Michel Odent, the leading pioneer for natural childbirth, indicates that the period between conception and a child's first birthday is critical to life-long health. In this prophetic book - first published in 1986 and reproduced here in its original form - he argues that different parts of the 'primal adaptive system' develop, regulate and adjust themselves during foetal life and the time around birth and infancy. 'Everything which happens during this period of dependence on the mother has an influence on this basic state of health, this primal health.' He suggests that the later well-being of adults, their ability to withstand the 'diseases of civilization' such as hypertension, cancer, alcoholism and failures of the immune system resulting in AIDS, allergies and viral diseases, can all be traced back to society's ignorance of the vital importance of the primal period. Since the first edition of this groundbreaking work, research has continued apace, offering further evidence to substantiate Odent's ideas. In the important new Introduction and Postscript , the author reviews recent developments and relates them to the central themes of Primal Health. This book is essential reading for all who care about the health of our children and the ongoing health of society as a whole.
MICHEL ODENT was born in 1930. Originally qualified as a surgeon, he is popularly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of birthing pools and homelike birthing rooms. His ongoing influential work in childbirth and health research has featured in TV documentaries such as the BBC's 'Birth Reborn', and in authoritative medical journals. Odent founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London, which focuses on the long-term consequences of early childhood experiences. The Primal Health Research data bank (www.birthworks.orgprimalhealth) features material which indicates that health is shaped during the primal period (from conception until the first birthday), and that the way we are born affects our sociability, aggression and capacity to love. He has also developed a preconceptional programme (the 'accordion method') to minimize the effects of intrauterine and milk pollution by synthetic fat soluble chemicals. Odent's other principal research interest is the non-specific, long-term effect on health of early multiple vaccinations. He is the author of dozens of scientific papers and 11 books published in 21 languages, including Primal Health and The Farmer and the Obstetrician.