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Craig's Book Club
Book Recommendations

Spotlight on: Armin A. Brott's New Father series

Books Reviewed:
The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash


To arrange to have products considered for review, send an email to craigsbookclub@yahoo.com.


The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash,
The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be

There are literally thousands of books on pregnancy, but over ninety-nine percent of them are written for the expectant mother. The most popular one, What to Expect When You're Expecting, has a single chapter devoted to the emotions of the father, and most don't have even that. The few that are directed at fathers mostly seem to come from a "supportive to the mother" approach that doesn't speak to those of us who want to be truly involved in the development and birth of our children. Now, there's a book for us.

The Expectant Father is the first book that really spoke to me as a modern male -- sensitive to the needs of his partner and truly involved in the relationship. The other books for fathers-to-be that I scanned were written in a condescending tone -- teaching that the new father can or should be involved ... but only by helping out the mother when necessary. (William Sears' Becoming a Father was the worst, especially when read with the knowledge that he didn't even get involved in the rearing of his own children until #3 or #4.)

Like me, author Armin A. Brott noticed this dearth in "involved father"-based materials and decided to write one himself. He didn't want to be relegated to a "supporting" role (as much as possible, anyway), either, and The Expectant Father gave me the information I needed, while coming from a point of view I could understand.

The book is divided into monthly chapters, with a lengthy section at the back covering labor and delivery, possible emergencies, and what to do once the baby is home (a good portion of which is repeated in the second volume, The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year). Since he is coming from this place himself, Brott covers topics that books geared toward the mother never could, like the irrational fear that sixty percent of fathers experience upon being told that their wife is pregnant. Knowing that I was not alone in experiencing this embarrassing fear was instrumental in my appreciation of The Expectant Father. I knew instantly that Brott (with co-writer Jennifer Ash) was speaking my language.

This chapter-per-month system is not perfect -- the one devoted to the fourth month consists primarily of financial advice -- but the "What's Going on With ... (Your Partner, You, the Baby)" sections that begin each chapter are vital in keeping the new father up-to-date with expected developments. In addition, many sidebars scattered throughout The Expectant Father cover such important topics as prenatal communication, postpartum depression (yes, men can get it, too), baby showers, the Family and Medical Leave Act (which I was unaware of but then eagerly took advantage of), and the societal obstacles of being an at-home dad.

But the best part about The Expectant Father is the feeling it gives -- even as the other men around you seem increasingly disinterested in their children's lives -- that you are not alone in wanting to be an active participant in the development and birth of your child. After all the talk about female empowerment, it's time there was some male empowerment in the parenting world.


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