Comparisons and smashing limits…

“When I studied medicine in Paris in the middle of the twentieth century, the term first stage was not used: this is why I am not supposed to understand it. At that time, midwives evaluated ‘dilation of the cervix’ through comparisons. French midwives were comparing the degree of dilation with the size of coins or palms of hands. For example, the dilation could be ‘one franc’, ‘five francs’, ‘petite paume’ (like the palm of the hand of a child) or ‘grande paume’ (like the palm of the hand of an adult).

Because I am not the prisoner of the modern technical language, I feel free to smash the limits of the concept of first stage and to focus on the little-known preliminary phase of human parturition, as it may be understood in a renewed scientific context.”

– Michel Odent

Odent M (2019). Preliminary phase of labour: what does it mean? Midwifery Today 129: 14-15.
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

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