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Book Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the Needs of Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the Needs of Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the Needs of Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Michel Odent(Author)

    Book details


At a time when pleas for the ?humanization? of childbirth are fashionable, the author suggests, rather, that we should first accept our ?mammalian? condition and give priority to the woman's need for privacy and to feel secure. The activity of the intellect, the use of language, and many cultural beliefs and rituals?which are all special to humans?are handicaps in the period surrounding birth.
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Book details

  • PDF | 176 pages
  • Michel Odent(Author)
  • Clairview Books (13 Oct. 2003)
  • English
  • 10
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle

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Review Text

  • By Jammie on 30 March 2007

    I have followed over the years Odent's radical - revolutionary! - ideas relating to how the child-birthing process has gone wrong in the Western world. But this book is the first clear overview of his thinking that I have come across. Here, he describes very succinctly the reasons why most medical interventions in the pregnancy/birthing process are misconceived - and often downright dangerous. Anyone looking for scientific backup for their instincts to keep away from hospitals, tests, etc. should read this book. It is one of the most sensible, level-headed and far-reaching works on the subject I have read, suitable for the average reader as well as medical professionals! Thanks Michel.

  • By Ms. E. Greenslade on 14 September 2016

    I chose this book for research in my birth doula training because I knew very little of Michel Odent’s work but what I had read I found really interesting and I connected deeply.I find when reading this book that it isn’t every body’s school of thought in modern western society, as it covers many topics we do not all practice and as parents or medical staff are not often taught by the professions around us. Although Michel says he likes to research and look into differing perspectives he clearly has strong views that come across which in his mind are the only way forward to help humanity go forth.This book very much focuses on allowing time and space for our natural intuition and instincts to evolve. It is not an easy read in all chapters but not one to dip in and out of as each chapter flows on from the next well. If you are passionate or interested in the subject, you will love it and personally, I think all parents and medical staff should read this book even if just to expand our minds and allow more questions on life and practises to come forth.The book speaks more of theories around childbirth and the first year, as well as the parental relationship and impact on a new human life, rather than being a practical guide as some books with similar titles are.Michel’s main theme throughout the book is concerning the importance of allowing mum and baby time to just ‘be’ together. He states during labour mum should be left alone with no external stimulation or distraction from other people – often including her partner. Michel writes a great sentence in the beginning of the book relating to the length of labour –‘Aphoristically we might say ‘ The length of labour is proportional to the number of people around.’Michel speaks of how we have evolved from women birthing alone, to now in modern day birthing in front of people including a medical man. He explains birth has become something to be ‘repaired’ rather than the natural process that needs the time and space for birth to occur. Michel suggests that birthing in front of people is often the cause of ‘issues’ that arise and therefore in turn needing medical interventions. He describes women often needing a quiet dark space just as other mammals, to relax and allow her natural processes to occur bringing forth the natural hormones which allow her labour to surge, knowing she is safe and in no danger. Michel mentions also how being in this state of quiet mind, her consciousness shifts allowing her to remove herself from the process and in turn bringing on the hormones to allow stronger surges, enabling a smoother, stronger, quicker natural process of instinct and intuition.Michel speaks also of how our relationships and society influence all areas of raising children, from the sex that creates them to child birth, and the choice of and the length of breastfeeding. He speaks of the effects polygamy and monogamy have on breastfeeding and divorce rates in different cultures around the world.One of my favourites topics he speaks of is that of ‘Oxytocin’ the shy hormone of love. Shy because it needs a quiet private space to come forth and flood the body. It is the hormone involved in all manner of areas relating to babies, love making, orgasm, conception, birth, and breastfeeding. Michel says that without the natural flow of this hormone labour will often not happen or it will not be easy, as the flow will be disrupted and adrenaline take its place to give the primitive woman time to run, but when in hospital this occurs often after a change of environment like a hospital transfer, it becomes a serious medical issue, leading to a series of medical interventions including for example forceps or caesarean section. Michel’s research leads him to believe that if these women had been in familiar surroundings, left in peace and quiet in a dark space with positive encouragement the majority of these women would have peaceful unassisted natural births.In the final paragraph of the final chapter Michel poses a question that in my mind allows the reader to really expand their mind and explore their own intuition… ‘What kind of family is the most appropriate to meet the basic needs of the baby of the human mammal?’ Just as the book has come to an end Michel wrote a piece called Lullaby and here is an extract I find a most powerful explanation in a nutshell really of what I feel the point of his book is:‘To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved. The newborn baby needs the skin of the mother, the smell of the mother, the breasts of the mother. These are all needs that we hold in common with the other mammal, but which humans have learnt to neglect, to ignore or even deny’Michel then goes on to write a short postscript of five ‘what if’ bullet points. These in my mind create a more powerful thought that the previous pages. I will write them too and leave them in your mind as my review comes to an end….What if the many scientific reasons to rediscover the basic needs of labouring women become widely digested and assimilated by the emergent global village?What if childbirth enters a new phase – the post industrialization phase – of its history?What if maternal qualities become the main criterion for the selection of aspiring midwives?The need to feel safe without feeling observed of judged is satisfied by the proximity of a mother- figure.What if obstetrics becomes a medical discipline at the service of women and midwives?What if the caesarean section recovers its status of a wonderful rescue operation, while obstetric forceps find their place only in the museums?

  • By Owen on 30 August 2014

    I am already interested in physiological childbirth and found this an extremely interesting and well written addition to what I had already read by Ina May Gaskin and the other promotors of active and natural child birth. I wholeheartedly wish that some of the ideas contained within this book become part of the mainstream thinking within future maternity care. As things are at the moment I am definitely in the minority wanting to birth my children without interference in the litigious society we currently live in.

  • By Sarah Keen on 3 March 2013

    This book was recommended to me by a friend who is also my chiropractor. It is a wonderful resource for understanding the NATURAL process that is birth, and the small factors that you can take into account when planning your birth in order to reduce the need to turn it into a medical procedure. It's not a book that will patronise or criticise one choice over another, rather it will inform you.Every soon-to-be mother should read this book.

  • By NURIAMC on 15 August 2015

    Michel Odent's books always are a must read

  • By emrob on 10 February 2015

    wonderful book, really love this

  • By michael on 31 May 2015

    Very good


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