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The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be

3.5 53
by Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash

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The fourth edition of this best-selling, ground-breaking, information-packed guide for dads-to-be is now significantly, updated, revised, and expanded.

We are expecting! The twentieth-anniversary edition of this thoroughly updated and revised parenting classic remains the most informative and reassuring book for expectant fathers everywhere. In


The fourth edition of this best-selling, ground-breaking, information-packed guide for dads-to-be is now significantly, updated, revised, and expanded.

We are expecting! The twentieth-anniversary edition of this thoroughly updated and revised parenting classic remains the most informative and reassuring book for expectant fathers everywhere. In addition to sharing the wisdom of the ages, Armin A. Brott, Mr. Dad, presents new insight into the emotional, financial, and physical—yes, physical—effects of impending parenthood on men. Thanks to this handy reference moms-to-be will know their partner understands and supports them during this anxious and exciting time, and that he has all the tools he needs to be a fantastic, hands-on dad.

This information-packed, month-by-month guide incorporates the expertise of top practitioners in their fields, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists. It also draws from Brott’s own experience as a father of three and from the real-world experiences of the thousands of dads he’s interviewed. With the humor of New Yorker cartoons and Brott’s gentle approach, The Expectant Father serves as a friendly and readable companion for dads-to-be seeking confidence, guidance, and joy!

What’s new in this edition of The Expectant Father?
• The latest health and safety info
• How technology is changing fatherhood
• How men's brains change by being involved during pregnancy
• Society’s shifting expectations for dads
• The amazing effects on children when fathers are active partners before birth
• How pre-birth participation makes dads more likely to be active parents post-birth
• Updated resources

. . . and new research on the big questions that haven't changed much over the years:
• Am I really ready to be a dad?
• How are we going to afford this? How do I balance work and family?
• Will I be able to handle labor and delivery while being there for my partner? What if something goes wrong?
• How will this affect my relationship with my partner?
• Will we ever have sex again?
• What am I supposed to do with a new baby?
• How can I be a good dad?
• Will I ever see my friends again or have any time to myself?

Editorial Reviews

Obviously, this book fills a need: In three previous versions, The Expectant Father has been a popular book, endorsed by proud pops-to-be and their appreciative partners. The new updated, revised, and expanded paperback original possesses the light, informative tone that made it a subject standard; yet never shirks its responsibility to make papa a helpful and significant part of the nine-month process and beyond. A real-world feel; sensible facts and pointers. Easy to recommend.

From the Publisher

Praise for The Expectant Father:

"This is an essential book for all expectant fathers." --Publisher's Weekly

"Brott writes honestly and earnestly. His wry sense of humor will be a relief to hassled parents." -- Time magazine

"...stood out immediately...because of its perceptive insights"--San Francisco Chronicle

"The best guidebook to date for both the prospective father and his partner in their journey through the nine months of pregnancy... a must for fathers-to-be." -- John Munder Ross, Ph.D., author of What Men Want and Father and Child

"One would be hard put to find a question about having a baby that’s not dealt with here, all from the father’s point of view." -- Library Journal

"For fathers soon expecting the ultimate gift—a new member of the family—The Expectant Father is his best friend." --CNN Interactive

iParenting Media Award

"The What to Expect When You’re Expecting for men. . . . If you know an expectant father, first baby or not, make sure he has this book. --Full-Time Dads

"...extraordinarily helpful...packed with specific advice."—Portland Oregonian

Winner, 2005 Adding Wisdom award from Parent-to-Parent

"For the dad-to-be, author Armin Brott's The Expectant Father is a terrific gift, offering insight into pregnancy and the first few weeks of parenthood."

