Book Club: Chapter 1 – Expectant Dads Survival Guide
For my 27th birthday, my sister bought me the Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide by Rob Kemp. She knew that I hadn’t read any baby books yet (we were nearly 6 months pregnant…OOOPS!), so she decided to research and find a book that is all encompassing. Something that would be able to cover a lot in a single book.
I didn’t have a lot of time each day to read (still don’t…) but this book is broken down in such a way that you can read for 15 minutes and learn something everyday. So I committed to turning up to work between 8 and 8.15, before my 8.30am start, and sit in my car to read.
No word of a lie, this is how I best found myself to be informed about pregnancy, labour and parenthood. Yes, I was 6 months in to the pregnancy, but I made sure to start this book from the beginning.
How is it laid out?
The book is broken down into the different stages of the labour, and explains what you need to know for that time period, and how it will affect the future. This goes into the smaller details of mum’s first showing, to scans, how to apply for paternity leave etc. All the way through to everything you need to know about labour, the different pain relief methods, different types of delivery etc.
Not only is it broken down into time periods, but also into information section – this made it very easy to digest small amounts of information on a daily basis.
The thing that I like most about this book, is that every chapter has some comments from real dads talking about their experiences of that specific topic. It shows you a more personal perception of those stages, rather than a clinical approach to this information. There are also a multitude of health care professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives, psychologists etc.) that weigh in on multiple topics. These two different groups of people show you both the personal and professional side to pregnancy, as well as teaching you the clinical information you need to know (like how induction works, growth scans etc.) and then the real nitty gritty “this is how I felt during our first ultrasound” input from real dads. Its a great balancing act.
The book contains information on things that you just wouldn’t normally think about – like making sure that your missus doesn’t change the cat’s litter tray (because of toxoplasmosis), and how to get your baby home, adjusting to the new life as a dad etc.
How would I improve it?
I would improve is removing some of the waffle. The book is 272 pages (only about 250 are the main content – there are then a bunch of resources after the main content that you HAVE to use. It will change your pregnancy) but could maybe be reduced to about 200-220. The waffle is there to help you connect to the author, and to keep the tone consistent; however some people just want the raw, factual information, which isn’t necessarily this book. I did find myself skipping some of the real dad’s stories to get to the main content of the book… I might have missed out some life changing information, but I still feel extremely informed.
Also, getting into this book a couple months late made the start of the book effectively useless. It was still interesting to read and to learn about, and I would say my knowledge of pregnancy and how to help my wife was improved in the last trimester because of it.
Whats the verdict?
The book is great – I learnt more from this book than every antenatal class that I went to. The chapters are broken down really well, so just reading for 15-25minutes per day paired really well with the layout. If you can get into the book early on in your pregnancy, then this will be a very good guide to keep you going.
The book looks at the changes in the way that men are treated during the pregnancy and labour process, and helps give advice to us to help us through the new cultural norms and requirements put on us throughout this time of our lives. Its useful, and culturally appropriate.
This book works hand in hand with my blog, because it is all about empowering men during pregnancy, labour and parenthood. It is written by a dad, for dads and it is filled with the knowledge that Rob Kemp wishes he knew before his kid came along. I really strongly recommend it to you.
I would rate this book 4/5 stars
Want to pick up a copy?
If you’re interested in picking up a copy of this book, you can get it on Kindle or paperback by following this link here. You can get a copy for as little as a penny if you buy it second hand, or £7.99 to get it on kindle. Lots of people are selling this book once they finished reading it, but my advice to you is to keep it around once done. It has a lot of advice for post-birth and can be really helpful in the future.
Link – amazon.co.uk