Most childbirth classes welcome fathers as well as mothers. The classes are helpful to fathers because they provide information on what part a partner can play in the labor and delivery process. They also provide the father an opportunity to be more involved in the pregnancy. Your partner can serve as a second set of ears in class, which is helpful because there can be a lot of information to absorb.
What if you would like your partner to attend childbirth classes with you, but he can't or won't? If you really want him to come with you, talk with him about it. Tell him that you would like his support and that you will both benefit from the classes. Ask him why he won't go. Is he concerned that it won't fit into his schedule? Is he nervous about participating in the birth? Does he think he'll feel out of place when women's biological functions are discussed openly?
After determining what's holding him back, look for ways to get around his roadblocks. Check the class times at various hospitals to find one that fits his schedule. If he is worried that he'll feel out of place, remind him that there will be other men in the class who may feel uncomfortable too. Offer him an out by telling him that you don't mind if he takes restroom breaks when the discussions get too graphic. If he continues to be reluctant, ask him to go with you to the first class and then decide whether to continue attending.
If you can't convince him to go with you, consider taking along a good friend or relative to share the experience.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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