- Published on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 01:01
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff
“When She’s Pregnant: The Essential Guide for Expectant Fathers”
By Jerrold Lee Shapiro, Ph.D.
We expect a pregnant woman to have concerns about pregnancy and birth. We try to pamper and support her during a time when she naturally feels more vulnerable. This is surely as it should be, as she needs and deserves the special care. Yet as we turn our attention to the mom, we often send new dads a different message.
As soon as he is aware of the pregnancy, a man is thrust into an alien world. He is urged, instructed, even cajoled into being part of the pregnancy and birth process. Although his participation is encouraged, he simultaneously receives messages that some of his personal worries are quite unwelcome.
In “When She’s Pregnant: The Essential Guide for Expectant Fathers,” Shapiro explores the most common concerns of expectant dads and recommends specific ways to allay such worries. The new book is based on original research, in-depth interviews and his experience spanning 40 years as a clinical psychologist. It is rich with quotes from dads and the latest research.
New fatherhood brings joys and worries. Few of us are prepared for either. At times during the pregnancy, new dads can expect to experience a wide range of emotions, from anxiety to joy, from being intimately connected to the life cycle to feeling left out. No one can prepare a new father for the impact of interrupted sleep, anxieties or the amount of love he will suddenly experience.
Common worries include:
• How to live up to the “prime directive” for dads to protect and provide.
• How to get through the birth without “losing it.”
• How to deal with the mysterious and alien OB/GYN world.
• The health and safety of mother and baby.
• Being replaced in the primary relationship by the infant.
• When the sexual relationship will return to normal.
• Insecurity about being a father.
• The greater reality of mortality and vulnerability.
The book covers the entire process – from the decision to have a child to bringing the baby home – but atypically from the male perspective. Although it is addressed to expectant fathers, “When She’s Pregnant” also contains advice for pregnant women.
Shapiro, a longtime Los Altos resident and professor at Santa Clara University, has researched and written about fatherhood for more than 30 years. He is a frequent speaker, appearing on national and international media, and has written many articles on parenting. Shapiro and his wife have two grown children and two grandchildren.
“When She’s Pregnant: The Essential Guide for Expectant Fathers” is available at xlibris.com and amazon.com.