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
My husband Christopher is anticipating his first Father's Day with our baby Christy, now eight months old, and happily agreed to be the dad consultant for this review. First on his list of recommendations were Armin Brott's friendly, informative guides: The Expectant Father and The New Father. Interspersed with a month-by-month account of the development of the fetus in the first book and infant in the second are discussions of dad's emotions, tips on financial planning, and ways to support the mother. Cartoons and amusing anecdotes throughout keep the funny bone well tickled.
Library Journal
There is plenty of literature available for expectant mothers but significantly less for fathers-to-be. While both these titles address the overlooked father, their different approaches complement each other. Brott and Ash give practical advice on everything from where to have the birthhospital or hometo how to start a college fund. How much does delivery by a midwife cost? What are the nutritional needs of the mother-to-be? Prenatal communication, sex during pregnancy, crib furnishingsone would be hard put to find a question about having a baby that is not dealt with here, all from the expectant father's point of view. In addition to practical problems, a man experiences profound, personal changes when he becomes a father. Heinowitz's goal is to help expectant fathers become the kind of engaged, involved fathers that they wish to be. In the process, he discusses coming to terms with one's own experience of childhood, accepting one's own feelings and emotions, dealing with the stress of parenthood, and even fathering through divorce. Both books will be very useful not only for expectant fathers but also for men wondering if fatherhood is right for them, and both are highly recommended for all public libraries and medical libraries serving obstetricians and their patients.John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Publishers Weekly
In this updated third edition of Brott's guide for new fathers, the parenting expert (Fathering Your Toddler) gives dads-to-be a month-by-month breakdown of what to expect as they prepare to welcome a baby into their family. For each month, Brott and Ash give a rundown of what mothers, babies, and fathers are experiencing physically and emotionally, from moodiness and food cravings (which fathers aren't exempt from) to balancing fatherhood with work. Rather than simply offering a laundry list, Brott and Ash explore, explain, and perhaps most importantly, assuage anxiety about the issues that arise and evolve over the course of a pregnancy. Seemingly every topic of concern is covered, from morning sickness, foods to avoid, midwives, doulas, and adoption to worries over miscarriage and birth defects, the latter addressed with calm, sympathetic advice. Brott and Ash's measured, experienced tone offers assurance and guidance for those new to the stresses and worries of impending fatherhood, making this a must-have for anyone expecting. (Sept.)

Product Details

Abbeville Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Fourth Edition, Fourth Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Expectant Father

The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be

By Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash

Abbeville Press

Copyright © 2015 Armin A. Brott
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7892-1213-9


When my wife got pregnant with our first child, I was the happiest I’d ever been. That pregnancy, labor, and the baby’s birth was a time of incredible closeness, tenderness, and passion. Long before we’d married, my wife and I had made a commitment to participate equally in raising our children. And it seemed only natural that the process of shared parenting should begin during pregnancy.

Since neither of us had children before, we were both rather ill prepared for pregnancy. Fortunately for my wife, there were literally hundreds of books and other resources designed to educate, encourage, support, and comfort women during their pregnancies. But when it finally hit me that I, too, was expecting (although in a very different kind of way), and that the pregnancy was bringing out feelings and emotions I didn’t understand, there simply weren’t any resources for me to turn to. I looked for answers in my wife’s pregnancy books, but information about what expectant fathers go through (if it was discussed at all) was at best superficial, and consisted mostly of advice on how men could be supportive of their pregnant wives. To make things worse, my wife and I were the first couple in our circle of close friends to get pregnant, which meant that there was no one else I could talk to about what I was going through, no one who could reassure me that what I was feeling was normal and all right.

Until fairly recently, there has been precious little research on expectant fathers’ emotional and psychological experiences during pregnancy. The very title of one of the first articles to appear on the subject should give you some idea of the medical and psychiatric communities’ attitude toward the impact of pregnancy on men. Written by William H. Wainwright, M.D., and published in the July 1966 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was called “Fatherhood as a Precipitant of Mental Illness.” (Another wonderful title that came out at about the same time was: “Psychoses in Males in Relation to Their Wives’ Pregnancy and Childbirth.”)

As you’ll soon find out, though, an expectant father’s experience during the transition to fatherhood is not confined simply to excitement—or mental illness; if it were, this book would never have been written. The reality is that men’s emotional response to pregnancy is no less varied than women’s; expectant fathers feel everything from relief to denial, fear to frustration, anger to joy. And for up to 80 percent of men, there are physical symptoms of pregnancy as well (more on this on pages 74–79).

So why haven’t men’s experiences been discussed more? In my opinion it’s because we, as a society, value motherhood more than fatherhood, and we automatically assume that issues of pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing are women’s issues. But as you’ll learn—both from reading this book and from your own experience—that’s simply not the case.

