A great quote I once read said "If you think you can, you can!" This attitude can make all the difference in your life and, subsequently, in the lives of your children.
In the case of natural childbirth, it goes a long way to believe in yourself. Also important is the amount of infomation you arm yourself with.
Before even my first pregnancy, I knew that the hospital was not where I wanted to bring a child into the world. I had decided, believed in myself, and that was that. So, with the help of a fantastic midwife, my first two children were born at my parents' home. The beauty of this was beyond description. I grew up in that house, married in the back yard, and now birthed my children there.
With my twin pregnancy, the situation was a bit different in that the midwife could not legally attend a twin home birth. We signed on with a doctor that would allow the midwife to attend the birth even in an operating room scenario. The doctor was used to "high risk" pregnancies. He was not used to women like me with definite ideas on not using continual monitoring, drugs, or interventions of any kind. I had the backing of a successful and capable midwife and much research when we let the doctor know that I would be pushing the babies out despite their breech presentations. Doctors these days usually automatically perform cesarean section operations on breech presentations because they are trained to do so. (Think $)
Check out Mothering Magazine's latest issue for a very interesting article on the rise of cesarean births.
The impact of birth experiences is wholistic. That is, it probably affects the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical being of both the mother and the child. Keep this in mind when you are deciding on the professionals you choose to help, and when you decide how you are going to birth your children.
"First you decide that you're going to do it. Then you go out and do it." Ani DiFranco