Trusted by millions of fathers, the New York Times–bestselling guide for dads-to-be is back in a fully revised and updated fourth edition.Armin Brott
―best-selling author, broadcaster, nationally syndicated columnist, and dad of three―is America’s foremost expert on fatherhood
. His wisdom―along with the advice of leading obstetricians and researchers, and the experience of hundreds of real-life dads―is collected here in The Expectant Father
, the essential guide for dads-to-be.
Brott’s reassuring month-by-month overview
of your partner’s pregnancy gives you the tools you need to support your partner, prepare for the baby’s arrival, and take care of yourself during this exciting time. Each chapter covers: What’s going on with your partner
, emotionally and physically What’s going on with the baby
, every step of the way from fertilized egg to newborn What’s going on with you
, as you adjust to the new life stage of fatherhood How to stay involved
: specific ways you can help (and feel included), from attending birthing classes with your partner to starting a college fund
This fully revised fourth edition also includes:
More information about adoptions, multiples, infertility and assisted reproductive technology, and dads in the military
A special section on labor and delivery
: what to expect on the big day
A special section on what comes next
, in the first few months after the baby’s arrival
A handy resource section, connecting you to the best information on every topic related to pregnancy and fatherhood
Illustrated throughout with stress-relieving New Yorker–style cartoons
, The Expectant Father
is a friendly and readable companion for dads-to-be seeking confidence, guidance, and joy. (And Moms will love it, too!) 29 black-and-white cartoons
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 gifta new member of the family The Expectant Father is his best friend." CNN Interactive
"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
packed with specific advice." Portland Oregonian
"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." &mdash BabyCenter(dot)com
Winner, 2005 Adding Wisdom award from Parent-to-Parent
iParenting Media Award
Armin A. Brott is a nationally recognized parenting expert and the author of ten critically acclaimed books for fathers, including The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year and The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the Toddler Years, 12–36 Months. He also writes a syndicated newspaper column, Ask Mr. Dad, and hosts a weekly radio show, Positive Parenting. To learn more, visit his website, mrdad.com.
Jennifer Ash Rudick is the author of several books on interior design, the design editor at large for Galerie magazine, and a producer of documentary films, including the award-winning Iris (with Maysles Films) and Scandalous.
Excerpt from The Expectant Father
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 excitementor 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 7479).
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 learnboth from reading this book and from your own experiencethat’s simply not the case.
WHO, EXACTLY, HAS WRITTEN THIS BOOK?
From the very beginning, my goal in writing The Expectant Father has been to help youthe fatherunderstand 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 inand stayed involved throughoutthe 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 pregnancyemotional as well as physicalis 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.
A NOTE ON STRUCTURE
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 progressfrom sperm and egg to living, breathing infantand everything in between.
What’s Going On with You
This section covers the wide range of feelingsgood, bad, and indifferentthat 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.
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 recognizeand overcomethe 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.