Avoid Fight or Flight
When blood flows easily to the uterus, an amazingly powerful muscle, a laboring mom may feel more comfort and her labor may flow with more efficient contractions. If she relaxes deeply then her body can more easily send the blood where it is most needed. With all of the other muscles in her body at rest, including her mind, she will enhance the physiological process of birth.
Fear - Tension - Pain Cycle
Stress or any situation that stimulates a laboring mother's mind sends blood away from her uterus and into her thinking brain and her extremities. When her uterus is deprived of blood flow she may feel more pain. Her baby and placenta will have less oxygen as well.
The goal is to avoid the fear, tension, pain cycle by creating an environment that enhances the physiological process. If a mother experiences this cycle she can break it and get back into a place of comfort where her blood flow goes primarily back into her uterus.
Removing the source of stress or disruption is key, whether it is too many questions, a need for privacy or her own fears surfacing. It is important to create an environment that is calm, encouraging and that will not overstimulate or interfere with a mom's concentration during labor.