Years ago when I was a staff midwife working on the 'labour ward' , I distinctly remember how disapproving all the staff would be if there was a 'shouter' or 'screamer' giving birth. And woe betide if she was the woman you were looking after. Having one of 'your' women scream her head off while giving birth was a poor reflection on you and your skills as a midwife - on your ability to 'control' the woman and the 'situation'. I remember saying things to women like "don't make that noise, conserve your energy and put it into your pushing."
What I have come to realise over the years is that some women need to make noise, that it helps them to focus on giving birth. The other thing I have realised is that the noise women make during birth changes as labour progresses. So one of the tips I would pass on to students is to listen carefully, because the noises women make tell us about how she is progressing.
A lovely birth
Here is a video of a beautiful waterbirth at home. Close your eyes and listen to how the noises the woman makes changes from humming to grunting, which tells us that the baby isn't too far away. Then listen to the quiet, and the next noise you will hear is the baby crying - just wonderful!
The other thing I love about this video is the presence of the older sibling who is more interested in playing in the birthing pool.