Michel Odent writes:
The brain releases a cocktail of hormones during labour, which is the blueprint for having an enjoyable and even ecstatic birth. As women this is our birthright. These birthing hormones take us outside our usual state, so that we are transformed on every level. This amazing hormonal cascade unfolds optimally when birth is undisturbed, enhancing safety for both mother and baby. Science is also increasingly discovering, what mothers already know, that the way we birth affects both mother and child for a lifetime.
There are four major hormonal systems active during labour and birthing.
All of these systems are adversely affected by current birth practices. Hospital environments, policies, protocols and routines are not conducive to the shift in consciousness that giving birth normally requires. A woman’s hormonal physiology is further disturbed by practices such as induction, the use of painkillers and epidurals, caesarean surgery and separation of mother and baby after birth.