As soon as the pregnancy was confirmed, I started sifting through my local Library’s online catalogue to see if there was any book that could help me prepare for this journey, especially the 9 months. In the following couple of months, I ended up reading 3 books and although all of them were informative in their own way, I found The Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know by Rob Kemp to be the most helpful.
I remember Jen questioning my choice when I picked up this book from the Library as the title suggested to help Dads put up through the 9 months as if it was some sort of punishment; but when I started quoting some points from the book to Jen couple of days later, she got interested and borrowed it from me to read herself. Now that I have read the book (well, almost), I can say that the title is appropriate, but not in a demeaning manner. The book helps prepare the Dad not only from his perspective but also from the Mother’s and Newborn’s point of view.
The book is split into 12 easy-to-read chapters with catchy chapter titles, which are further classified according to the week the pregnancy is in. This particularly helps as the reader can jump directly into the chapter based on our actual pregnancy status (in weeks) and can get focused advice. You can view the full list of Chapters here.
The introduction is slick and quickly jumps on to “Chapter 1: Discovering You’re About to Become a Dad, Pregnancy: Weeks 0-8”. Chapter 2 was considerably informative for me especially since Jen was a little apprehensive about miscarriage and was being extra cautious. This chapter provides tips on some common causes of miscarriages from everyday steps of life and how best to avoid them, for example, clearing up after cats and dogs (animal waste contains parasites which can cause Toxoplasmosis leading to miscarriage), doing the gardening, handling raw meat, being vigilant whilst cooking and handling dairy products or eggs at home. These are all small yet important gestures that Dads could handle to ensure sufficient support to the Moms.
The subsequent chapters will expose the reader to a myriad of Hospital appointments with earmarks on which ones the Dad should not miss and which ones are fine for the Mom to attend by herself. Further chapters talk about practical stuff like gears to buy for the baby, moving house into a larger space, finances, preparing the nursery, workplace arrangements and even Parent benefits provided by the Government. The book gets a bit serious as you get closer to the EDD (Estimated Delivery Date) and explains in brief what are the pain relief options, what to pack for the Hospital visit, how you as a Dad can help the Mom feel relaxed and calm, dealing with C-section etc.
All of the chapters include a section called ‘Expectant Dads’ Experiences’ which are funny yet informative and tactfully describe the different ways in which Dads react to the same event.
The last 2 chapters are focused on Postpartum and up to 6 months respectively, which I have saved for a later date to read. And at the end there is a Glossary, section with Useful Resources and a handy Index.
In my opinion, the Author has done a commendable job in packing information in an interesting, catalogued and progressive manner ensuring that all key points to prepare for the pregnancy as well as to embark on the journey are discussed. The whole narrative comes across as if you are talking to a good friend who has gone through pregnancy himself and at no point is offensive. There are some dry jokes thrown in here and there which some readers might object to, but hey, that’s usual guy banter. And mind you, this book is primarily aimed at Dads.
If I had to find any fault in this book, it would be that one or two chapters are a bit short where the reader is left longing for more information, for example “Chapter 3 Testing Time Pregnancy Weeks 13-16” focuses entirely on scans and tests whereas misses to explain what is going through the Mom’s mind and how the Dad can be further supportive.
Overall, this is a must-read book for all New-Dads and a good refresher/resource for Dads expecting more children.
Being-Dad Rating: 9/10