Michel Odent asking questions. For decades. And sometimes well before anyone else. His book Your baby is the most beautiful mammals was published in 1990. But it is only recently, 25 years later, the new edition of his volume has become one of the top sellers of Amazon.fr reveals the renowned french surgeon, who was in Sherbrooke for a conference.
His coming is in itself a small event, it is going to Ukraine, Japan, Europe. All over.
“More than our differences is our common points that fascinate me,” said the man who was one of the first to emphasize the need to protect the conditions for childbirth instead of the handle.
I mention the fact that he helped birth humanization. He gently corrects. Speaks instead of “dehumanization”. In this context where, to create a favorable environment for the birth, we must put the cerebral neocortex on hold, dispose of inherited beliefs of those who preceded us. In simple: to revive the mammal in itself. To welcome the newborn with greater humanity.
“My main interest has always been, that’s human nature.”
The human foremost
This is also to study the human that chooses to embrace medicine at university. After a specialization in surgery, Dr. Odent learns caesarean modern techniques. When it arrives at the Pithiviers Hospital in 1962, it is found naturally in the maternity orders, which rolls with two midwives, without surgeon. This is where a click occurs, there he is interested in what happens at the very beginning of human life, that these first moments print.
“My mother, kindergarten teacher, was familiar with the ideas of Maria Montessori, who understood that more experience is early, the more strongly registered.”
He thinks his vision of childbirth. His pioneering methods produce their effect. People come from all over and the average annual births in Pithiviers from 200 to 1000. He then founded the Primal Health Research Centre, which studies the scope of what is experienced during the primal period (from conception to the first blown candle). He also published fifteen books, translated into several languages. His most recent, humanity does survive the medicine ?, asks a great question, for which he has no answer.
“I still do that raises questions. It is at the edge of the abyss, to a point where the domination of nature by man reached its limits. This is true for agriculture, for the climate, for the history of human life. It challenges the laws of natural selection, it disrupts the physiological balance of the birth. Epigenetics reveals it: when a physiological function is not used, it weakens. Now, the natural secretion of oxytocin is less solicited, as synthetic oxytocin is widespread. ”
Its use disrupts the hormonal cocktail that is taking place during the birth. Cocktail necessary, says the obstetrician and thinker.
“It is serious. Oxytocin is a hormone is used in daily life. It intervenes especially in love, compassion, empathy. ”
The man of science is nevertheless optimistic: “An awareness is possible. The power of modern science to question what is traditionally accepted brings hope. An example: in the second half of the 20th century, it was discovered that nobody knew 60 years ago. That is to say that a newborn baby needs its mother. When I was outside in Paris in 1953-1954, the midwife
did what she had learned. When the baby came, she brought it to the person responsible to take care of. Mother and child were separated. The belief then was that colostrum was not good for the newborn, it was necessary to delay breastfeeding. Modern science has shown otherwise. The skin to skin, the importance of encouraging the mother-child contact to create the attachment link is now recognized. In an immunological perspective, the newborn baby also stand to gain exposure to maternal microbial environment, it is now known. ”
And for this we do not know yet, we must continue to ask questions. Again and again.