The Everything Father-To-Be Book: A Survival Guide for Men

( 3 )

Overview

Congratulations, you're going to be a father! You're probably facing a wide range of issues -- from coping with your beloved's hormones to setting up the house to anxiously awaiting the big day. It all seems so overwhelming and exciting at the same time. If you feel nervous about the prospect of being a dad, or you are confused about your new role, The Everything Father-to-Be Book is for you. Packed with helpful information and experienced advice, this useful guide will help you survive the next nine months and ...
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Overview

Congratulations, you're going to be a father! You're probably facing a wide range of issues -- from coping with your beloved's hormones to setting up the house to anxiously awaiting the big day. It all seems so overwhelming and exciting at the same time. If you feel nervous about the prospect of being a dad, or you are confused about your new role, The Everything Father-to-Be Book is for you. Packed with helpful information and experienced advice, this useful guide will help you survive the next nine months and be a better caregiver when your baby arrives. Whether this is your first child or your fourth, The Everything Father-to-Be Book contains all you need to be a super dad and the perfect partner.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440504617
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The New World of Fatherhood

It is a brand new world for fathers today. Being a father now is far different than it was for your father. These changes bring greater challenges and responsibilities for men, but also immense rewards and joys. This chapter will prepare you for what to expect on the road ahead.

Becoming a Father

To state the obvious: Being a father is different than being a mother. You have a different role in the family, and a different job to do. You see things differently than your partner does. And you will have a different relationship with your child than her. Some of the most crucial differences between a father and a mother occur during pregnancy. The most dramatic, and visible, changes occur with the woman. Her body changes as the baby grows inside her. Along with these physical changes come a whole host of emotions.
A father, on the other hand, is an entirely different breed of cat. Although some men experience sympathy pains and other physical symptoms that we will discuss in Chapter 3, virtually nothing happens directly to him. His body does not expand and change. He's the same fella he always was except that, now, he is about to have a little rug rat crawling around the house. Yikes!
The unique challenge that men face is that they must come to terms with becoming a father almost solely on an emotional level, rather than a physical one. But the good news for fathers-to-be today is that there is an unprecedented level of support and a wide variety of resources available to them. Some of those resources are:

*This book and others like it that speak to men
*Father and parenting web sites on the Net
*Chat groups on the Net
*Other fathers
*Men's and father support groups
*Your partner and family

These and other resources are potentially useful to men, and will be discussed in greater detail as this book progresses. It is important for new fathers to realize that they are not alone as they embark on this journey.

The Internet is a boundless source of information that can help answer specific questions that arise. Some of this information is reliable, some not. On medical issues involving pregnancy, it is always best to follow a physician and your own common sense rather than the Net, your mother-in-law or any one else who may offer advice.

Today's Fathers: Greater Expectations, Greater Rewards

Today, more is expected of fathers than ever before. You are expected to be a good provider, but that is not all. Nowadays you are also expected to actively participate in the birth of your child, and take a hands-on approach in raising him. Additionally, your partner expects you to always be there for her in a loving, nurturing way. It's a lot to handle, no? At times it can seem overwhelming. But fatherhood is like a job and like any job, it helps to know what your responsibilities are and how you fit in. Here, then, is a general job description for being a father:

