Believe it or not, expectant fathers have just as many questions, concerns, worries and doubts about pregnancy and parenthood as expectant mothers do. Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly as many resources and helpful literature available for the father-to-be to get advice and helpful tips about pregnancy as there are for the mother-to-be. Most pregnancy books tell women to eat right, exercise, and maintain a low-stress lifestyle, but they offer very little in the way of explanation of how such choices affect the baby, and those books don’t address the concerns of the dad-to-be.
People tend to forget that new dads also have valid feelings, hopes, concerns and fears about pregnancy, childbirth, and their new babies. Studies show that men experience intense changes in their levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship satisfaction during pregnancy. Why should a father-to-be even concern himself?, you may be asking yourself. After all, he doesn’t have to carry the fetus, deal with morning sickness, the mood swings, weird cravings at 2 a.m., go through labor pains, or give birth to an 8-pound bowling ball!
It’s hard for some people to understand that the expectant father’s physical distance from the process of pregnancy brings its own stress and worries. Most men have a positive reaction to finding out about the pregnancy, but may also have doubts, confusion and fear about all the changes taking place. “What kind of father will I be?” What is happening inside his partner’s body during conception, pregnancy, labor and delivery affects the father physically and emotionally just as much as it does the mother.
Considering the increasing number of fathers who want to be actively involved in the pregnancy and parenting process, from the moment it is learned that a baby is on the way, it’s about time father’s were provided straight-forward facts from a male expert about everything that goes on throughout pregnancy, as well as providing facts and tips about parenting.
Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash have collaborated on the Second Edition of The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be, and is in my opinion the best guidebook for fathers- and mothers-to-be in their journey through the nine months of pregnancy and beyond, far and above any other pregnancy book for men or woman combined. Also included in this edition are chapters on labor and delivery, a chapter on Cesarean sections, as well as a chapter that addresses questions and concerns you may have regarding caring for and getting to know your baby in the first few weeks after bringing him or her home.
Readers of the First Edition of The Expectant Father took great exception to Brott’s seeming overuse of words like “You” and “Your”, causing some readers to feel that Brott was suggesting that fathers were to control all the decision-making in regards to their partner’s pregnancy. My opinion is that those readers were themselves being oversensitive, as subsequent words and sentences made clear (at least to me) that Brott’s intent was for the father- and mother-to-be to make necessary decisions together, rather than feel forced into anything by overbearing physicians, hospitals, nurses and other caregivers.
If you’re expecting your first child, you’re in for a number of surprises, most of them being good ones. Pregnancy can begin with a wide range of emotions for the father (and the mother), stimulating feelings of both fear and hope, so understanding your feelings during this time can help you begin to see how your role from man to dad is developing, and how you can best stay connected and involved in the pregnancy right alongside the mother. Men who are about to become dads often express concern about their partner’s and the baby’s health, worries about money (How are we going to afford this?), and concerns about what type of father you will be (Will I be a good dad?).
This bestselling book, The Expectant Father – now fully updated and expanded, is an information-packed, month-by-month guide to all the emotional, financial, and physical changes the father-to-be may experience during the course of his partner’s pregnancy. The book divides each month of pregnancy into four categories: “What She’s Going Through” (physical and emotion changes), “What’s Going On with the Baby” (physical progress), “What You’re Going Through” (physical and emotional changes) and “Staying Involved” (tips on supporting and encouraging the pregnant partner).
Including wisdom from top experts in the field, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists, the Second Edition of The Expectant Father includes the latest research and is filled with sound advice and practical tips for men, such as:
- How to afford a pregnancy
- Who will help deliver the baby?
- How much is this going to cost?
- Questions about insurance coverage
- What changes may we expect to our sex lives?
- Should we have the baby in the hospital or at home?
- How much does a mid-wife cost?
- Special ways to prepare if you’re adopting a baby
- How to juggle your work and family values
- How to make sense of your conflicting emotions
- What childbirth classes don’t teach you
- How to manage if you are expecting more than one baby
- Ways to support and encourage your partner throughout the pregnancy
- How to deal with the obstacles society places in the way of involved fathers
- What are the nutritional needs of the mother-to-be?
There is discussion on prenatal communication, sex during pregnancy, finding childcare, dealing with late-night wake-ups, changing diapers, dressing babies and young children, sex after pregnancy etc., all from the expectant father’s point of view. Time magazine has penned Brott with the nickname “the superdad’s superdad” and for very good reason. The Expectant Father concludes with an informative chapter called “Fathering Today,” which provides tips on how to overcome the many obstacles contemporary fathers may experience in their role as an actively involved dad.
I feel I should also mention that while reading the book, there may very well be feelings or situations discussed in, for example, the third-month chapter that you may not experience until the sixth or seventh-month, or vice-versa as each and every pregnancy is different. Also added to this edition is information for adoptive fathers, expectant fathers of multiples – twins, triplets, or more.
At the very end of the book is a list of Resources, including phone numbers, addresses, website addresses, contact email addresses where you and your partner can dig even deeper (if that’s possible) into information you may be interested in. My favorite thing about The Expectant Father is that the book is also available in an Audiobook for dads- and moms-to-be to listen to while commuting to and from work, or while simply driving in their car. The Expectant Father is also available as a Father Knows Best -3 Pack Deal! which allows interested readers the opportunity to get all three amazing books in a set. Truly an awesome, super-pack of information, and most definitely a must-read for all new dads.
Birthing Options – Natural Childbirth Options For Expectant Mothers
Baby Needs Checklist – Basic Baby Needs for Newborn Babies
Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born
Pregnant Teenagers – Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy