What really helped you during labor?
Extreme counter pressure on my low back & squeezing my hips (together was spectacular).
Is there anything you did during pregnancy that helped you prepare for your birth or postpartum?
I read a lot. Dh isn't much of a reader but he would listen to stuff I thought he should know. My Mon read what I asked her to. Writing the birth plan was more important to me than giving it to anyone - the process really clarified for me/dh/my mom what was most important. I also asked lots & lots of questions of my ob. By the time the birth was happening I felt confident we were all a team & I could relax.
If you had a hospital birth, was there anything you took with you that you were glad you had?
My own pillows, an extra blanket, snacks, my own clothes, camera.
What were things other people did for you during labor or right after the birth that you liked?
I wish someone had told me when I was in transition. I felt very scared & out of control & was literally begging for help - very frantic, in large part 'cause I thought it was going to continue like that for a long time. Having someone recognize & tell me I was in transition would have really calmed me down.