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Childbirth and the future of homo sapiens / Michel Odent.

  • Odent, Michel, 1930-
  • Books

About this work


"Former obstetrician and revolutionary childbirth pioneer Michel Odent argues that the aspect of human lifestyle that has been most profoundly changed in recent decades is the period of time surrounding the birth of a child. Since this formative time is considered critical in defining our species, Homo sapiens, fundamental changes in this area should herald significant evolution in regard to how babies are born. This, surely, should be at the heart of our discussions of the future, even above considerations of how humanity and planet earth interact."--Back cover.


London : Pinter & Martin, 2013.

Physical description

160 pages ; 22 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 140-157) and index.


Introduction: The long-term consequences of how we are born: an anthology of valuable studies -- 1. Ecce homo -- 2. Evolution revisited -- 3. The future of the human oxytocin system (An underused physiological system ; The capacity to give birth ; The capacity to breastfeed ; Genital sexuality ; Capacity for empathy ; Should we learn from bulldogs?) -- 4. A landmark in the evolution of brain size? (Inextensible limits ; Pulverized limits) -- 5. 'Microbes maketh man' -- 6. Should we criminalize planned vaginal birth? (Two important steps ; Measuring the safety of caesareans) -- 7. That is the question (Answer ; Multiple functions of the Primal Health Research Database ; The concept of critical period) -- 8. Active management of human evolution (The reasons for a new question ; Active management needs objectives) -- 9. Physiology v. cultural conditioning (Understanding the laws of Nature ; Deep-rooted cultural conditioning ; Reinforced cultural conditioning) -- 10. Reasonable optimism (Before a spectacular scientific discovery ; The discovery ; Immediate implications of the discovery).
11. Avenues for research (A basic simple physiological concept ; The concept of neurocortical inhibition) -- 12. Repressed common sense (If ... ; Analysing a concrete scenario ; The science-common sense collusion) -- 13. The story is not finished -- 14. Labour pain revisited (A protective physiological system ; Meanwhile) -- 15. No paradigm shift without language shift (Towards a new vocabulary ; Avoidable terms ; 'Gestational diabetes' as a typical example ; Other examples) -- 16. Love as an evolutionary handicap (The concept of critical period in the light of anthropology ; Giving birth before and after the Neolithic revolution ; 'Maternal urges' neutralized) -- 17. Reasonable pessimism (What is in the balance? ; Towards the planet of Aspies? ; The future of depression ; The sorcerer's apprentice) -- 18. The future of enthusiasm -- 19. Homo sapiens and the virosphere (Smashing barriers ; The viral threat) -- 20. Cultural blindness (Cul-de-sac epidemiology ; Learning from biographers ; The vital function of madness).


Copy 1. Donor: Family of Sheila Kitzinger.


  • English

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  • 9781780660950
  • 1780660952