This is a brilliant and hopefully prophetic contribution to the 21st century -- indeed, it's benestrophic. Read it and share with your friends for the sake of our planet's future.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 24 Sep 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Mr Odent has again provided us with a first class book that is useful to both professionals and the lay person. As a woman expecting her first child it has provided a fascinating read. Wonderful, thank-you.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sadly lacking 25 Nov 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Michel Odent should stick to obstetrics and leave history alone. While no one doubts that farming and childbirth have been 'industrialised' in the 20th century this is hardly news, and Odent spectacularly fails to establish any connection between the two, other than the fact that they occurred at the same time. His argument might have been strengthened had he focussed on a comparison of animal and livestock breeding and tempered his sweeping generalisations in favour of a slightly more sophisticated level of analysis. As it is, this book has little to recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing the Earth by Healing Birth 26 Jun 2002
By Jeannine Parvati Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Possibly Michel Odent's most important book to date, The Farmer & The Obstetrician details how agri-business and the medical MANagement of childbirth were co-arising in the last century and the devastating impact these industries have had upon the Earth. The author suggests what we can do about it by adopting a sustainable model of childbirth care -- at the close of the chapter entitled, "Being a Midwife or an Obstetrician Before 2032", Odent writes, "Understanding the laws of nature and working with them ... is the main characteristic of a biodynamic attitude, whether in plant, cultivation, animal breeding or childbirth. The evolution of antenatal care gave us an opportunity to illustrate and clarify the comcept of a biodynamic attitude."
As an author, speaker, and midwife for the conscious childbirth movement this last generation, I heartily recommend Odent's new book to not only perinatal professionals but anyone who eats and was born. After reading The Farmer and the Obstetrician, your view of food and having babies will be transformed! This is a brilliant and hopefully prophetic contribution to the 21st century -- indeed, it's benestrophic. Read it and share with your friends for the sake of our shared planet's future.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Farmer and the Obstetrician 17 Oct 2007
By J. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book truly makes you look at the comparison between industrialized farming and industrialized childbirth, and how this country inparticular has handled the surge of both. It also makes you understand more clearly as a midwifery student the impact that industrialized childbirth has on this country; the women, the doctors, the hospitals, and society as a whole. It's a true eye opener.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 22 Feb 2012
By Shelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Michel Odents work. I am a midwifery student and my focus is Psychology in regards to giving birth. The way you give birth effects a mother and a baby. There is a true physiological way birth should be handled and has long term affects we mess with the process! Learn more by reading this amazing book. The comparison of the farmer and the obstetrician takes a look at what we did to mess up farming and our agriculture and now we are going back to times of old. Now we are buying organic, right? It is not something that benefits from technology helping it out! Birth is the same! We need to go back to how we were made and not mess with the process! It is truly affecting our society as a whole!
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