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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 19 January 2014
An excellent book. Makes very interesting reading and a book that the medical professionals should read as we become conditioned in the medicalization of childbirth. Received the book in the time scale.
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on 21 January 2015
interesting and well worth reading
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on 22 July 2014
Builds on his previous work and elaborates much further. Must read for expecting parents - although the beginning is a bit slow and can safely be omitted
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Until recently, in order to have a baby successfully, a woman had to rely on the release of her own natural oxytocin, the hormone responsible for release, love and bonding. With the insistent rise of medically-managed birth, the reverse is now the case and most women give birth relying on artificial oxytocin, a synthetic mimic whose function does not not support mother-baby attachment.

Hard data is now confirming that this massive change to how we are born and how we give birth has long-term consequences on human health - and yet compared to other areas where science is having an impact, academics and the media alike are curiously silent. Now Michel Odent's incisive new book Childbirth and the Future of Homosapiens, sounds a trumpet - a thankfully loud and clear one - and birth professionals, pregnant women, and society at large need to heed it.

Odent casts his calm, clinician's eye to explosive effect : 'There is one spectacular example of a human physiological function that has become suddenly less useful,' he says. 'It is the oxytocin system. There are no other examples of physiological systems that have been made useless under the effect of changes in lifestyle.' A deterioration, he warns, that is now impacting the physical and emotional health of the human race. Ever the frontiersman, Odent marches into territory noone else wants to explore, leading us with a firm grip and making us consider the consequences of remaindering such a key part of human physiology Rises in autism, anorexia, diabetes and allergies can all be linked he claims, research he confidently and democratically invites readers to share in the opening chapter.

Wedged as it is between feminism's demand for choice and the medical establishment's insistence on zero-risk, normal birth is disappearing - but Michel Odent reminds us that childbirth is above and beyond normal social parameters. How the human race arrives is an issue of evolution.
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on 24 August 2013
There is no getting away from it, this is an important book. You should read this if you are a mother, or one day plan to be, or don't plan to be, or a healthcare professional, or infact any human being at all. There are many thousands of research articles out there giving clues as to why chronic diseases, autism, asthma, and birth difficulties (to name just a few) are all increasing. Michael Odent is the one joining the dots and drawing out the full picture for us.

Is it really possible that we need modern science to awaken our common sense? In a world that needed science to show that a woman (in labour or otherwise) should drink when she's thirsty, it would appear we do. Odent makes a compelling (and extremely well supported) argument that it is time to apply science to the question of how babies are born and the implications this has for us as a species.

An extremely readable book, but one that needs more than one read...enjoy!
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on 11 May 2013
The exploration of Primal Health Research (what happens during the life of a foetus, the perinatal period and the year following birth) raises many questions about the future of mankind and Michel Odent contends that the process of human evolution is at a turning point.

The increased difficulties in modern birth raise questions about the consequences (among many others) of an underuse of the human oxytocin system, when giving birth and breastfeeding, the bacterial colonization of a newborn's body--depending on whether birth was vaginally or by caesarean--and the impact on immune responses.

Cultural conditioning renders the majority of women unable to give birth without interference. When pregnancies are highly medicalised, women are subjected to unnecessary anxiety that interferes with the optimal development of the baby in the womb.

The strongest possible cocktail of love hormones a woman has the capacity to release during her whole life comes between the birth of her baby and the delivery of the placenta and it is during this phase that the most invasive procedures have been introduced, disturbing the interaction between mother and baby and the initiation of breastfeeding. What effect might this disturbance have too upon emotional states at this crucial period of brain structure development?

In the framework of an active management of evolution, the basic needs of labouring women should be rediscovered from the physiological perspective--this is not just some utopian objective but significant for the future of humanity.

The book is as provocative scientifically as Odent's other work. Fascinating but difficult to read prose.
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on 3 March 2014
I struggle with Michel Odent’s books. I’ve read some interviews with him in the past and he has some fascinating and thought-provoking ideas – and the same goes for his books – but I just do not get on with his writing style. As with his previous book, ‘Childbirth in the Age of Plastics’, I persevered and picked up a lot of useful points along the way so I’m glad I did persevere. But, I skim read a lot of the book as normal reading was just taking me far too long (and I’m a quick reader!). I do think this deserves another reading, or two. Great ideas, just not delivered in a style that I can appreciate.
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