12 answers

Good Labor and Delivery Books for Future Dad

I am trying to find a good book for my husband to study up on before our first child is born. I have had a lot of education on maternal and infant health in grad school, so don't really plan on going to prenatal classes. I was hoping there would be a good overview book on the labor process (and maybe what to expect afterwards) out there that my husband could read instead of going to the classes too. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them! Thanks!

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I don't know how detailed it is about the labor and delivery, but my husband loved the book "My Boys Can Swim!" It's written from a guy's point of view and is very funny. I gave my husband several books to read while I was pregnant, and this is the only one he read cover-to-cover. I think I ordered it from Amazon, and it was very inexpensive.

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I don't know how detailed it is about the labor and delivery, but my husband loved the book "My Boys Can Swim!" It's written from a guy's point of view and is very funny. I gave my husband several books to read while I was pregnant, and this is the only one he read cover-to-cover. I think I ordered it from Amazon, and it was very inexpensive.

I'm on my third child and I've handed my husband a hundred books - in which he has read none. My personal suggestion is to go to the classes with your husband and also get him into a father's class (bootcamp for dads). Best wishes, congrats!

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin was my absolute favorite book on the subject! The first third of the book is just womens' stories (and I think there may be some stories from the man's perspective as well) and the rest of the book is so very informative. I wouldn't really recommend the What To Expect series. As far as not attending classes, I think that's totally cool. I didn't attend any either, but the education I gave myself (along with my midwife) at home was probably tons more informative than any class. (I read almost 20 books, I think.)

If you're looking for more books, I have a pretty complete list somewhere in my email, so just let me know.

Also, just for you, there's a great book that will probably get you laughing. It's called Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. I read it in two days straight. I laughed out loud several times. Have fun!

A labor and delivery class would be helpful for you even with your background. You will practice breathing and other types of exercises that can't be duplicated by reading a book. Our class also included a tour of the hospital, including the labor and delivery area and the nursery. Even people who have given birth before often take a refresher class before giving birth again (I did). I think both you and your husband would really benefit from the classes. Congrats on the baby and best wishes.

We just had our first baby in june and loved the what to expect when you are expecting book. it just has tons of faq's in it and the answers are all simple and easy to understand. it included a majority of the questions we had all the way from pre-conception to bringing baby home. also, if you do have time, i can understand working on your masters can be quite time consuming, i would really consider the prenatal classes. it is more about bonding with eachother and being together and meeting other new parents versus education. We absolutely loved our classes, while we are both busy, work full time and i also go to school full time, we would not have missed those classes for the world.

You might be surprised how helpful the classes offered at the hospitals can be even for you. If you attend together, the best preparation may come from the discussions you have after the classes. You both have the same frame of reference. I did a lot of reading before the birth of our first - basically everything I could read. What I remember and what was most helpful, however, came from the classes. Best wishes.

i would HIGHLY recommend going to prenatal classes. they teach you about a whole lot more than infant care. for you, you would LOVE the information on the actual labor and delivery! you are going to need it - and this is really the best way for your husband to be involved and get good information about what is going to happen.

also, since you have a great educational background, you can offer other insights and information to the other moms and dads in class.
so please please go to the classes, if not for your sake, for the sake of other mothers and fathers in the room.
you really have to learn about labor and delivery and the process and whats going to happen, what its going to look like, what options are available for pain releif, etc. this is really the hospitols time to educate young mothers and fathers to be about their process and the things they have available to mothers. you can even tour the maternity section of the hospitol. the less mystery about the whole process, the more calm you will be about labor and delivery.

after i had my son, there was one lady down the hall giving birth and having a HORRIBLE experience, she didnt take the classes. she thought she knew enough that she wouldnt need them - but during labor and delivery she could not focus on the doctor, nurses, or any of their advice. she didnt know enough about the process and what was happeneing to her, so she was terrified. dont be that girl...
good luck

Perhaps you might want to consider that the childbirth classes are not necessarily about book knowledge. The accent is on the bonding of the parents and the help and support your husband can give you during the birth process. If he has practiced it beforehand, he will be better equipped to be a support to you while you are in labor. It is a very emotional time and I doubt that books can prepare you for that onslaught of raw feeling. You may make a friend there, too. Congratulations and best of luck to you!

They don't get any better than "Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth", by Ina Mae Gaskin.

One half of the book has birth stories, as told by the mothers, and the other half has a breakdown of the stages of labor and delivery, all explained clearly in plain English.

Congrats to you!!

I'll second Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and add "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin. The Birth Partner really helps your hubby learn what he'll need to do during labor/delivery.
Have you thought about taking a one-weekend class or a refresher class? Our childbirth class included a tour of the hospital and lots of specific information - like where to go if you go into labor during off hours. :) Like you I knew WAY more about labor/delivery than my hubby, but the class helped him to be less confused and scared during my labors -- which was exactly what I needed from him.
Good luck!


I recommend "The BIrth Book" by Doctor Sears. It's great. Also, if you are planning or thinking about a natural birth, there is a GREAT class at Blooma (an amazing yoga studio in Edina at 44th and France - www.blooma.com) that is an afternoon Labor Intensive. The cost is pretty decent ($75 per couple) and the woman who runs the class is a doula who has literally been to hundreds of births.

We took it before the birth of our third baby last fall, and highly recommend it to anyone preparing for a baby. Sarah (the doula) really gets into what labor is really like, not just facts, but actually acts out contractions, shows you what it might sound like to be in hard labor. It's kind of a shocking experience, but had I known before my first baby what a real contraction was like, I would have avoided going to the hospital until much later.

Good luck with baby!

The "What to Expect" series has a book just for dads that is pretty good. That being said, I think you should still go to the classes together. You can find one that is only for one day or one weekend. That way, you can learn together, and there are hands on stuff that some people grasp better than just books.

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