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Since the middle of the twentieth century, the development of plastics has been one of the main factors influencing the history of medicine. For example, an anaesthesiologist was formerly an expert in delivering drugs by inhalation. Today, this expert delivers drugs through plastic catheters, in particular via intravenous and epidural routes. Traditionally, the scalpel was the symbol of surgery. Today, surgeons operate on internal organs with flexible plastic endoscopes - without cutting the skin. A typical modern woman in labour has one of her arms connected to a plastic bag through a plastic tube, while a plastic catheter is inserted in the epidural space in her spine. Focusing on obstetrics, this first book about the history of medicine in relation to the plastic revolution asks vital questions about childbirth today - and tomorrow - and demonstrates that the current turning point in the history of childbirth is also a turning point in the history of humanity. Introduced as a medical student to the surgical unit of a Paris hospital in 1949, and still involved in several fields of medicine, Michel Odent has the authority to study contemporary history from this new perspective.

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2011 | paperback | 139pp | 198x126mm
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Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Jen Tonkin on 6th Apr 2012

If I am completely honest I found this book extremely difficult to read, I didn't understand a lot of the terminology and got lost in places, I feel that it is much more suited to people with an understanding already in this area. I did persevere and even enjoyed sections as my understanding improved. I am a Mum of two, the first birth was an elective Caesarean and with the second I had an epidural and syntocin. This book definitely made me feel like I had failed in labour and my choices were incorrect. It questions the effect of epidurals and the use of syntocin on mums, babies and their knock-on effect of following generations. Had I read this book before becoming a Mum I think that my choices would have been the same however I would have felt guilty at my decisions. An interesting book however in my opinion some knowledge of the subject is already needed to understand it all.

Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Debra Flynn on 6th Apr 2012

Michel Odent has once again got us to think 'outside the box'. By studying the industrialisation of childbirth in relation to the plastic revolution, Odent brings us question modern western obstetric practices and their effect on not only the individual health and wellbeing of each mother and child but the wider implications for society as a whole, now and in the future. Eloquently written in an accessible style with some dry humour and wide-ranging references, 'Childbirth in the Age of Plastics' may appeal to lay persons and health professionals alike. However, for those already acquainted with Odent's work, this book offers little new and the seasoned reader will find himself in all too familiar territory.

Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Gemma Irving on 6th Apr 2012

Great book! I read this book for an essay I was writing, and really enjoyed it! I particularly enjoyed reading about the shyness of oxytocin and The masculinisation of childbirth. Extremely good book that I'd definitely recommend!

Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Tamara Leggett on 6th Apr 2012

On the one hand I agree with the ideas expressed in the book; on the other, I'm not a huge fan of Odent's writing style and it was a bit of a slog to finish the book. Thought-provoking issues such as the shyness' of oxytocin, and how the socialisation and masculinisation of the birth environment have impacted on childbirth will stay with me and, I've no doubt, influence my own future childbirth decisions. I'm 50/50 on this book, or perhaps 60/40 in favour _ probably needs a second read to absorb it a bit better.

Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Maguire on 6th Apr 2012

I've just finished reading this book,i chose this book mainly as a reference to help me with an essay that i am writing as part of my antenatal teacher training. But as i started reading it i really got into the book! i read it cover to cover rather then dipping into it like normal reference made for a highly interesting read, i especailly enjoyed reading Michel Odents view of Utopia in the year 2031....i will leave that for you to read.. would be good if this was the future of childbirth in this country!

Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Jem T on 6th Apr 2012

I have to admit that 'Childbirth in the Age of Plastics' is not the sort of book I'd pick on title alone. If it sounds science-y to you, it's because it is... and yet, Michel Odent somehow manages to draw you in with his years of experience in the field of obstetrics and the honest, down to earth tone conveyed throughout the book. I can't begin to pretend that I understood every word, but it's no text book by any means. Odent asks important questions about the changes that plastics has brought to childbirth, raising the issue of what I see as the 'industrialisation' of giving birth and the impact this has on mother, father and baby. A compassionate advocate for natural birth, Odent talks about avoiding the modern plastic-bound world of drips and epidurals, supporting mothers to labour with more appropriate birth support for better results with lower rates of intervention. As an expectant mother, this inspired me to consider the details of my first birth and how much of myself I 'signed away' under control of hurried, guideline-bound midwives; it also gave me food for thought on how and where I choose to birth my second. A must-read for anyone with an interest in childbirth - casual or professional.

Childbirth in the Age of Plastics

Mhairi on 6th Apr 2012

Fascinating Book!. This is a fascinating book! It gives a very interesting history of medicine and how it is being changed by modern techniques. It raises some intriguing and scary questions about the future of childbirth.