Going it Alone and Want Natural Childbirth

by Barbara

My Partner Doesn't Want to be at the Birth

My Partner Doesn't Want to be at the Birth


Sorry this so long. I have an interesting situation and I am looking for ideas and information ...commiseration…not so much.

Information is empowerment.

I have 3 bigger kids and am expecting my 4th child. I am in my 4th month and although the dad is a grown man, he does not seem to want to participate in this pregnancy. I don't have access to a doula, nor do I want any of my extended family members to attend the birth of this child-I tend to allow them to affect my emotions negatively.

I have some high risk issues (crohns and a non thrombophyilia related dvt, maternal age) that might make it less likely hospital staff will listen to my wish for no interventions unless medically necessary to prevent infant death during labor and delivery. My last child was born naturally and of course my memories of the experience are vague except for recollections of back labor and wanting a c-section at the end because I did not think I was able to push my son out of the birth canal.

Can I attend a Bradley Method child birth class alone? I have never taken a child birth class before. I DO NOT want an IV, constant monitoring, a catheter, an epidural, etc. I DO want my own clothing, the ability to walk, be up and change positions and to use the shower and tub as needed.

I wish the Dad were interested in this child, its growth and its birth...not me (99% of the time)...his behavior makes him seem like a monster, so his callous attitude is a mixed blessing, I guess.

I am so sad that he has chosen not to be here with me FOR THIS CHILD and feel he is missing out on so much. I am working on letting these feelings go but feel often that I am drowning in sorrow for my child. I know how much more heartbroken and yes, abandoned I will feel during labor and delivery.

Any constructive comments on how to deal with this so that I can be calm enough to be listened to and my wishes supported by hospital staff are greatly appreciated. I need to do this by myself, naturally if safe and I feel the need to begin preparations soon even though I go over the typical 10 days.

Dear Barbara,

Yes, you can absolutely attend Bradley Childbirth classes on your own and I highly recommend you do so. I understand you don’t have access to a doula, but by going to class, you will be connected with resources that can help you find someone that can support you during childbirth.

You are correct to assume that you will not be your own best advocate at the hospital while you are in labor. You need to have someone else that can be your advocate and help you have the natural childbirth that you desire so that you can relax and focus on delivering your baby.

Have you considered attending Bradley Birthing classes with a friend who can support you during your labor and birth?

You may also want to explore going with a homebirth midwife for your birth. A midwife will spend more time with you while you are in labor and fills the role of a doctor and doula during a normal birth situation. Even if you do have to transfer to a hospital, she will go with you. Meanwhile, she can make sure that you are laboring safely and that your medical issues are not creating problems. Due to your medical issues, you will likely want to be sure not to go to the hospital too soon.

I’m sorry to hear that the father of your child does not want to participate. In some ways, it may be a blessing. Many men are simply not cut out for childbirth. For them the childbirth process and/or the medical setting can be traumatizing. It is much better for men to bow out than for them to feel overwhelmed and become a liability in the delivery room. If they are fearful, they will transmit that fear to you when you are at your most vulnerable.

That is why I am such a proponent of Bradley Childbirth classes. The videos and discussions in class do a really great job of giving men a constructive role to play during childbirth at the same time it desensitizes them. Not just men attend Bradley Birthing classes! Many of my pregnant moms have brought their sisters, best friends, etc. to class with them so that they can support them during labor and help them during their birth. It really is wonderful preparation for anyone that you might want to support you.

You are so smart for anticipating these issues and for wanting to set yourself up for the best possible birth. Please let me know how it goes.


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