MICHEL ODENT, born in 1930, qualified as a general surgeon. He is popularly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of birthing pools and homelike birthing rooms at the maternity unit in Pithiviers (France) in the 1960s and ‘70s. His ongoing influential work in childbirth and health research has featured in TV documentaries such as the BBC’s ‘Birth Reborn’, and in authoritative medical journals. He created the Primal Health Research database and the website www.wombecology.com. He is the author of 13 books (including the classics Birth and Breastfeeding and Primal Health) published in 22 languages, and author (or co-author) of 92 articles listed in www.pubmed.com.