When it comes to making choices, God has given us power(the priesthood, prayer, faith etc.), love, and the ability to think and reason. Used together, I feel like we are better able to navigate birth and the beginning of motherhood. I really feel like fear should not be the guiding factor. I've talked a lot about this on my blog before. Here is a link to one entry that specifically mentions this scripture: http://thebeginningofmotherhood.blogspot.com/2008/11/spirit-of-power-love-and-sound-mind.html
Our bodies are sacred and we are children of God. This idea influences greatly how I perceive my own role in giving birth, but also the role of other women that I work with. I believe all women deserve more respect, gratitude, and appreciation for giving of themselves to bring children to this earth. I think this is often overlooked and forgotten by those working in labor and delivery. Yes, the life and safety of the mom and baby is our guiding factor, but just as important is the realization that what these women are doing is sacred. That bringing forth that life is sacred, and in my opinion we are on sacred ground when we are with them to help, not only because of them, but because of what they are doing.
These are things that I think guide my birthing philosophy, but birth itself has led me to understand important doctrine. These include: the atonement, the value of opposition, a greater understanding of joy, the joy that comes to us at the end of this life, how life may be during the second coming (it is often compared to labor) as well as after the second coming, how to love others, how to overcome trials, the relationships between man and wife, the power of creation, our love of God, the importance of each soul, the connection that can and should exist among people, the value in motherhood and families, forgiveness, what it feels like to be in the depth of sorrow and return again, how to persevere, the value of hard work, and how to work together with someone else to bring about a common good. (Just as a side note, I definitely feel that these things can be gleaned in other areas of life and are not exclusive to birth. These are just things that I learned from birth itself and value).
I'm not sure how many women actually view this as something that their religion should play a part or if doing in natural should be an extension of their religion. I would hesitate to put it in those words. After all, I don't think that after this life it's going to matter how we give birth. In a different mindset, though, I do think it matters what we make of challenges, difficulties, and experiences. In that regards, I would think more women should take their childbirth choices more seriously. As LDS women we regard life as sacred, we regard our bodies as sacred, we understand that we are given the opportunity to make choices, we understand that we are able to learn much from the choices we make, we also understand that we can receive guidance. It seems to me that if that's a given, as LDS women we can and should regard our birth choices as something to be taken seriously. (As well as many other choices we make in life).
I also think we need to share more positive stories of labor and birth (and motherhood for that matter). So often we like to tell our horror stories, but I'm not so sure it's very helpful in preparing new moms. Fear does nothing for helping us grow. If there are bad things that happen, we need to share how we overcame them.
My only real pet peeve is the fighting that takes place among the various groups who choose differently. It is not productive.