When I found out that we were going to be parents, my wife and I did what most expectant parents do: research everything about pregnancy; the birth process (or how you want it); being a good partner for your significant other as well as our future baby. I wanted to know what the best books for expecting dads were.
There are countless resources available on this topic – some specifically aimed at first-time dads like me or those claiming they have all answers in one place.
You and your partner will have a much better experience during delivery if you both understand what is going on. There are some books out there that can help, but many of them don’t paint an accurate picture for dads who want to be good partners during labor and fathers after their baby arrives!
I get that the amount of content out there can be overwhelming. Between doctor visits (midwife or other), baby gear and caring for your partner’s pregnancy–there is no good official “baby owner’s manual”. To make sure you are a good father to your new baby, read from many different viewpoints & sources until find what works best for YOU!
So what are the best baby books for fathers to be in my opinion? This is the list that I found to be most helpful when I found out my wife was pregnant.
The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions
I am starting this list off with the The Birth Partner because I actually found it the most useful as a supporting role in the birth of our child. The book covers a wide range of topics that will help you prepare for labor, knowing when it has begun and how to help your partner every step of the way. It will prepare you for what your partner and baby is going through so that you can understand the birth process better and gives you the tools you need to be a good partner during this time.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
This is an absolute must read for any expectant father and mother. I cannot tell you how powerful it was to read this book after we found out my wife was pregnant. We decided to explore the home birth route and I am not going to lie, I was scared – until I read this book. This book is the most real book I’ve read and it is absolutely filled with useful information about the birth process, what drugs are commonly used, pain management, postpartum care and so much more. Although this information was invaluable the part that was most impactful was the birth stories. This book is worth buying for that section alone if you are planning on having a home birth.
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother
As the partner who didn’t have a physical birth one of your biggest responsibilities will be nourishing and caring for your partner. Birth takes a lot out of a mother physically and there is often major blood loss and energy spent in growing and birthing a baby. That’s why it is so incredibly important to replenish the body with the healthy and nutrient rich foods. The First Forty Days is an excellent recipe book that will help you cook delicious meals that will help heal and replenish the mother after birth. The book does rely heavily on bone broths and assumes a meat based diet so if you are a vegetarian or vegan you might not find the book as useful as other recipe books. I’ll research into an alternative book and hopefully have better suggestions in the future for plant based diets.
What to Expect: The Congratulations, You’re Expecting!
What’s better than one pregnancy guide? Two! This set includes two of the most beloved and trusted books on expectant mothers, fathers-to be or new parents. This has been my go-to gift for expectant fathers. Everyone who receives this treasure trove of knowledge loves it – especially those new moms and dads looking for guidance during their first pregnancy and baby journey.
Baby 411: Your Baby, Birth to Age 1
This book is full of information that you may not have known existed, but will find incredibly useful. It’s an easy read with plenty to offer even if your child only just turned six months old- though most people would want go back and refresh what they’ve missed out on by reading sequentially after finishing the relevant chapters!
This is an awesome list thank you!