When K told me she was pregnant I went in for the high-five. Apparently that was not the reaction she was expecting. After much excitement we settled down and started talking all things baby. Only then did I realize I had no idea what was going on. I needed information, I needed it quickly, and I needed it broken down into well organized chunks with notes in the margins and key points clearly labeled – all from a reputable source. I needed the Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies.
I’ve relied on the For Dummies series over the years. I built my dad’s website using details in HTML For Dummies, and I learned how to preform open heart surgery with the help of Don’t Try This At Home For Dummies. Ok, that’s not true – they haven’t published that one yet, although if they did, I could handle it no problem.
Now I have a firm stance against painting dads as bumbling idiots who just get in the way, don’t know what they’re doing, and are only there to ‘give mum a break‘. I would have scoffed at this book and moved on if it weren’t right next to the mum’s version. Also, in this case the title was appropriate – I had no idea what I was in for. I was a dummie.
The Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy breaks down what your partner is going through into 5 sections – pre-pregnancy, the 9 (ish) months of pregnancy itself, delivery and going home, all the things you worry about and how to handle them, and finally, the part of 10s – top 10 lists to help you be useful during the birth and beyond.
Part 1 – You’re Going to Be a Dad (Yes, You)
The Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy does a great job of exploring all of the reactions you might have to receiving this tidbit of information. Whether planned or not, this section helps you through the early moments of pregnancy and gives you advice for having (potentially) difficult conversations with your partner. From there you get a brief biology lesson so you know what’s going on.
Part 2 – The Final Countdown: Nine Months (Or Less) To Baby!
This brings up an interesting point – always read ahead. The Wee Baby T was born a full month early, and K hadn’t finished her pregnancy book as she was keeping pace with where she was each week. Don’t worry, you won’t spoil the ending by reading a chapter or two ahead.
Part 2 of Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy walks you through each of the trimesters and helps you organize timelines for tasks like painting, decorating, registering for baby showers, etc. Here we also have an overview of all of the tests that will be done on your baby as they grow – and what those tests could possibly reveal. Part 2 also gives you a review of the various birthing options available to you and your partner, everything from delivering at home to the medications you may opt to use in a hospital. There is a strong push to create a birth plan, and I think that’s a great idea; just bear in mind it may all go out the window when it’s time to get the show on the road – and that’s ok.
Part 3 – Woah Baby! Labour, Delivery, and the First Few Days at Home
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Tips on being the best birthing partner, advice on what to pack for the hospital, caring for your baby and supporting your partner once you get home. This is when you get to step up to the plate, dad. It’s moved from theoretical to tangible, so step up and seize the chance to help!
Part 4 – Under Pressure – How to Worry About the Big Stuff
There is so much to worry about when your partner is pregnant, and beyond. Of course there is so much that can go wrong, however unlikely. Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy does a great job of helping you through some of the tough moments that you may face. This section isn’t for the faint of heart, it can be challenging to read, but it is important information and you’ll be better off armed with the tools provided.
Part 5 – The Part of Tens
Some light ‘top ten’ lists to help get you through the last days of pregnancy. These are more for fun than actual practical application, but you may find some tips in there that you want to use.
The Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy For Dummies is a wonderful resource, it’s brilliantly written and easy to take in. It’s not a NY Times best selling novel, don’t expect to be up all night reading it, but it is entertaining and helpful. I strongly recommend this for anyone who is, or is planning to be, a new dad.
But wait! It’s contest time:
To that end I’ve arranged for some of you lucky Canadian readers to win your very own copy of Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies! Let me know your due date in the comments below and then make sure you are following Dadsense on Facebook, that’s where we’ll announce the winners on March 10th! Know someone who is due? Please send this review their way!
Good luck out there!