History of CWPEA

Flora Suhd Hommel brought the Lamaze method of painless childbirth to Detroit and the US after returning from Paris where she had lived as a young adult from 1946 to 1953. She graduated from Wayne University with a BS and nursing degree in 1958, in order to promote the psychoprophylactic method of childbirth. In the course of her career, she taught over 17,000 women, monitriced (coached) a thousand births, established CWPEA, the Childbirth Without Pain Education Association, and helped spread the method across the US.

Flora championed the rights of women to control their own birth experience, creating a grass-roots movement contemporaneous with the women’s movement of the 1960s–1970s. Hommel and the CWPEA were important catalysts in establishing similar childbirth and parenting organizations and teacher-monitrice accreditation programs across the United States. Her passionate activism extended and was interwoven with the civil rights movement, the fight for women’s equality, universal access to health care, and the peace movement.

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