PREPARATION FOR LABOUR
During labour, it is of great help that you feel at ease, and that you trust your environment and the people around you. Each woman is different, each birth is different, so being open to what comes and what happens is a good attitude to help labour along. In his book Birth and Breastfeeding, Michel Odent suggests that privacy and a calm, gentle environment are an ideal setting, where the mother can let the natural hormonal process take over, rather than be stimulated by rational conversation and interruptions which can inhibit this process. The hormonal physiology of labour and birth are best served when a woman is in a trusted environment, surrounded by trusted people and given the least medical interventions possible. In Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin describes the importance of the mother having a positive, loving attitude, as well as everyone else at the birth. This allows for an easier, faster birth and is a better environment and warmer welcome for a new baby. 
"Spontaneous labour in a normal woman is an event marked by a number of processes so complicated and so perfectly attuned to each other that any interference will only detract from the optimal character. The only thing required from the bystanders is that they show respect for this awe-inspiring process by complying with the first
rule of medicine--nil nocere [do no harm]."
G. Kloosterman, Dutch professor of obstetrics 
The analogy with falling asleep is instrumental in formulating in a simple and concise way the conditions needed for effective labour to establish itself properly: being protected fro useless words, being sheltered from bright lights, being in an atmosphere of privacy, feeling comfortable in terms of temperature and feeling secure.
Michel Odent MD
See Herbal Bath recipe in
 Buckley, Sarah J.. Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor. Mothering Magazine, Issue 111, March/April 2002, researched August 2009 <http://mothering.com/print/2411>
 Gaskin, Ina May. Spiritual Midwifery. Book Publishing Company, Summertown 2002
 Kloosterman G. J.. Universal Aspects of Birth: Human Birth as a Socio-psychosomatic Paradigm. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology 1, no. 1 (1982): 35-41. quoted from Buckley, Sarah J.. Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor.
 Odent, Michel, The Farmer and the Obstetrician, Free Association Books, London 2002 page 137
Radha and Krishna Embrace in a Grove of Flowering Trees,
The birth of cupid 1645-47
by Eustache le Sueur