What inspires you? There might be nothing more inspiring to me than a person that has lived their life passionately. Dr. Michel Odent, MD is one such individual. During our recent exchange, Dr. Odent explained to me that, “pregnant women need to live in peace.” Not only did his words inspire me to continue the work of Pregnancy Awareness Month; they gave me an insight into the great advocate women, babies and indeed all of humankind has in Dr. Odent.
Dr. Odent is well known as one of the premiere advocates of waterbirth. He is a French licensed medical doctor, who has made studying labor, delivery and birth his life work.
Dr. Odent has tirelessly worked to educate other birth professionals. He authored the first medical journal article on birthing pools thirty years ago (The Lancet 1983). It can be argued that his book We are All Water Babies, is one of the most beloved works in the genre of natural birth. Dr. Odent has published a total of twelve books, all of which are considered invaluable resources among the birth community.
Dr. Odent strives to draw attention to the importance of the “primal period” because he believes that what happens in this vital time period can have far ranging consequences. He wrote his book, Primal Health in 1986 and later created the database for Primal Health Research, which he continues to maintain. His continued efforts to inform and educate are clearly a documentation of his life’s work and passion. As he described to me, “This database contains published studies that explore correlations between what happens during the primal period (fetal life, perinatal period, and year following birth) and what happens later on in terms of health and personality traits.” He goes on to say, “We often present our database as a tool to train ourselves to think long-term and also to think in terms of civilization.” This database is available for all to review on the world wide web, thanks to his tireless efforts to record and collect this information.
Dr. Odent and a cast of birth professionals (OB’s, Doulas, Midwives), experts, and epidemiology researchers will be engaging in further discussion and exploration on the topic of human development at the Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health Research in Honolulu October 26 – 28, 2012. This is an important global endeavor and is described in more detail on the website WombEcology.com. Dr. Odent explains the importance of this dialogue, “There are many ways to reach the conclusion that we are in absolutely new situations regarding the history of childbirth and the history on Homo sapiens….the main objective of our conferences are to present an overview of scientific and technical advances that will influence the history of childbirth and therefore inspire new questions. This is a necessary step. All scientific advances presented in Honolulu incite us to think long term and to think in terms of civilization.”
Did I have you at the name “Michel Odent” and the words “water birth”? If you are a birthing professional interested in the future of humanity, we urge you to consider attending this conference. Make no mistake, it will be full of high level discussions aimed at the professional, however some lay birthing enthusiasts will no doubt be present. The Mid-Pacific Conference on Birth and Primal Health Research is an opportunity for birth professionals and those passionate about the future of humanity to discuss scientific and technological advances in birth and the way they impact us as a species.
Dr. Odent’s last conference was in the Mid-Atlantic in 2010. You still have the opportunity to make your reservations for this event. It promises to be an amazing opportunity for the midwife, doula, medical doctor, and researcher to: 1) listen to information and data about the implications of prenatal and birthing experience on mankind, 2) listen to panels and read poster presentations, and 3) participate in active discussions. Are you craving this dialogue or do you know someone who is? Please share this information with any birth professionals and appropriate Facebook groups that you know.
Pregnancy Awareness Month Founder ®, Anna Getty, will be publishing an introspective blog post on her own conversation with Dr. Michel Odent soon, please stay tuned.
Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW
Co-Founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month ®