Pregnancy Books for Fathers-to-Be
My dear doting husband, and Dad-to-be, SPECIFICALLY requested that I share any knowledge possible with him, or suggest readings so he could “study up.”
When a man asks for a book, you don’t deny him! The problem: all books that I find are either mind-numbingly intense OR written for a husband with the synapse firing activity of a caveman, starring as the husband in a 1950’s sitcom.
Could you please help with some advice/suggestions on any well written, informative material for my hubs?
Thanks for being you!
First time Mom-to-be
Do you remember the scene in Knocked Up where WhatsHerFace finds the pregnancy book she bought for WhatsHisName, months later, still in the bag and unread? And then after she freaks out and is like, “NOPE GET OUT OF OUR LIVES” there’s a montage with a shot of him actually reading the book, meant to telegraph to us that NO YOU GUYS LOOK HE’S TOTALLY READY AND SERIOUS ABOUT FATHERHOOD NOW?
Totally not an answer to your question, obviously, but it was the first thing that popped into my head. The second being that, when WhatsHerFace found the unread book, I whipped my head around and glared furiously at my husband, who never read a single one of the “pregnancy/baby books for dads” that I bought him during my first pregnancy. (The Expectant Father and the more humorous Baby Owner’s Manual.)
Instead, he figured I would convey any important information to him along the way…and to be fair, I probably never shut up about pregnancy-pregnant things the entire nine months, and often read from my books out loud before bed. And then a couple weeks before my due date he picked up my copy of the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy and read all the chapters about labor and childbirth. He also went online and read a few articles about how to be an effective labor coach.
I did not know he did either of those things until we were at the hospital and he pulled a tennis ball out of his bag and began massaging my lower back with it. It felt amazing and I was like, “what? where’d you learn that? YOU DIDN’T EVEN READ THE BOOKS!”
“I read the important parts,” he said.
And I guess he did. So part of me wants to say, “he can totally just read YOUR books, or at least the important parts.” If you come across something that you think he’d find interesting or useful, pass it over. Definitely make him read a non-jokey or caveman-minded description of labor and childbirth, even if it includes more clinical details. (Because if you have to go through it, he at least should be able to read about it.) Sign him up for any week-by-week email thingies you find useful (COUGH COUGH), since those won’t take a ton of time to read and glean whatever he might find relevant to him. Attend those childbirth/labor classes together — we skipped them for reasons mostly out of laziness/scheduling and were just fine without them, but in retrospect it would have been a good way to put MY mind at ease about HIS preparedness.
As for the current crop of Dad-to-Be pregnancy guides out there, I share your side-eye at all the ones with the jokey/gimmicky titles, but perhaps some of them are worth reading despite being all YO BRO YOU KNOCKED HER UP HIGH FIVE NOW WHAT OMG DUDE!!!! on the cover. The Expectant Father has been around and reprinted for ages now, but never managed to pique my husband’s interest. Your husband might be more motivated though. (Note that I also never bothered to read it EITHER, and gave it away to a friend the first chance I got.) I really enjoyed Your Pregnancy Week by Week so I would maybe check out their dad-to-be version.
Note, however, that just about every one of these books have user reviews that say that just about everything in the books is “common sense” and they get “really repetitive.” And I can totally see how that could be true. Unless your husband actually IS a caveman or 1950s sitcom dad, it’s pretty darn likely that he knows how pregnancy and childbirth works, and that he needs to be supportive and helpful and tolerant of your moods, emotions and endless crazy list of physical symptoms. And there’s only so many ways a book can say that before getting to the “important parts” about how to support and advocate for you and your agreed-upon birth plan during labor and childbirth. And the REALLY important parts, like being a hands-on dad who knows what to expect (and look out for) once you bring your baby home.
Now Imma pitch this one to the comment section. Any suggestions, either specifically for dads/partners or just a good, all-around pregnancy guide that both parents can read? And while we’re at it , since I haven’t bought a baby book in a million years so my source material is SUPER DATED now, what would you pick as the top “guide to the first year” sort of book? Thank you, lovelies.
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