The Flora Hommel Papers at the Wayne State Archives.

While CWPEA, the organization, is no longer active, its history, the training materials, three decades of monthly newsletters, key correspondence of the movement that promoted the Lamaze (psychoprophylactic) method, along with thousands of mother-written birth reports, are housed in the Flora Hommel Papers at the archives of the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Flora Suhd Hommel was one of the pioneers who brought the Lamaze psychoprophylactic method of painless childbirth to the United States, establishing an important teaching organization in Detroit, the Childbirth Without Pain Education Association (CWPEA). She championed the rights of women to control childbirth, 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.

Hommel’s papers reflect her career working with the Lamaze method. Most of the collection is comprised of CWPEA documents and correspondence from its establishment through the 1990s—records of events, classes and projects, including the birthing center and the making of an American version of the well-respected French childbirth film “Naissance.” Of particular interest may be the many birth reports—extensive narrations of the birth experiences of CWPEA students. There is substantial overlap between correspondence in Hommel’s personal papers and the CWPEA correspondence. A sampling of newsletters and documents from national childbirth and parenting organizations is included in the papers. Several boxes of ICEA materials and a small amount of ASPO materials are located in Series III.

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