1. Who you choose as your care provider is one of the biggest choices you can make in regards to being able to be left alone. I think one of the best ways is to ask someone who has had a more hands off birth who they used and whether they liked them. Other than that sometimes it's hard to tell. It might be a good idea and call the hospital. Ask the nurses there how a particular doctor usually practices.
2. The check in. For some people, this process is not that big of a deal. But if you really want as much time to yourself as possible, here are some ideas to cut down this process. The nurse is going to want to know a few things about your medical history, so having this handy on something you bring in will help cut down on this time.
Number of pregnancies:
Were they term or preterm:
Have you had any miscarrages?
How many living children do you now have?
Do you have any medical problems?
Have you had any problems with this pregnancy or past pregnancies?
Medications currently taken:(Include dosage, and time you last took them as well as what they are for)
Any tobacco, alcohol or other drugs taken:
Any past medical or surgical history:
Preferences for this birth(breast feeding, skin to skin, epidural use):
Those are the basics of what they'll want. Just write down your answers and hand it to your nurse:).
There is usually a pile of paper work to fill out at this time also. You can request that you fill this out after the baby is born.
3. Request that they do minimal cervical checks. If you are going natural, there really is no reason for them to do them at all except to inform the doctor that you are dilated and ready for him to come there. Many midwives will stay the whole time anyways, so that shouldn't be a problem with them. The only other reason you should need a cervical check, is if your labor is prolonged, and they need to see if you are progressing. (And of course if you want to know how far dilated you are).
4. If you don't have your water broken and aren't using any medication or there aren't any other problems, you only need your vital signs taken every four hours. (At least where I worked). So if your nurse tries to take them any sooner than that, it's really not needed.
5. Avoid any unnecessary interventions. The more you have done to you, the more monitoring you are going to need.
6. Ask at the beginning who is going to be there for the delivery and make sure that everyone knows you want the minimum amount.
7. Get to know your room and where supplies are. Then you won't have to continually ask the nurse for more water or another towel.
8. If you feel comfortable, bring someone else along to answer questions or be the errand runner. That way you and your spouse can spend as much time together as possible without having to worry about needing to go get something.