The difficulty comes when nurses perceive that the emotional needs are overriding the safety. Often times, they feel threatened by women or their labor support who are demanding that the nurse pay more attention then they feel is needed to their emotional support. It can all be very tricky. I personally feel like labor is a very hard time to try and explain to a woman why you are doing what you are doing. And demands can be very high from everyone. Birth plans are also seen as a threat for the same reason. Often times they are seen as ultimatums....that at all costs the birth plan must be followed even if your baby is in danger. This bothers many nurses because it is going against what they feel their purpose is.
Now that said, we do many things in the nursing world that could harm the baby. Labors are rushed with pitocin or breaking the water, epidurals do hold risks, and inductions are pretty routine. But these risks are viewed as acceptable because we(as medical staff) are in control of them. The medical staff is the one accepting the risks that accompany those actions. For good or ill, those risks are usually considered ok. The ability to manipulate and control labor can sometimes allow the medical a great feeling of ease and comfort in regards to safety because it is more controllable. Therefore, anything that takes that control away from us, also is seen as suspicious and not trustworthy.
This is all of course my own thoughts and observations and anyone can take issue with them. I think it might be an interesting discussion. But, from my experience this is how our birth culture works in the hospitals.
So to answer Linds question from the previous post. Anything that you do that is perceived as putting your emotional health over you and your babies physical health, will probably be viewed as inconvenient, and reckless on your part. Birth plans, for the most part, will be viewed this way. On the other hand, if you ask for support and emotional help without a birth plan, you are more likely to be viewed favorably. A lot of this depends on your nurse. Most nurses that I know, really try and work with moms on what they would like. I would say it is only a few that are real sticklers with not attending to any of moms emotional needs. Part of the problem is that there is very little training for labor support, other than drugs. There is also very little training for understanding and dealing with the emotions that a laboring mom goes through. And of course all nurses have bad days.
What you really should understand, though, is that we as nurses are being paid to help you. You are the client, and should dictate your choices. You have the ability to ask for another nurse or request a different nurse if they don't fit your needs. That's the bottom line.