This is by far the best article I have read explaining the complex interplay of hormones during labor, birth, and the early postpartum period. Written by a doctor (Sarah Buckley) it also details the damaging effects of commonly used drugs during labor on these hormones and the birth process. As I read and reflected on my own 7 labors and births I realized that my experiences totally confirmed what she was saying. I feel sadness and remorse for the births where drugs were involved and gratitude and joy for the births that were allowed to happen drug-free and relatively undisturbed. How I wish every woman would read this without having to make the same mistakes I did with my first 4 births. The sad reality is that close to 80% of women in America are using these drugs during their labors and births and being mistakenly assured by the medical profession that they are perfectly safe for them and their babies. The article ends with this well-said summary by Dutch professor of obstetrics G. Kloosterman:
"Spontaneous labour in a normal woman is an event marked by a number of processes so complicated and so perfectly attuned to each other that any interference will only detract from the optimal character. The only thing required from the bystanders is that they show respect for this awe-inspiring process by complying with the first rule of medicine--nil nocere [Do no harm]."