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on December 10, 2007
At first this book was fine, my husband didn't put this book down! There were some times when I would complain about some pregnancy related discomfort and there he would go to pick up the book and tells me how it was completely normal. It got to the point where I wanted to take the book and hit him with it, but I loved the fact that he wanted to be so involved and interested in the whole process. The only issue I had with it at that point was the fact that he would portray pregnant women as needy and that the men crave more attention during this time and get jealous of their wives. I don't feel that we were anything like this, but maybe with other couples?

But then the book started taking a strange turn! One of the strange parts was when he was talking about how he remembers stripping down to his underwear as a child with his father and sisters and paint each other with watercolors. Then the book just starting making me upset. For instance when the book starts talking about how men require attention and that it is normal for them to possibly have sexual relations with another woman! Which he then goes on to say is usually with a close friend or family member of the pregnant woman who also is in need of attention! I could not believe what I was reading at this point! And he was portraying this as if it was completely normal and that it was ok! How is cheating on your wife ever ok? I don't care who needs attention! Once my husband got to that point he threw the book out. I almost would suggest getting this book just to see for yourself how crazy it is!

So this is how I see it... If you ever thought that you would be a great guest on the Jerry Springer show and your wife, girlfriend, or girlfriends and maybe a few related siblings are all pregnant by you and you want a book to explain what is going on, then this is the book for you. If you find yourself in a more normal, peaceful, and loving relationship with your pregnant significant other, keep looking. This is NOT the book for you.
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on June 17, 2013
I enjoyed reading this book and it was a relatively quick read. The main strength, if you can call it that, is that it assures dads-to-be that whatever they're feeling is normal. Generally, one could say that the tone of the book is calming and reassuring, as are many other parenting books, which I think is a good thing. However, this book had two downsides for me which I will describe below.

First, the author relies heavily on his own experience. Obviously, the viewpoint of a book like this will be more subjective than scientific. There is no compelling reason for me to believe all of the information contained in this book since many are merely opinions. Additionally, the author is only the father of two daughters (no sons). As the expectant parent of a son, a little more experience from parents of boys would have been helpful. Also, if the author had been the parent of more children over time, perhaps his experience would have been enriched by dealing with more than two pregnancies, more than two births, etc.

Second, this book is a little bit on the old side. If this were 2005, this book would be very current, as it was published in 2001. But in 2013, some of the information was outdated. Some of the things that were relatively new ideas when the book was originally published are now mainstream and need less explanation. And having more current resources (e.g. online resources) included in the book would have potentially been helpful. Some online resources were listed, but a more extensive list including the new websites that are now available would've been helpful.

Over all, I liked this book, but I would not consider it the only book you need. I anticipate buying more books on this and related subjects in the future, and I do not intend to keep this book on-hand as a reference now that I have finished reading it.
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on October 10, 2015
Armin Brott's THE EXPECTANT FATHER is a terrific resource for new daddies preparing for the biggest, and most rewarding, change in their life.

Brott is direct and straight-forward in his presentations, and his information is well-researched and sourced, so if you have any questions or would like to know more about the material presented, it's very easy to find his primary sources. He has also compiled a very handy Resources appendix to further one's own research into this challenging new landscape. Prepping for a baby can be stressful and incredibly time-consuming, so I really appreciated the author's no-frills approach along with personal examples from his own experiences as a father of two daughters. The writing is smooth and he approaches each of his topics, ranging from each month of pregnancy to delivery, up through the first few days at home, with clarity and dashes of smart humor.

Which brings me to why I so appreciated this book over a few other expectant father guides out there. Brott recognizes the importance of being a father and he's quick, and happy, to dispel some of the more negative and ridiculous stereotypes about fatherhood. While sitcoms, and way too often our own society (including plenty of other men out there) like to treat fathers as ancillary, barely-there doofuses, the reality (or at least my reality in approaching fatherhood) is quite different. I want to be an active part of my child's life and learn how to do things for him as we grow and bond together. I also consider myself to be reasonably educated, and I liked that Brott treated his readers as equals. There's no talking down to his readers about this subject, and we're all on a level playing field. I did try to read a few other parenting books for men, but couldn't stand the talking points about how changing diapers isn't quite as simple as cracking open a beer can, or presenting information in a "I know you're a caveman, but even your simple mind can do this" fashion. Those books felt like a perpetuation of ridiculous BS, whereas Brott is more than willing to give the subject, and his readers, much deserved respect.

