What you think is what you get...
From the Midwifery Today newsletter:
A 2002 Taiwan study investigating the association between demographic-obstetric factors and perceived labor pain in 90 primiparas (1st time mothers) having normal births found that their perceived level of pain was related to their expected level of pain. The researchers found no significant association between the pain and newborn birth weight, maternal age, body mass index, confidence in labor or duration of labor. They concluded that the "findings suggest that primiparas' perceived labor pain is correlated with psychogenic rather than physical factors."— Kaohsiung J Med Sci, 18(12):604–09, 2002
So, be mindful of the language you are using. In HypnoBirthing, we teach our class members to eliminate the word "pain" from their language & use the word "sensation". I even have my class members play a little game: Whenever you bump your elbow or knee or stub your toe, instead of instantly saying "Ow! That's painful!", I want you to say, "Oh! What's that sensation!" If you do this exercise, you will find that the sensation is throbbing, stinging, numbness, etc. AND that the sensation will go away much faster than concentrating on the "pain". I encourage my class members to do this exercise often so that their brain begins to be conditioned to look for the sensation rather than an automatic response of pain. That way, when the time comes & labor starts, the body/mind will be trained to go to an automatic "sensation" response as well.