Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Birth and Breastfeeding

My holiday reading this year has been Michel Odent's Birth and Breastfeeding (First published in French 1990, in English 2003, Reprinted 2007).
Not that I have had many days to devote to reading!

Dr Odent's writings have been familiar terrain for me for many years, and I am indebted to this man for his persistent efforts to describe and explain the natural physiological processes in everything to do with childbearing.  The subject keeps me attentive for new information, as well as on the lookout for anything I find implausable, and need to think more critically about. I do not want to be a gullible 'true believer' in my understanding of these topics.  Birth and Breastfeeding did not disappoint.

There are several questions posed in a postscript, and I copy three of them here for further refection:
  • What if maternal qualities become the main criterion for the selection of aspiring midwives?  The need to feel safe without feeling observed or judged is satisfied by the proximity of a mother-figure.
  • What if obstetrics becomes a medical discipline at the service of women and midwives?
  • What if the Caesarean section recovers its status of a wonderful rescue operation, while obstetric forceps find their place only in the museums?

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