I spend a lot of time listening to women...
And I hear this all the time, "They wont let me" "I'm not allowed to" "They said I can't" and I just want to tell all of you, YOU are the boss of your birth. Do you want to labor in the tub, eat and drink, immediate skin to skin, no newborn tests for a certain time, or delay vaccines that is your right. Doctors and nurses can make suggestions based on their medical knowledge but they are just that, suggestions. YOU are in the drivers seat, and you are making the final decisions.
Being prepared for birth.
The best thing you can do to avoid being bullied into a birth you don't want (notice I didn't say c-section, or natural is best!) Is to be educated and understand your choices, and WHY medical staff offer the interventions and advice they do. One thing to understand is it takes upwards of 10-20 years before something is seen as a best practice, and then implemented in hospitals and doctors offices. One website that helps expecting parents wade through information to make informed choices is Evidence Based Birth They have articles for free, based on scientific research for pregnant parents.
Hire a doula you trust!
There is so much information out there, sometimes its best to have someone who can help guide you through all your choices in an unbiased way. My ideal birth isn't going to be your ideal birth, so make sure you choose a doula that isn't coming in with their own biases based on their personal view of an "ideal birth". You can ask some open ended questions like "What do you feel is an ideal birth?" "Why did you become a doula" "How do you feel about XYZ (insert c-section, epidural, vaccines, ect)" and really listen for bias in their answers.