Turning Points: Tuesday evenings with Michel Odent at effraspace

Throughout his whole career, Michel Odent, originally a surgeon, has been a pioneer.

In the mid-1970s he challenged the effects of thousands of years of perinatal beliefs and rituals by claiming that, in our species, lactation is supposed to start during the hour following birth. In 1975, when reporting the effects of intracutaneous injections of sterile water in the lumbar region to replace pharmacological assistance during labour (and to treat renal colic), he introduced the first practical applications of the 'gate control theory of pain. At the same time, he introduced the concept of birthing pool in maternity hospitals. The story started with an inflatable garden paddling pool and the first observations were published in the Lancet. It was also in the 1970s that he introduced the concept of singing sessions for pregnant women, inspired by questions about the need to sing during pregnancy and the development of the sense of hearing during fetal life. Although he was the only doctor (with six midwives) in charge of 1,000 births a year, he found the time to publish, in 1979, 'Genèse de l’homme écologique', raising questions about the development of the 'respect for Mother Earth'.

In the 1980s, Michel Odent was contacted by Elaine Morgan and became involved in the development of 'the aquatic ape hypothesis'. This new way of understanding human nature inspired his studies of fish consumption during pregnancy. In his book Primal Health, published in 1986, he anticipated a new generation of epidemiological studies exploring correlations between what happens during the 'primal period' and what happens later on in terms of health and personality traits. The Primal Health Research Database now includes more than 1,000 entries. In 1986, in the book Primal Health, twenty years before the advent of the 'microbiome revolution', he raised avant-garde questions about the possible consequences of birth in bacteriologically unfamiliar environments. In a book originally published in 1990 (Birth and Breastfeeding) he introduced the concept of 'the hormone of love' to summarise recent knowledge of the behavioural effects of oxytocin.

Since 1999, he has seized the opportunity offered by the 'information sessions for doulas' that he runs with Liliana Lammers to popularize important concepts, such as the concept of neocortical inhibition, a key to understanding human nature in general and human birth in particular.

Michel Odent, born in 1930, cannot be a 'doer' anymore. But he can still help younger generations to phrase appropriate questions about the evolution of our species and the transformations of planet Earth. This is the reason for this unique series of events at effraspace.

All talks take place at effraspace, 21 Effra Parade, London SW2 1PX at 6.45 for 7pm, and last for approximately one hour including Q&A. 

Michel Odent: Turning Points 01 - The place of birth from bacteriological and immunological perspectives Tuesday 17th January 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 03 - Can humanity survive reproductive medicine? Tuesday 31st  January 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 04 - Relationship between Homo sapiens and the sea Tuesday 7th February 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 05 - Thinking long term: presentation of the Primal Health Research Database Tuesday 14th February 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 06 - The right to challenge tradition and cultural conditioning Tuesday 21st February 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 07 - Pre-labour caesareans and stress deprivation Tuesday 28th February 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 08 - Nutrition of pregnant and lactating mothers Tuesday 7th March 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 09 - Childbirth and symbiotic revolution Tuesday 14th March 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 10 - What everybody needs to know about emerging and fast developing scientific disciplines Tuesday 21st March 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 11 - The highways to transcendence Tuesday 28th March 2017

Michel Odent: Turning Points 02 - A key to understanding human nature in general and human birth in particular Tuesday 4th April 2017 rescheduled from cancelled talk  - original tickets valid or contact us for a refund

Michel Odent: Turning Points 12 - Memoirs of a not so serious doctor Tuesday 11th April 2017 - note new date: moved to 11th of April from April 4th

Ticket prices

Single talk: £12

Discounts: For each additional ticket you buy at the same time, tickets will be reduced by 50 pence, up to a maximum of 12 tickets. For example, 5 tickets cost £10 each, or 12 tickets £6.50 each. Tickets can be mixed, so you can buy one ticket for all 12 talks or bring along 11 friends or colleagues for one talk and pay just £6.50 for each ticket. Just add your tickets to the shopping cart and your discount will be applied automatically. ​

Tickets are non-refundable. In the event of cancellation, you can choose to receive a full refund or tickets to the rescheduled date.


Michel Odent will be happy to sign his books, so feel free to bring your copies, or you can buy his latest four books, Do we Need Midwives?, Childbirth and the Evolution of Homo Sapiens, Childbirth in the Age of Plastics and The Functions of the Orgasms, all published by Pinter & Martin, at the effraspace bookshop as part of a 3 for 2 offer.

There will be an Argentine Tango class at effraspace at 8.15pm following each talk - if you haven't been to a regular class at effraspace before, you can sign up for a free class to try it out. See here for further details.


Page 1 of 1:    Here are 7 relevant Pinter & Martin books

Page 1 of 1:    Here are 7 relevant Pinter & Martin books