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

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

by Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash

Hardcover(Third Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780789210791
Publisher: Abbeville Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Series: New Father Series
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 409,331
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt


When my wife and I got pregnant in July 1989, I was the happiest I'd ever been. That pregnancy, labor, and the birth of our first daughter was a time of incredible closeness, tenderness, and passion. Long before we'd married, my wife and I had made a commitment to share 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 had children before, we were both rather ill-prepared for pregnancy. Fortunately for my wife, there were literally hundreds of books designed to educate, encourage, support, and comfort women during their pregnancies. But when I began to realize that I, too, was expecting, and that the pregnancy was bringing out feelings and emotions I didn't understand, I couldn't find any books 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, consisting mostly of advice on how men could be supportive of their pregnant wives. And to make things worse, since my wife and I were the first couple in our circle of close friends to get pregnant, 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 the man's 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., andpublished in the July 1966 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was called "Fatherhood as a Precipitant of Mental Illness."

But as you'll soon find out, 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 anywhere from 22 to 79 percent of men, there are physical symptoms of pregnancy as well (more on this on pages 53-55).

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 childbirth and childrearing are women's issues. But as you'll learn--both from reading this book and from your own experience--this is simply not the case.

Who, Exactly, Has Written This Book?

When Jennifer Ash approached me about collaborating with her on The Expectant Father, we agreed that our goal was to help you understand and make sense of what you're going through during your pregnancy. That's an important goal, but one that is clearly dependent on your partner's being pregnant. A good understanding of your partner's perspective on the pregnancy--emotional as well as physical--is essential to understanding how you will react. It was precisely this perspective that Jennifer, whose son was born only a few days after my second daughter, provided. Throughout our collaboration she contributed valuable information and comments not only about what pregnant women are going through but also about the ways women most want men to stay involved.

A Note on Structure

Throughout the book, Jennifer and 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 She's Going Through

Even though this is a book about what you as an expectant father are going through during pregnancy, we felt it was important to summarize your partner's physical and emotional pregnancy experience as well.

What's Going On with the Baby

This section lets you in on your future child's progress--from sperm and egg to living, breathing infant.

What You're Going Through

This section covers the wide range of feelings--good, bad, and indifferent--you'll probably experience at some time during the pregnancy. It also describes the physical changes you may go through, as well as the ways the pregnancy may affect your sex life.

Staying Involved

While the "What You're Going Through" section covers the emotional and physical side of pregnancy, this section gives you the 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, and tips about how to be supportive of your partner and stay included in the pregnancy.

The book covers more than the nine months of pregnancy. Jennifer and I have included a detailed chapter on labor and delivery and another on Cesarean section, both of which prepare you to understand and 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 know your child after you bring him or her home. And finally, we've included a chapter called "Fathering Today," in which you'll learn to recognize--and overcome--the many obstacles contemporary fathers are likely to encounter.

As you go through the book, remember that each of us brings different emotional baggage to our pregnancies, and that none of us will react to the same situation in the same way. You may find that some of the feelings described in the "What You're Going Through" section in the third-month chapter won't really ring true for you until the fifth month, or that you have already experienced them in the first month. You may also want to try out some of the ideas and activities suggested in the "Staying Involved" sections in a different order. Feel free.

A Note on Terminology

Wife, Girlfriend, Lover . . .

In an attempt to avoid offending anyone (an approach that usually ends up offending everyone), we've decided to refer to the woman who's carrying the baby as "your partner."

Hospitals, Doctors . . .

We realize that not everyone who has a baby delivers in a hospital or is under the care of a medical doctor. Still, because this is the most frequent scenario, we've chosen to refer to the place where the baby will be born as "the hospital" and to the people attending the birth (besides you, of course) as "doctors," "nurses," "medical professionals," or "practitioners."

As a rule, today's fathers (and prospective fathers) want to be much more involved with their children than their own fathers were able to be. It's our belief that the first step on the road toward full involvement is to take an active role in the pregnancy. And it's our hope that when you're through reading The Expectant Father--which is the book Jennifer wishes she could have bought for her husband when she was pregnant and I wish I'd had both times my wife and I were pregnant--you'll be much better prepared to participate in this important new phase of your life.

Table of Contents

The First Decisions
The 1st Month: Salad Days
The 2nd Month: The Doctor Will See You Now
The 3rd Month: Spreading the Word
The 4th Month: Money, Money, Money
The 5th Month: The Lights Are on and Somebody’s Home
The 6th Month: Work and Family
The 7th Month: Entering the Home Stretch
The 8th Month: Making a List and Checking It Twice
The 9th Month: “Dear, It’s Time . . .”
Labor and Delivery
Cesarean Section
Gee Honey, Now What Do We Do
Fathering Today

Selected Bibliography

Customer Reviews

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Expectant Father 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 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!
kwmcdonald on LibraryThing 23 days ago
This book was easy reading, and had good information on a month-by-month basis of what to expect during pregnancy. It includes information such as a simple explanation of the particular stage of pregnancy, and what's happening with your wife at this point. This is one of two books I used several years ago to prepare me for being a dad. This was the serious one and contained some actually useful information. To maintain balance in your reading, I suggest "What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding" to go along with this.
jorgearanda on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A quick read of slightly useful (but mostly intuitive) advice for future fathers. U.S.-centric, so a significant chunk of its contents (financial and healthcare stuff, for instance) are not that applicable anywhere else.
EmreSevinc on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I'm an expectant father and our baby is yet to come so maybe I should have written this review some 6 months later. But regardless of what will happen in the future I had a lot of fun reading this book and took lots of notes for further reading and exploration into the topic. This book made me realize how ignorant I had been on the topic of pregnancy and birth, and I'm thankful to the author for writing in a "man-to-man-talk" style. The positive effects of the book can also be seen by listening to my wife's remarks; she became happier when I started to make much more educated comments about her and baby's situation and she was also excited to learn some more information that I gleaned from the book which I happily shared. I'm sure I'll need to learn much more about the process of having a first child and most of it will come from first-hand experience but it is always comforting to get some high quality information from a good resource such as this book. It was also assuring that the authors had the help of a medical doctor for health advice and suggestions.
herebedragons on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Even though I wasn't going to be a dad, I read this while pregnant with my son. Loads of great advice.
cleverusername2 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
The best review I can give for this book is that it really helped me prepare for the delivery room. Some of the information is a bit short on detail, but it gives you some general information. Reading the section on Cesarian section helped me emotionally prepare for my wife's last-minute surgury. Having this book in my pocket to review was a big help.
VVilliam on LibraryThing 25 days ago
An overview of the entire path to fatherhood, from month 1 to the first week home. The book has a good tone with being open to ideas like homebirth, but overall it just asks a lot of questions without providing answers. It's more of a memoir of one man's travel through two pregnancies rather than a book that's applicable to all men. The format is also a little funky, I suggest reading the whole book rather than waiting to read a chapter a month. The sidebars also get very numerous in parts so that it's hard to decide what paragraph to read. Overall a nice book, but it definitely didn't satisfy some of the details and specific tips I need for fatherhood.
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
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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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