on February 8, 2009
I'm a guy and actually bought this book for myself (rather than getting it as a gift or bought for me by my wife). Was this book really written by a guy? Facts are wrong, information is dated, and the guy is an over sensitive neurotic. Freeze your placenta? Jealousy? Extramarital affairs? I did this...I did that...look at me...look at me.... Yikes.
Can I get my money back? Can I swear?
on May 16, 2002
It's hard to describe this book without insulting the author for this ridiculous and shallow work; indeed, I often felt my intelligence insulted when I read it. It adopts the most demeaning and infantile attitude towards the men who are supposed to read it: as if we need to be continuously reminded that pregnancy and birth are life-changing events, and the book often stupidly reminds its supposed audience that our wives' experiences are physiological and emotional or that we men have roles to play.
The book's least-common-intelligence tone can be appreciated in 3 minutes by leafing through the stupid and unnecessary cartoons that provide filler to expand the book. They aptly appeal to an audience with short attention spans and a hunger for pointless diversion--and they rarely have anything to do with the book!
on November 19, 2006
I bought this book for my husband, thinking 'aww' a book especially for him. My husband hated it. And on reading so did I. The author obviously has a very usual relationship with his wife as he often talks about feelings of jealously between them. Its very unusual. For example "when you feel the baby kicks your wife might feel jealous as so far its been her private pregnancy"! How ridiculous how would jealousy ever come into it! The book assumes all men are concerned about is finances - it has pages and pages on money, insurance etc. there is nothing much about the joys you feel as a father. If your husband is kind hearted, honest and is truly looking forward to pregnancy and the birth of his child I would advise not to buy this book. The tone is very negative and some of the statements and assumptions about what "men" and "women", are very generalised bordering on ridiculous ie "your partner might be worried that you're going to leave her" what the heck?. It seems very personally related to the authors experience, and is simply selling because it is one of the only books packaged to be directly aimed at men. I would suggest the book "the birth partner" it is for men/the partner and is written in a matter of fact and open way (the author is not overly emotionally involved) - getting you to ask questions about how you would feel about certain situations rather than dictating how you do feel. READ THE OTHER 1 STAR REVIEWS FOR THIS BOOK AND YOU'LL SEE EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!
on December 23, 2003
Someone gave me this book during my wife's first month of pregnancy. At first I was reluctant to read it but I finally did and I'm very glad. First, the author covers an huge amount of territory very thoroughly and sensitively. What most most surprising, though, was that I saw myself in almost every chapter. It was incredibly reassuring to find out that I wasn't the only one who was having the kinds of worries and concerns and questions I did. And it was even more reassuring to learn ways to stay as involved in the pregnancy as possible.
Unfortunately there aren't a lot of places where expectant dads can get the support and reassurance that this book provides. And the author does it all with a great sense of humor but without dumbing down the information, as most of the other books supposedly geared to dads do. Throughout I felt respected and understood.
Interestingly, I saw my wife reading The Expectant Father on a number of occasions and she told me that she actually liked it much better than many of the books that are written for women. This book isn't political, and the author doesn't try to jam any particular kind of philosophy down the reader's throat.
As odd as it sounds, I know that I'm going to be a much better father thanks to reading this book. It gave me the tools and confidence I needed. I've already bought the follow-up book, The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year, which I also highly recommend.
on November 18, 2003
I got about a third of the way through before I put the book down and walked away. I'm as sensitive new age guys as most Left Coast urban guys, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way. The author is pretty pedantic about the baby-making process, since evidently he slept through sex-ed and thinks us guys did, too.
I can probably summarize the book this way:
1. Sperm + egg = baby!
2. You're the father of the child. Let's get in touch with that feeling. That's... OK. I can accept my fatherhood.
3. Your wife/girlfriend/woman having your baby is having a horrible time. This is because she's having a baby. Please see #1.
4. What mother wants, mother gets. Do not question #4. Ever.
5. Let's return to that getting in touch with that feeling thing again.
What I want is a guy's book written from a guy's perspective that isn't sappy, trite, or just tells guys to sit down and shut up. I wish someone could create something that's funny, interesting, informative, and relatively short, something like Kaz Cooke's Up The Duff (aka Bun In The Oven). Wish someone would write one....
on August 18, 2003
It seems so long ago I got this book - my wife brought it back from a business trip hoping that it would be "necessary"; she had instructed me to go to the pharmacy to pick up the pregnancy test ready for her.
Luckily the book was needed and prooved to be most useful. If you are the to-be-Dad and are annoyed that in these days of sharing, there aren't any books aimed at you, here is the book you need.
Along side a lot of stuff you'll find in the standard maternity books, are some thoughts about what you might be feeling, about how your life will change and ideas about how to help out. Probably the best pieces of advice I got from this was to make sure you would be a father, not a surrogate mother. For instance, Armin makes the point that often a Dad having to stay home for the day with their child(ren) will say they are babysitting. No, Armin says, you are not babysitting - you are being a father.
This philosophy has been very helpful as I have helped my daughter grow. My wife stays at home and so gets the lion share of the attention, but I've re-arranged my workday so I now leave in the wee hours and get back home by 4.30 - which gives me a lot of time with my daughter. I think reading this book really helped me to make those sort of choices.
