Explain your birth plan in advance to everyone. Tell each person what you would like them to contribute to your birth. Ask them to do certain tasks ahead of time. Have a brief list of things you would like them to help with during labor; things like, taking pictures, bringing you ice chips, rubbing your feet, playing your music, etc. Don't be afraid to let someone know they can help you best by sitting quietly nearby for moral support.
Let your team know the things you absolutely don't want to have happen during your birth. It is often difficult to keep track of what is going on when you are working hard at labor. You may not catch something the nurse is putting in your IV or a procedure the doctor is about to do. Your team can be there to remind you of your wishes so that you can speak up for yourself.
As important as it is to have expectations of your team members, it is also important to remember they may not follow through with your requests. A lot of things get forgotten in the moment, especially as things get more exciting. Try not to be angry or disappointed if your birth team forgets about something or ends up doing very little and only watches as labor goes on. This is another reason why it is important to have a Doula. The Doula knows how important your desires are. She knows it is her job to remember the little things that will help you have a successful birthing experience. She can help remind your team of their roles and pick up the slack.
Most importantly, get your medical team on board. Talk to your doctor or midwife early and often, about your expectations and preferences. Talk to them about their policies and procedures. Go over your birth plan with them ahead of time and ask a lot of questions.
When you arrive for a hospital birth you will probably have to explain your desires to multiple nurses. You will get new nurses with each shift change. Be ready to give a very brief explanation of your desires so that they can be on board. Have a team member give each new nurse a copy of your birth plan, or point out a copy of your plan posted in the room.
With your preparation and careful choosing of team members, both your medical and personal teams will function together smoothly to support you in achieving the best birth for you and your baby.