From the very beginning, my goal in writing The Expectant Father has been to help you—the father—understand and make sense of what you’re going through , the better prepared you’ll be and the more likely you’ll be to take an interest in—and stayed involved throughout—the pregnancy. Research has shown that the earlier fathers get involved (and what could be earlier than pregnancy?), the more likely they are to be involved after their children are born. And that’s good for your child, good for you, and good for your relationship with your child’s mother.

All that’s very nice, of course, but it’s clearly dependent on your partner’s being pregnant. So a good understanding of her perspective on the pregnancy—emotional as well as physical—is essential to understanding how you will react. It was precisely this perspective that Jennifer Ash, along with my wife and hundreds of other expectant and new mothers I’ve interviewed over the years, provided. Throughout the process of writing the book, all of these women contributed valuable information and comments, not only about what pregnant women are going through but also about the ways women most want men to be involved, and the impact that involvement has on the entire pregnancy experience.

Throughout the book I try to present straightforward, practical information in an easy-to-absorb format. Each of the main chapters is divided into four sections, as follows:

What’s Going On with Your Partner
Even though this is a book about what you as an expectant father are going through during pregnancy, and how you can best stay involved, it’s critical that you understand what your partner is going through and when. For that reason, we felt that it was important to start each chapter with a summary of your partner’s physical and emotional pregnancy experience.

What’s Going On with the Baby
You can’t very well have a pregnancy without a baby, right? This section lets you in on your future child’s progress—from sperm and egg to living, breathing infant—and everything in between.

What’s Going On with You
This section covers the wide range of feelings—good, bad, and indifferent—that you’ll probably experience at some time during the pregnancy. It also describes such things as the physical change you may go through, your dreams, your changing values, your relationship with other people, and the ways the pregnancy may affect your sex life.

Staying Involved
While the “What’s Going On with You” section covers the emotional and physical side of pregnancy, this section gives you specific facts, tips, and advice on what you can do to make the pregnancy “yours” as well as your partner’s. For instance, you’ll find easy, nutritious recipes to prepare, information on how to start a college fund for the baby, valuable advice on getting the most out of your birth classes, great ways to start communicating with your baby before he or she is born, tips on finding work/family balance (hint: there’s no such thing, but with planning, you may be able to get close). And sprinkled throughout, you’ll find suggestions for how to be supportive of your partner and how to stay included at every stage of the pregnancy.

The Expectant Father covers more than the nine months of pregnancy. We’ve included a detailed chapter on labor and delivery and another on Cesarean section, both of which will prepare you for the big event and how best to help your partner through the birth itself. Perhaps even more important, these chapters prepare you for the often overwhelming emotions you may experience when your partner is in labor and your child is born.

We’ve also included a special chapter that addresses the major questions and concerns you may have about caring for and getting to your child in the first few weeks after you bring him or her home. If someone hasn’t brought them for you already, I’d recommend that you rush right out and get copies of The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year and Father Your Toddler: A Dad’s Guide to the Second and Third Years. These books pick up where this one leaves off and continue the process of giving you the skills, knowledge, confidence, and support you’ll need to be the best possible dad. All of them are also available as e-books.

Toward the end of this book there is a chapter called “Fathering Today,” in which you’ll learn to recognize—and overcome—the many obstacles you may encounter along the road to becoming an actively involved dad.

As you go through The Expectant Father, remember that the process of becoming a dad is different for every man, and that none of us will react to the same situation in exactly the same way. You may find that some of what’s described in the “What’s Going On with You” section in the third-month chapter won’t really ring true for you until the fifth month, or that you already experienced it in the first month. I’ve tried to tie the ideas and activities in the “Staying Involved” sections to specific stages of the pregnancy. But, hey, it’s your baby, so if you want to do things in a different order, knock yourself out.


