It can have a really positive impact during your pregnancy to imagine your birth happening the way that you want it to. Allow yourself to experience it in your mind, how you feel, how your partner supports you, how loved and safe you feel and the overwhelming joy that washes over you as you meet your baby for the first time.
Rehearsing this over and over in your mind can help you believe that your birth can and will be a positive experience. We tend to live up to our own expectations - they often become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
You can also use visualisation techniques during labour. Imagine your body opening easily and your baby moving down. Or imagine a beautiful flower opening up, blooming, it's petals spreading gradually apart. Thinking of an object opening or repeating the words 'open, open' in your mind can help you to release any tension and relax as your cervix softens and opens.
Some women like to visualise a metaphor that is similar to the sensations and emotions of the contractions. For example, imagining the contractions as waves and surfing along with each wave, or letting the waves wash over your body.