Review: The Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide

For a simple bloke like me, this book has been more useful than all of the NHS classes, midwife appointments and NCT courses put together. Rob Kemp, you’re my hero!

The Expectant Dad’s Survival Guide, £12.99

Like every guy who hears they’re about to become a dad for the first time, I was absolutely crapping myself right from the start. The early information overload was overwhelming, with advice coming from every angle and my brain not processing or retaining a single word of it.

After a few doctor and midwife visits we knew some basics, but I’ve been so keen to be a solid, supportive birth partner (and hopefully dad!) that I wanted to know more than the occasional scraps of info I was picking up. So I decided to buy a book aimed at expectant dads, and Amazon threw this little goldmine at me.

In short, it’s brilliant. Written in chronological order, starting from from the day you find out your life is about to change forever and ending a few months after the birth, it maps out the forthcoming year of your life in great detail and with unnerving accuracy. Pretty much everything Rob said would happen has happened, almost to the day, and the endless nuggets of advice he throws your way are invaluable: everything from how to start pram shopping, taking your last child-free foreign holiday and bonding with your unborn baby to decorating the nursery, giving the perfect back massage to your expectant partner and spotting the early signs of labour.

It’s written in brilliantly blokey language without being too cheesy and is broken down into such clear sections that you can keep dipping in and out, as well as referring back to things that have slipped your mind. I gorged on the whole book straight away and amazed Gemma with all the stuff I knew (in fact, I’ve been one step ahead of her all the way through her pregnancy) and have re-read every chapter as we’ve reached the relevant stage. I’m currently on Chapter 10: Your child is born and have shuddered my way through a passage titled ‘Prepare for poo’.

Basically, if you’re like me, and you want to know a little bit more than you’ll get from all the official sources without getting buried in internet message boards, this book is an absolute lifesaver. It’s easy to read, incredibly useful and very funny. Well, at least until you get to the bit about an episiotimy… (don’t ask)

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