Job One: Provider-Protector

Despite all the changes that have occurred to fatherhood over the years, your primary role is the same as it was for the cave men and every father since then. You need to provide for your family, and protect them to make sure they are safe. The mother's primary focus will be inward, on the baby. Yours will be on creating a safe, secure place to raise your child.
Men are hard-wired for this job. It is not something that you will need to go to school to learn. Often the first thoughts a man has when he learns his partner is pregnant is, "How am I going to pay for this? Do I need to work more? What do I need to do to make this happen?"
All men have these thoughts or similar ones. They are normal and natural, an instinctive reaction to the promise and responsibility of childbirth. Being a good provider is the most fundamental way you can help your partner and child. Job Two: Participant
One of the biggest jobs a father has is as a birth coach, which will be discussed later in this chapter and in much greater detail in Chapter 14. But being a birth coach is only one aspect of a larger requirement for fathers today: They are expected to participate in all areas of family and household life. This is in part due to the fact that many women are themselves working outside the home, and need more help from their partners with the baby.
Being asked to participate more may seem like a negative at first. But it can be a positive. With greater responsibilities come greater rewards. Since you are around your child more-changing diapers, feeding her, walking her, or whatever-you develop a closer relationship with her. Which is what every father wants.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Top Ten Things Every Father-to-Be Should Know x
Introduction xi
1 The New World of Fatherhood 1
Becoming a Father 2
Greater Expectations, Greater Rewards 3
Birth Then and Now 5
Dad as Birth Coach 6
A Different Role for You 8
The Changes Ahead 9
2 Conception and Pregnancy 11
Planned and Unplanned 12
Hearing the News 12
Your Job Begins: Reassuring Her 14
The Home Pregnancy Test 15
The Blood Test 16
Looking Ahead to the Due Date 17
What Happens Now? 18
Sharing the News 19
Early Workplace Strategies 21
3 Riding the Pregnancy Roller Coaster 25
The Stages of Pregnancy 26
Morning Sickness 29
Cravings 30
Her Changing Body 31
Sympathy Pains 32
A Volatile Issue: Her Weight 33
The Emotional Roller Coaster 36
4 Doctors and Medical Tests 39
What's Involved? 40
The Obstetrician 40
Prenatal Doctor Visits 42
Monitoring Progress 43
Ultrasound Exams 44
Boy or Girl? 46
Surprise! It's Twins! 49
Amniocentesis 50
Threat of Miscarriage 51
5 Your Suddenly Expanding Family 55
Your Shifting Social World 56
Her Family 57
Your Family 60
Accepting Help 62
Feelings of Isolation 62
Coping Strategies 63
6 Common Fears 67
Your Feelings Are Normal 68
Passing Out in the Delivery Room 68
Not Being Able to Provide 69
Is It Really My Child? 71
Aging and Mortality 71
Becoming like Dad 73
Will My Relationship Be Hurt? 75
Concerns about Your Partner 76
Concerns about Baby 76
Getting Support 77
7 The Economics of Having a Baby 81
Money Worries 82
Money: It's a Family Affair 83
The Emotions of Money 84
Setting Your Priorities 86
Strategies for Getting Money 86
Baby Expenses 89
Getting Help 90
8 Long-Term Financial Issues 93
Why Your Perspective Is Valuable 94
Buying a Bigger Vehicle 94
Owning a Home 96
Life Insurance 98
Will and Estate Planning 100
Saving for College 101
Thinking about Retirement 102
9 Job, Work, Career 103
Your Role as Provider 104
Planning for When Baby Comes 104
Steps to Take at Work 106
Family and Medical Leave Act 107
Paternity Leave 108
Negotiating Time and Flexibility 109
Other Job Options 111
Her Job and Workplace 112
Daddy Track and Mommy Track Concerns 113
Getting a Better Job 115
Working at Home 116
10 Health: Yours, Hers, and the Baby's 119
Leading the Way 120
Alcohol 120
Cigarette Smoking 122
Recreational and Over-the-Counter Drugs 123
Eating Healthy 124
Developing Healthy Habits 126
Cooking 127
Exercise 129
Her Need for Rest 130
11 Sex During Pregnancy 131
Sex and the Pregnant Father 132
Understanding Your Partner 132
Your Attitude 134
Will Sex Hurt the Baby? 136
Holding and Cuddling 138
Finding a Comfortable Position 139
Toward a New Intimacy 141
12 Making Sound Decisions 143
Speak Up: It's Your Child, Too 144
Naming the Little One 145
How Much Do We Tell Other People? 147
Home Birth versus Hospital 149
Having the Birth You Both Want 150
Developing a Birth Plan 151
Circumcision 152
Birth Control 154
Diapers 155
13 Preparing Your Home and Car 157
The Nesting Instinct 158
Fixing Up the Nursery 159
Building a Crib 160
The Family Bed 162
Babyproofing Your Home 163
In the Event of an Emergency 164
Staying in Touch: Cell Phones 167
Car Seats 167
14 Birth Coach 171
What a Birth Coach Does 172
Childbirth Preparation Classes 174
Supporting Mom Physically 175
Providing Emotional Support 176
The Lay of the (Hospital) Land 177
What to Bring to the Hospital 179
Having a Family Member Assist You 180
Hiring a Professional Labor Assistant 181
15 The Big Day Arrives 183
Getting Labor Started 184
The Stages of Labor 185
Early Signs of Progress 187
Keeping Early Labor Moving Along 188
Things You Need to Do 189
The Best Place for Early Labor 192
The Drive to the Hospital 193
16 Labor and Delivery 195
Checking In 196
Being Sent Home 197
Birthing Room Procedures 198
The Birth Team 200
When Labor Stalls 202
Pain Relief Options 203
Pushing 204
Congratulations! You're a Father! 205
The Afterbirth 207
17 Real-Life Birth Scenarios 209
Expect the Unexpected 210
Premature Birth 211
Emergency Roadside Delivery 213
Medical Intervention 213
Baby Is Late 215
Cesarean Delivery 216
Coaching a Cesarean Birth 217
Recovery from a Cesarean 220
Trusting Your Instincts (and Hers) 221
18 The Immediate Aftermath 223
Taking a Moment with Your New Family 224
Baby Wellness Tests 224
Letting Everyone Know 225
Other Jobs and Responsibilities 227
Meeting Siblings 229
Taking Pictures 230
Shooting with a Camcorder 231
Celebrating the Arrival 232
Taking Mom and Baby Home 233
19 Baby Comes Home 235
So What Do We Do Now? 236
Introducing Baby to Your Pet 236
Supporting Your Family 238
The Breastfeeding Challenge 239
Helping Out Around the House 242
Caring for Your Child 243
Getting Rest 246
Emotional Highs and Lows 246
20 What's Ahead for You and Your Family 249
Surviving the First Months 250
The Work-Family Balance 250
Exploring Other Options 252
Finding Child Care 253
The Battle for Sleep 255
Time and Money Pressures 257
You and Your Partner 257
You and Your Baby 260
Remembering to Enjoy 261
Appendix A Suggested Reading for New Fathers 264
Appendix B Web Sites for Fathers 265
Index 267
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