How can I get ready to manage pain in childbirth?

Ask! Managing pain is something your doctor and the nurses on l&d will be happy to help with. We can treat with IV pain medicines, epidural, and labor coaching. Special conditions (such as prior back surgery or reactions to meds) and concerns are best discussed with your doctor in advance. Special classes, such as bradley or hypnobirth, may be helpful for those desiring to go without medication.
Go with the flow! It's never possible to predict in advance what labor will be like. It's easy to be disappointed if you have your heart set on a medication-free birth, but end up needing a c-section. Or if you plan to have an epidural, but have a very fast labor and don't have time for one. It's best to get information about all the options. Then keep your eye on the goal: to have a healthy baby!
Information. Prepared childbirth classes are just that. The more you know and more you can emotionally prepare the better you are. Unexplained fear may respond to the help of a councelor.