While being a parent, and a new one at that, is rife with on the job training and no owner's manual in sight, it certainly can't hurt to have plenty of information on hand. And that's what you get with Brott's work - concise, informative, respectful, and well-delivered topics on the ups and downs, and the joys, of becoming - and being - a father. Now that our son is three weeks old, I'm ready to move onto Brott's next book, THE NEW FATHER.
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on June 6, 2017
I purchased this book when for my husband while I was pregnant with my 2nd, his 1st. At first glance, I gave it latitude, yeah it's written by a guy that was merely a bystander in the process and was clearly clueless as to the fact that every pregnancy and childbirth is different, so his 'expertise' was incredibly limited to his wife's single pregnancy and childbirth, but I thought initially that it was a good thing to approach newly expectant fathers from a background of almost equally clueless as opposed to an expert in the field. That was the initial latitude given. About halfway into the book, however, Brott reveals himself to be not just 'limited expertise' but downright idiotic. He claims that a few months after childbirth his wife will 'forget all about the pain' she endured but that the experience will stay far longer with him, that he is really the traumatized partner in the aftermath of childbirth. He counsels other fathers to recognize this and gives self-care tips.
Let me explain to clueless Brott and any other egregiously misinformed fathers: your wife/partner/girlfriend will never forget the pain of childbirth, it will never fade, and the only way you walked out of that delivery room more traumatized than her is if whilst you were in there, you had a stroke, during your stroke stepped on a nail, it was rusty, you developed gangrene, they didn't catch it in time, they had to amputate, unfortunately it was the one side that wasn't effected by the stroke, rendering you immobile for the rest of your days. Then you can come talk to me. Until then, do what I didn't do and don't waste your money on this book, and if you already did, do what I did do and throw it in the nearest dumpster.
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on December 3, 2013
I picked up this book when my wife and I found out that we were pregnant with our first child. I was scared, happy, nervous, excited, etc. and decided that I needed a male perspective to how I was feeling and this book fit perfectly. A lot of the books on the market are based towards women because, let's face it, they are the ones carrying the baby. But the man does play a role and a lot of times there just isn't that much information out there and the information you find are women talking about their husbands. This book is written from a man's point of view and contains a lot of the feelings that you'll definitely be experiencing even though you may not want to talk about it. For me, my biggest fear was our financial situation and how with my wife taking off work for 2 years to raise our son, I would be the sole bread winner. This book has an entire chapter on finances and even though it goes a little deep into it at times, it was extremely nice to know that other men out there went through the same freak outs that I was currently experiencing.

This book isn't meant to be read in one sitting. I would pick it up throughout the pregnancy and read one chapter at a time since they were broken out into the months. This kept me interested and very involved and sometimes I even went back and read some older chapters.

The book isn't perfect and I can guarantee a lot of it won't be relevant to everyone, but that's the beauty, you'll find something in here to agree with and even if you don't fully support the author's decisions with childbirth or stances on parenting, he doesn't lay it on thick. He offers advice and moves on.

This is one of the better dad focused books on the market and I recommend it to dad's to be. My wife and I just welcomed out first son into the world on November 1st 2013 and this book was there to help me with my feelings and thoughts along the way.
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on March 11, 2018
To set context, what I was looking for was a book that explained scientifically what was happening with the baby through the 9 months, what to expect during labor and delivery, complications/dangers, tradeoffs we may have to make at the last minute and more than anything, depth of material. This book was severely disappointing and lacking.

- Lots of fluff
- Lots of repetition and most of it useless. As one example, every chapter starting with something like "In this month, your wife will be feeling discomfort" (which pretty much appeared in all chapters), "In this month, your wife will be worrying whether she will be a good mother" .. not sure what you do with that.
- Building off the above, lots of dumb, unnecessary information. Eg. 4 full pages on ways to show your wife you care like "Vaccum under the bed", "Pick up a pizza on your way home", "bring home roses", "run errands" and so on.
- Constant reassurance that you're going to be a great dad
- Pointless history (how birthing worked in the 60s and 70s),
- Every chapter telling you to reassure your wife that you're not going to leave her. No, not kidding - EVERY chapter. Between this and the 4 pages of ways to show you care, I feel like either this guy was a heartless cheat or his wife was a lunatic.
- Out of order. Glad I ran through this book quickly since chapter 'Month 7', for example, talks about childbirth classes that take 6-9 weeks and how important it is to sign up as early as possible. :|
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on March 20, 2010
As a first-time father approaching the due date, I have read several books for new dads to get myself at least somewhat prepared for this major life transition. I have generally been disappointed by other books because they were too low on content (The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Being an Expectant Father) and/or very high on stupid, often crass, jokes (The Guy's Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth and the First Year of Fatherhood; The New Dad's Survival Guide). The driving assumption for these books seems to have been that men are stupid and require juvenile humor to remain engaged. Thankfully, Armin Brott's "The Expectant Father" is an exception to that rule.

