First, ask some questions about yourself:
How did you decide on a waterbirth? Was this a decision you came to on your own? Who else impacted your decision for a waterbirth? How did they impact your decision?
Picture yourself laboring and giving birth immersed in water. What about this picture comforts you and what about this picture makes you uncomfortable? How do you feel about nudity? You do not necessarily need to be nude in the tub; it is possible to wear a large t-shirt. Which scenario makes you most comfortable?
Then think about how you might react to various situations:
Plan for the possibility of a birth different from your current expectations. Are you comfortable releasing some control? It is key to remain flexible. Prepare yourself mentally to go with your instincts at the time and to accept the decisions you make during the birth. For instance, think about how you might feel if the baby was not born into water or if you decided to get out of the tub before the actual birth.
The actual birth may not play out exactly like your carefully constructed birth plan. Make sure that you are mentally prepared for this possible reality. Also, let the person/people who will support you throughout labor know not only of your birth plan, but also of your desire and "alternate" plan to go with your instincts.
Personal and practical preparation of body/mind/spirit:
Spend time in the water, swimming for fun, or join a water exercise class. Mothers have greater mobility, increased endurance, feel virtually weightless, stay cool, feel a decrease in fluid retention and feel better emotionally. It is also a great networking environment.(Work out three times a week for 45 minutes) Go solo or bring your partner or a friend.
Discover where "watsu," a specialized water massage is offered. Often times during a "watsu" session, reframing and releasing of past birth trauma can result from a session with a trained practitioner.
Feel free to engage in nightly warm, not hot baths. Light some candles; drop in 8 drops of lavender essence oil. Massage your belly and breasts with pure almond oil. Talk to your baby. Prenatal bonding is as important as postnatal bonding.