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Childbirth and the Evolution of Homo Sapiens

The period surrounding birth is a phase of modern life that has been dramatically altered in recent decades, and emerging scientific disciplines have shown that this short period is critical in the formation of human beings. Michel Odent, former obstetrician and revolutionary childbirth pioneer, believes that these are two good reasons to raise questions about the way babies are born, and the consequences this may have for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Furthermore, the transmission of acquired traits to subsequent generations can now be scientifically interpreted (epigenetics, the transmission of the mircobiome, etc), which may represent a defining moment in our understanding of the mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Recent scientific advances have been so spectacular that they merit this updated edition of a book that was originally published in 2013. Obstetric practice is generally evaluated in the short term; this ground-breaking book encourages us to think about modes of birth in the long term, and to consider the impact they have on our species and its evolution. It is a readable, yet thought-provoking book, which will give anyone interested in evolution and the future of Homo sapiens much new material to consider.
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Table of Contents

1 1. Ecce Homo; 2 2. Evolution revisited; 3 3. The future of the human oxytocin system; 4 4. A landmark in the evolution of brain size?; 5 5. 'Microbes Maketh Man'; 6 6. Should we criminalize planned vaginal birth?; 7 7. That is the question; 8 8. Active management of human evolution; 9 9. Physiology v cultural conditioning; 10 10. Reasonable optimism; 11 11. Avenues for research; 12 12. Repressed common sense; 13 13. The story is not finished; 14 14. Labour pain revisited; 15 15. No paradigm shift without language shift; 16 16. Love as an evolutionary handicap; 17 17. Reasonable pessimism; 18 18. The future of enthusiasm; 19 19. Homo sapiens and the virosphere; 20 20. Cultural blindness

About the Author

Michel Odent is best known as the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms. He has published 12 books in 21 languages. His last four book are published by Pinter & Martin. His other books include Birth Reborn and Birth and Breastfeeding. See also the Primal Health Research Databank.

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