Review: Dad's Guide to Pregnancy For Dummies

Dad's Guide to Pregnancy For Dummies by Matthew M. Miller, Sharon Perkins, RN -- Guest review by Pam of 40-Something First Timer

As a first-time mom-to-be who, until about six months ago, believed the specialist who told me I wouldn’t – couldn’t – get pregnant, I have been reading nearly everything I can find about pregnancy, birth and child care. My partner, who will join me as a first-time parent, mostly has relied on me to do the research. However, he jumped at the chance to read and review “Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy For Dummies.” He is in no way a dummy, but because “Dummies” guides are normally presented in an easy-to-read and practical manner, the idea of this kind of pregnancy book appealed to him.

This particular “Dummies” book is certainly no exception. Written by a work-at-home dad and a registered nurse, “Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies” helps dads-to-be prepare for everything from doctor’s visits and labor to their partners’ changing bodies and raging hormones.

My partner and I pored over the information on labor and delivery. I found it to be just as informative as any of the medical guides I’ve read and just as forthcoming as any of the books written more specifically toward moms-to-be.

Because I am already entering my third trimester, I spent a lot less time looking at the parts of the book dedicated to conception and the first and second trimesters. Still, the information presented in those chapters helps involve the man in the early stages of pregnancy – and even getting pregnant. Many of the books I have read (or looked through) almost made me feel as if I was in this on my own and would have to bring my partner, kicking and screaming to doctor’s appointments, birth classes and even the delivery. If nothing else, this book makes me feel like my partner really wants to – and can – be involved in all aspects of  the pregnancy and beyond.

After having been to doctor’s appointments with me, my partner feels that while some of the warnings and tips in the book are good, others seem unnecessary. For instance, the “Warning” that tells pregnant women to be a little more cautious than normal while doing work around the house is a good tip. It goes on to list potentially harmful chemicals in latex paint, the dangers of litter boxes and myths about lifting. On the other hand, he felt the “Remember” about not treating your partner like a child, “even though she’s carrying one around with her,” wasn’t really necessary. My take on that tip is that there are guys out there who would behave that way toward their partners, so those guys could really use that reminder.

My partner says the good tips far outweigh any bad ones. He especially appreciated the section on expecting the unexpected. It gives information on important prenatal tests and complications such as gestational diabetes and placenta previa. It also helps prepare Dad in the event Mom has to go on bed rest. He says it presents the possibilities of these potential problems without giving so much information to make you freak out about them.

Other good tips include information about “baby blues” and SIDS, but my partner thinks the section about being a “super dad” after Baby comes is a bit light. I imagine it’s because this is mainly a guide to pregnancy and not a full-fledged guide to being a dad.

Overall, the book is up-to-date about safety issues and health information, and also includes helpful tips on planning budgets, getting insurance paperwork organized and even helping to develop a birth plan. It’s a good guide for a new dad-to-be and could even be helpful for a second- or third-time dad who wants to be more involved in a current pregnancy.

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