"This means feeling free from threat of physical and emotional harm. Safety needs include the need for structure or order. It also involves feeling protected from injury or pain."
This is a hard one because I think everyone needs different things in order to feel safe. I think it's important to really discuss this with the person whose birth you are attending. It's sort of daunting, and I'm not quite sure where to start:)
First off, I think most people want a safe birth...ie healthy baby and healthy mom. This is the aspect of care that hospitals cater to. But there really is a lot lacking in how the medical world views safety. Beyond just a mom and baby that is alive there is a huge list of what women need to feel safe. It can range from needing all the technology available because that is your view of safety, to not wanting anyone else around because that is how you feel safe. Some may fear pain so much that labor itself feels very unsafe without instant pain control, while others feel like if any sort of medication was given, then that would be unsafe.
I think that if you are going to work with a woman in birth, you need to understand what her concept of safe is, and how she needs that provided. This is hard because what I consider safe can vary drastically from what you consider safe. I had an interesting example of this in some facebook conversations discussing unassited birth. Take a look if your interested: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=190371727669339&id=119679234738589
So, here's my list of what I need to feel safe(and this has changed over the years):
1)I need to trust my caregiver and the place where I give birth. This has been a hard one for me because I haven't really felt totally in line with some of my caregivers or places I've given birth. It has made a difference.
2)I need a caregiver that I feel will respect my choices. Someone that actually understands that I have choices.
3)I need a caregiver that is comfortable with just chilling for awhile.
4)But, I do need a caregiver. I want someone who can do the worrying for me. While I know I can resuscitate a baby(I'm NRP certified), and I know what to do in emergencies, I don't want to be the one that has to worry about that during labor.
5) I am much more comfortable with people around me. I like to laugh and tell jokes during labor, but they have to be people that I know and trust.
6)I need my husband there. He reminds me that I'm strong and can do this.
7) I need to be able to eat, drink, sit, stand, push when I want where ever I want.
8) I want people with me, but not people I don't know or trust. Having unknown people around throws a kink in my laboring.
9) I need people around who believe in me and my ability to birth.
10) I need space to think when I need to.
11)I need to know that I have quick access to technology if needed, but it's hidden if I don't.
12) I need to feel respected by those around me.
I would love to hear what other people feel they need to feel safe:)