What exactly is your birth team? Some would argue it's your provider and their team but it's so much more than that. In fact it's everyone who will be attending your labor and birth. This is why it's so important to choose a great birth team that helps you feel comfortable, safe and relaxed.
When a woman is in labor she is producing hormones that help her feel relaxed as well with helping the progression in labor. Having people around that are supportive of your birth choices and setting, acknowledge the normal natural process of labor and that stay positive throughout the time they are with her. Even if things start to get intense. We always encourage Doulas because they are considered a professional birthworker and they also are well versed in all things labor, birth and postpartum. This is so helpful especially to get resources and for them to be an amazing advocate for the parents. It's so important to have someone that not only knows your birth plan but that encourages it and reminds everyone about it because when a woman is in labor it can become very difficult to voice what she wants and doesn't want.
If you decide to have family there it's crucial that they are onboard with everything as well. One thing to always remember is labor begins in the mind. If you are stressed or something is bothering you, that will absolutely hinder your progress. This is why when choosing family or friends to be present at your birth, you should feel comfortable and relaxed knowing that they will continue to support you even through the toughest times in labor. If you have any family or friends that are not supportive or are nervous of your birth choices and you know this, that will be the first thing on your mind in labor and it's a recipe for a stalled or long labor.
Another thing to consider is less is best. The least amount of people you have the better you can relax and stay in your labor land zone. We always say, you are producing the same hormones you had when you made the baby and you likely didn't have an audience then. So when choosing your birth team choose wisely.