Michel Odent has been in charge of the surgical unit and the maternity unit at the Pithiviers state hospital (1962–1985) and is the founder of the Primal Health Research Centre (London). In the 1970s he introduced the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals.
He is the author of the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools (Lancet 1983), of the first article about the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth, and of the first article applying the ‘Gate Control Theory of Pain’ to obstetrics. He created the Primal Health Research database, and the website www.wombecology.com. He is the author of 12 books published in 22 languages and author (or co-author) of 92 articles listed in www.pubmed.com.