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.
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.