Review of The Expectant Father

The Expectant FatherIt seems that for many of us men, we would rather read, or watch a video, in order to inform ourselves about things like pregnancy, childbirth, or fatherhood. We don’t tend to want to actually talk to other fathers and get their insight (yes, I know some of us do, but not nearly to the extent that women seem to be able to talk to each other about these things).

That tendency can come back to bite us if we haven’t been able to find any good resources on these topics, but thanks to the latest edition of The Expectant Father, men who are expecting their first child now have access to a fairly comprehensive resource.

The Expectant Father features chapters covering pregnancy month-by-month, and topics such as which healthy foods to prepare for a pregnant partner, the changing roles of men as a provider or protector (and the role of a man as a stay-at-home dad), sex during pregnancy, and the choices you’ll need to examine during pregnancy and after the birth.

From the publisher:

“Written in an easy-to-absorb format and filled with sound advice and practical tips for men on such topics as how to make sense of your conflicting emotions, how pregnancy affects your sex life, and how to start a college fund, this volume reassures, commiserates, informs, and entertains. It also incorporates the wisdom of top experts in the field, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists.”

I found the book to be pretty objective in terms of alternative choices such as homebirth, cosleeping, and circumcision, and think that it could definitely be of value to dads-to-be. However, I did find a few pieces of misinformation stated as fact, such as saying that an uncircumcised penis needs extra attention (special cleaning), which is simply not true.

I also found it hard to decipher which of the authors was speaking in certain sections (such as when they say that “There is simply no comparison between the two procedures (male and female circumcision), and frankly, I think it’s offensive to mention them both in the same sentence.”), or why they make those assertions, and would caution any reader to do their own research when faced with a decision about their child’s health.

The Expectant Father is not a ‘natural pregnancy and childbirth’ book. It’s pretty mainstream, so if you don’t swing that way, it’ll most likely not be helpful. On the other hand, for most men, this book will cover enough of the issues of pregnancy and becoming a father that it won’t be an issue.

So while I do believe I could endorse this book as a helpful addition to most new fathers’ libraries, I would also again urge any reader to do their own research and make up their own minds, rather than to think “Well, I read it in this one book, so it must be true…”

[I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher, Abbeville Press, but as always, I speak my own mind when writing reviews.]

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

One thought on “Review of The Expectant Father

  • Great review. The number of how-to parenting guides targeting fathers is definitely growing. My favorite parenting book of all time is “Everyday Blessings” by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. A fantastic book about the spiritual aspects of parenting.


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