Excerpted from The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash. Copyright © 2015 Armin A. Brott. Excerpted by permission of Abbeville Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Armin A. Brott is a nationally recognized parenting expert and author of Abbeville’s New Father series, including: The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year; Fathering Your Toddler: A Dad’s Guide to the Second and Third Years; Fathering Yout School-Age Child; and The Military Father. He has written on parenting and fatherhood for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and dozens of other publications. He also hosts “Positive Parenting,” a nationally syndicated, weekly talk show and lives with his family in Oakland, California.

Jennifer Ash is the author of Private Palm Beach and a contributing editor to Town and Country. She and her husband Joe, and their son Clarke and daughter Amelia make their home in New York City.

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Expectant Father 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband would never write a review, so i'll just do it for him because we've discussed this book in detail many times. This book was EXACTLY what he was looking for in a 'for dad's-to-be' book! I read it, too, and it really does present practical, realistic advice and information from a man's point of view and talks about some issues that women typically don't focus on while they're pregnant. I found it useful as a discussion-opener because my husband didn't really get into all my 'for mom's-to-be' books and it really opened my eyes to some things that were going on in his head. And i appreciated that it didn't go into pregnant-woman-bashing for the sake of a laugh, like many of the for-mom's books unfortunately seem to do about men.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a first time father, I found this book to be helpful and an easy read. I am following along month by month, and it helps to have a guide to help your wife during her more difficult moments. Recommend this highly!
alisha123 More than 1 year ago
I am only 20 years old and going through my first pregnancy. We originally had another "expecting father book" but it was trash, I mean it was so sarcastic- you couldn't part the facts from the jokes, none of it made sense and it was so degrading, it made me sick. When we bought this book, my husband was zoned in immediately. I was sick that same night we bought it and he was running all over the place telling me not to do this but to do that... It was very helpful and I recommend this book. Other books we've looked at have almost portrayed men to be stupid and this book does not. This book was easier to read then my book even, and there were some facts in there that I still haven't found in my expecting mother book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. My husband and I both read this book. It has great humor to it and covers a lot of issues that a female's pregnancy book doesn't. Money, sex, the raging hormones and changes to MY body from a mans point of view. My husband claims that this book put him to (well some point of) ease about pregnancy and a child. I ABSOLUTELY recommend this book, to both mothers and fathers to be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was recommended by a friend. I am not the type to read about how to be a dad. The book was GREAT. I kept telling my wife 'My book told me that would happen'. It was not just about physical things. It helped me deal with the mood swings and everything else before and after our son was born. I have purchased the book for every one of my friends that is a soon to be dad for the first time. MUST HAVE IT
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book when my wife was pregnant with our first child. It really helped me to understand what she was going through and what to expect before my wife did. It did all this in a fun and informative way, and in layman terms that men can understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Dad-to-Be, I found The Expectant Father to be informative and interesting. My wife and I had already encountered many of the issues discussed in the book and I was happy to see that for the most part, I seemed to be doing the right things. The suggestions for staying involved and maintaining open communication provided ways for my wife and I to participate together in 'our' pregnancy. I especially liked the monthly descriptions of the baby's development. It gave me a clear picture of what he was looking and doing as each month of the pregnancy progressed. If you are looking for a good 'couple' book, I also recommend We're Pregnant! by Cindy and Eugene Kappler. It provides a very realistic look at life as an expectant couple.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really just felt that all the other general purpose pregnancy books that are geared to couples and women have the same information for men. I didn't feel that this additional book was needed. Most of it was what was already in the other pregnancy books the my wife and I have. If you are interested in reading those books, as they are much more detailed about the pregnancy and what the baby and mother are going through, there is nothing new or additional in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A terrific book for 'expectant dads' during the first nine months. Too often, fathers feel like second bananas during their wives' pregnancy, and they don't get as involved with the kids as they'd like to. We need a lot more books that will help new dads become happily involved with their babies from the very beginning!
mdanthony More than 1 year ago
Actually just started reading it and so can't give too much opinion, but for the crazy lady who gave it one star because it apparently "doesn't give women their own say in their pregnancy," you must not have read the same book. I've already read one chapter and your review flies in the face of reality on what the words on the pages say. To your husband...run.
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My husband has bought this for every one of his daddy-to-be friends. He's heard nothing be great reviews from the friends he's given it to. Not only that, but it was the only birth and beyond book that he read from start to finish.
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