When we announced to family & friends that we were expecting. A good friend of ours Niamh, along with a plethora of baby stuff, gave me this book. 'The Expectant Dad's Handbook'.
As someone who was and still is keen to know as much as I can about pregnancy, childbirth and post pregnancy. I was drawn to this book like I would be to a pint bottle of Bulmers with a glass of ice on a hot summers day.
I've read it once through and I'm on my second reading of it marking bits off as I go as reminders. I thought it was brilliant, straight forward and informative. So, I thought I'd share a little review for other Dad's to be that might be looking for a book that covers pregnancy, birth and beyond.
What to expect from The Expectant Dad's Handbook
I'll start by saying this book was published in 2013, but the information in it is still relevant. It's written by a Dad, which helps, but one who was the first male antenatal educator in the UK. So, you're getting the Dad's input along with the proper factual information.
It's split into 3 sections, Pregnancy - Labour & Birth - Life After Birth. Under each section it has various categories or topics pertaining to each section.
As I mentioned already, I read this front to back straight once I got it. What I found in the following weeks and months of doing online workshops, antenatal classes, scans, hypnobirthing and yoga is just how much of the information I had read in this book appeared in these classes. I felt like I was a step ahead while doing these classes.
Countless times I would tell my wife "Ah I know that already, I read about it in the handbook".
Often times the information would just be worded differently from what I read, to what was presented. Things like breathing techniques or dealing with things during childbirth and your role as Dad through all of this.
Now I'll say this, this wasn't a case where I would end up giving zero fucks about the class I was taking part in. What it did allow me to do was probably focus a bit more on bits of information that weren't in the book. And also allow me to actually listen a bit better to whoever was presenting instead of furiously writing notes down off screen.
Each section of the book is stacked full of relevant information for that specific period of the pregnancy, birth or post birth and, that information isn't covered with any waffle or fluff.
The author, Dean Beaumont, will also tell you 'The Dad' plain and simple what your role is a 'X' time.
We've all been there fellas, with the missus, saying "Just tell me what you want me do" at some point or another. You'll happily do what's asked, just tell me exactly.
This book does. This is your job here and your job there and this what you need to do here.
Reading As You Go Through Pregnancy
I think this book would be brilliant to read as you go through pregnancy. If you're not a big reader, you could simply read the section pertaining to your wife/partner's stage of pregnancy.
"Right, we're coming up on the 20 week mark. Let me grab that book and see what I should expect in the next few weeks or what I should and need to know".
You'll Feel Empowered as a Dad-to-be After Reading It
As I've said many times before, there are many guys out there who just got the news they're going to be a Dad for the first time. They want to be involved in every aspect as much as possible. I was and still am one of those guys.
I hate saying it because I think I sound like a complete bell-end when I say it. But I felt empowered after I read this book. (Internally, my inner monologue just called me a bell-end...ah well).
Not only will you be getting actively involved in the pregnancy by learning something other than, "The baby comes out of there" and "My wife/partner might shit themselves during pregnancy".
But, you'll feel better and more confident as a Dad-to-be by knowing this information and, in turn show your wife or partner that you've pulled out your finger and are making an effort.
They're going to go through a lot so do remember, you doing something as reading a book on all of this stuff, will give your wife/partner massive confidence in you. That you'll not shit your pants when it comes time to deliver the baby and finally that you'll have all the makings of being a great Dad.
The Expectant Dad's Handbook by Dean Beaumont. If you can get your hands on a copy, do. I'll pass this one on to the next Dad-to-be once I'm done with it.