How to make homebirth long and difficult

By Michel Odent

From Having a baby today, 2001

Editor’s Note: Even though this article is from 20 years ago, it is still fitting today.

1.  As soon as you think that you are in labor, call some friends and invite them to join you.

2.  Choose a talkative midwife who will constantly keep you informed about the progress of labor (why not a pair of midwives?).

3.  Stay in the largest and the coldest room you have at your disposal.

4.  Make sure that there is at least one man around, preferably a doctor.

5.  Make sure that a camera is available.

6.  During the day, have the curtains open. At night, switch on the lights.

7.  Never spend a long time in the bathroom by yourself with the door closed.

8.  If, in spite of doing all of the above, you can reach complete dilation, try to remember what you learned from books or from classes about pushing.

Michel Odent, MD, founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London and developed the maternity unit in Pithiviers, France. A contributing editor to Midwifery Today, he is the author of ten books published in nineteen languages.

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