A really easy way to start thinking about the way you want to give birth to your baby is to research lots of stuff on the internet. One of my HypnoBirthing couples (from the HypnoBirthing class in March 2009) allocated 2 hours each evening when the both of them were totally consumed by the amount of information. To research the birthing information correctly you must create a list of things that interest you in birthing your baby.
For example, you want to give birth painlessly, and naturally. You might come up with a series of trainings, books, and techniques for painless natural childbirth. One of my student moms actually mentioned that she wants a bit of discomfort, so she could feel her body, baby moving down the path and the chance to use the techniques that she learned in her hypnosis class.
Secondly, you might want to research about various birthing practitioners. Doulas, midwives, doctors, nurses. To find out what they do, so you can choose being informed. There is nothing worse than making a decision about something important like.... birthing your baby, and not knowing what the options are.
Many mothers come to my class uninformed about child birth, about what hospital procedures are, what doulas do why they need them and what midwives are for. They believe that their doctor will stay with them through the hours of labor and then wave a magic wand and the baby is born.
It is not so. Your own participation is important.
A good start is to read a good HypnoBirthing book, by Marie Mongan. Mongan is the creator of the HypnoBirthing theory and the series of curriculum standard classes that moms and dads take in order to prepare for the birth.
If you chose a hospital birth you must decide if you want medicated birth or normal birth and from this point direct your research further.
A student mom asked me what she needs to do, on her 29th week of pregnancy, if after reading the hypnobirhting book she found out that her doctor is not a natural birth friendly. I can't advise on that! She decided to stay in line with the hypnosis techniques for birth she was learning and she decided to ditch the doctor and find another hospital to birth her baby in. I went out to communicate on the chat-line for midwives and doulas to help her locate an available midwife and doula. We'll update on this next week.
So you don't find yourself in a position where you are unsure on how you doctor feels about your wish to birth, research early.