My one grumble is that Armin can be a bit dismissive of us men. OK, seeing some of my family members, perhaps he's right but they would never have read this book anyway! It seems to me that us Dads reading this book probably don't have to be told that it would be helpful to do some cooking or cleaning when our wife / girlfriend is pregnant or the baby has recently arrived because we are already doing so!
on April 19, 2003
A quick Amazon search reveals 3,523 pregnancy books on the market. How many of these are written for the mother? About 3,510. A dozen others use sarcasm and exaggerated humor -- often at the expense of the pregnant mother -- rather than useful information to draw the heathen male into the future world of parenting. There has got to be a better way for a father-to-be to learn what he has gotten himself into.
Fortunately there is. The Expectant Father is that 3,523rd book. It is a well-written, month-by-month explanation of what is going on both emotionally and physically with the mother, the baby, and you the father. At 250 pages plus references, it is packed with information while still being portable. It doesn't necessarily go into a great amount of detail on each subject, but it mentions most important things at least in passing, and you can always refer to the Internet or What to Expect... (which your partner will undoubtedly have on her nightstand) for more details.
Be forewarned: this book is slightly new-agey at points. But hey, Brott is just offering suggestions that the reader is free to ignore. Overall this is a useful reference written with the father-to-be in mind as a principal reader, not an afterthought.
on March 24, 2003
My husband and I have a pile of books on pregnancy. Most of the books written for women dwell on the many problems that can arise (both serious and mundane) during pregnancy. Dreary. Not a single one of the others contains word one about planning for college or any financial issue. In fact, one of my books advises me not to worry about finances because "that's the father's department." Pretty ridiculous since he will be staying at home and I (the mother) will be working full time.
This book, unlike those, does address this issue very competently. It is, I think, one of the best pregnancy books we have (i.e. I can't stand the supremely pedantic "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and think "Your Pregnancy Week by Week," while not pedantic, has no information the other does not.)
This book contains many useful facts for the father to be and is written in such a way as to be helpful to mother and father. My husband has absorbed more dos and don't during pregnancy from this one book than I have in reading 5 other books. It contains an excellent list of questions to ask your obstetrician. Things everyone needs to know but may never think to ask.
Bottom line - we love this book and would recommend it to anyone expecting a baby. It is easy reading while being informative and doesn't overdo the medical lingo (or the whole medical issue).
on March 4, 2003
Written to an audience of men, the author Armin Brott strikes a chord with those who are often forgotten, ignored, and disregarded during the important processes of pregnancy and childbirth. His detailed and often humorous accounts of his own experiences inspire respect and admiration - as well as establish him as an authority on the subject.
Each stage of the pregnancy is detailed with "what's happening with the baby" "what's happening with the mother" and "what's happening with you" segments that provide valuable details.
This book gives you the tools you need to make informed decisions on everything from childbirth preparation to choosing medical professionals to diet and exercise to getting your home and its current inhabitants ready for the new arrival.
Suggestions on how to cope with the changes in your life, as well as empowering details on how you and your partner can take control of the process and make it your own are peppered throughout the book.
An enlightening segment titled "Fathering Today" gives all of us fathers notice that we have some work to do to turn things around and to take an active role in our children's lives.
You'll read these chapters again and again and even if you have other children, pick up a copy of this book for nothing else than the fantastic preparation checklists. I'm glad I did and I'll be getting copies of Armin's other books as well.
on December 3, 2002
This is a great book, just don't let it be the ONLY book you read while preparing for your new arrival. And don't just just "read what your wife reads" but make sure she's getting a balanced perspective, not just the mainstream stuff. The best thing about this book is the format, which gives you different areas to focus on each month so that you do not become overwhelmed trying to do too many things at once, nor do you underestimate the consistant progress you need to be making.
Since many have already written about what is good in this book, I would like to adress some of the critics. A larger share of the negative reviews seem to come from women. Their husband wouldn't read it or it was not a complete as "What to Expect..." I can only guess, but it may be that some of them have problematic relationships to begin with. Many detractors don't like the "tone" of the book. I did not find it patronizing, condescending or insulting in any way. It's an advice book for crying out loud, naturally it's going to be somewhat instructional. If you are the type of person who bristles when anyone tells you how to do anything than you will no doubt have issues with this book any many other things. Some found it "new age-y" well, yes, it talks about feelings and does not offer any religious content so to some that equates to the 70's and so on.
In response to owensmomma, who says that the section on diapers is pathetic; I certainly agree that it's not very substantive (we use cloth as well), but reasonable people can disagree on this. The idea of this book is not to present an exhaustive analysis of the pros and cons on various issues, rather to bring them up and encourage you to do the research on the one's where you and your partner are on the fence.
One reviewer said: "...I want to know stuff like how to change a diaper... , what I should be thinking about in terms of saving for college (tax issues, investment vehicles), whether I can take my wife to a smoke-filled restaurant once or twice, etc., topics that are glossed over in this book." They are glossed over because the answers are obvious. But for that guy, here are the answers: (1)You can not learn how to change a diaper in a book, the nurse will show you. (2)Save as much as you possibly can (!) - you may need half a million dollars to send your kid to 4 years of private school in 18 years, half that for a state school. If you are looking for one book to teach you the details of investing you are likely to fail. You either need a good financial planner or you need to make a major effort to study the subject. (3)Finally, you can't allow your pregnant wife to be exposed to smoke any more than you would bring a newborn into such a place.