The greatest asset of the book is its comprehensive nature. Brott covers it all, month by month. He discusses countless physiological, psychological, emotional, and logistical issues that are likely to confront most new parents, specifically speaking from the perspective of the father. There were a few times when my wife would read a paragraph or two over my shoulder, and she was surprised to actually read some information that she had not read in any of the eight pregnancy books that she had already finished. I appreciated the fact that Brott seems to assume that there are thoughtful, intelligent men out there who want to learn as much as possible to help their wives as much as possible through pregnancy and to transition well into fatherhood, and he offers substantial information accordingly.

My primary critiques of this book actually resonate with many who gave it a one-star rating. Though I think such a low rating does not sufficiently reflect the very helpful information that is included, I agree with others that this book seemed to have a bizarre overemphasis on the role of fathers in pregnancy and parenting. Frankly speaking, no matter how much some men may wish otherwise, we are not equal partners with our wives in the pregnancy process. In fact, it's not even close. There is no person growing inside of me! I am convinced that my needs and my issues are clearly of secondary importance to the needs and issues of my wife during this time, and maintaining that prioritization seems to be rather important. But Brott's book is so father-centered as to at least occasionally lose sight of that reality.

I also found the final chapter, "Fathering Today," to be a rather whining, pathetic diatribe against anything that might suggest that mothers can play a more prominent role than fathers in raising children. I'm certainly a huge proponent of fathers being highly involved in raising their kids. That's why I'm reading lots of books about this stuff. But I am perfectly comfortable with the notion that there are things that my wife knows and can do for our baby that I simply can't offer. Some of those differences may be experiential and culturally-based, but I am convinced that some of them are innate. Brott seems to bristle at that idea, sprinkling his father-focused position throughout the book and ending with an entire chapter as a final attempt to debunk any idea that mothers are inherently better equipped to do some things for their kids. I just think he's trying to buck human nature with mere wishful thinking.

My frustrations aside, I'm still quite glad to have read this book. I feel significantly better equipped to enter the crazy world of fatherhood after having read "The Expectant Father." I may even be able to help my wife in some small way during the rapidly approaching birth of our first kid because of the information that I learned. It is long and periodically rather dry, but it's definitely worth the effort. A few strange assumptions by the author notwithstanding, I'm happy to recommend it to any man willing to invest some time towards learning about this most important event and all that is to follow.
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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.
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on February 25, 2015
I strongly dislike the style in which the book was written. It feels like he's trying to pander to as many different stereotypical male identities as possible, while being as inoffensive as possible. It's often so PC it's just painful to read. The author provides plenty of information on all aspects of pregnancy and fatherhood, often to a fault. "Are you a gay couple recently migrating from Antarctica adopting conjoined twins? Well there's a 10 page section dedicated to you!" Every single chapter has so many pages dedicated to these exceptions that the book is just constantly straying off topic in order to include as many subgroups as possible.

I'm a very analytical dude and want the details. I like to have a scientific and historical understanding on to why certain medical practices exist and when it is advisable to use them, when and why to use certain medicines, etc. This book does not provide a lot of the specific details in a meaningful and intelligent manner. It really seems like a lot of the sections on what your wife is supposed to be going through physically and emotionally are based solely on his experiences.

It's not a terrible book, but I personally found it so irritating to read I had to put it down by month 9. I just went and picked up my wife's books from Heidi Merkoff and the Mayo Clinic. Awesome. All my medical questions answered.
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on June 28, 2012
This book is full of very basic common knowledge, stereotypical information, and also very bad medical advice. It promotes the mutilation of a child's genitals on the false assumption that it is easier to clean. It is far easier to wipe off the outside of a natural penis than it is to treat an open surgical wound that is bathed in urine and feces. In the past, too many medical books contained Victorian age medical advice and have ill advise that the foreskin of a natural penis should be forcibly retracted and cleaned underneath and nothing is further from the truth. This is akin to ripping your fingernails off to clean under them and trying to get them to stay back on again every time you wash your hands. The foreskin is attached to the penis in the same way. As a result of the perpetual open wounds (and pain) that care givers and parents caused, a natural intact AND severely abused penis could get frequent infections. NO ONE should ever retract the foreskin of an intact penis except the person who it is attached to. It is not supposed to be retracted until later on in life, closer to sexual maturity. Until then it is supposed to stay in place protecting the glans of the penis until sexual maturity and the penis is fully developed. If left alone, and only cleaned on the outside, most people never have a problem with an intact penis. An intact penis is just as easy to clean as a finger, just wipe it off on the outside and leave the rest of it alone. Without the foreskin, the glans becomes keratinized, dry, and irritated. Circumcision, aside from being unethical, extreme painful, and a violation of basic human rights, is directly responsible for approximately 150 infant deaths each year. Removal of the foreskin can cause a whole slew of subsequent infant age medical problems, such as meatal stenosis, and later erectile dysfunction in adulthood. If you want proper medical advice on how to care for an infant I would suggest reading the books by Dr. Sears rather than dumbed down misinformation that this book contains.
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