Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad! How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months

A practical guide for first time dads on how to be a supportive partner, what to expect, and mistakes to avoid.

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kk: From The Parents Club, I’m Karsen Kolnicki. This is your briefing.


kk: Today, we’re discussing *Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad! How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months*. Written by John Pfeiffer.

kk: Vincent Phamvan on the key takeaways [pause] and what you need to know.


kk: Vincent, I’d imagine for new dads it’s a pretty shocking moment when they hear the words, “I’m pregnant.”

vp: 100%. Yes, even though for some people it’s a shock and for others, it might not be, no man is ever truly prepared for these world-altering words from his partner.

This is the start of one of the biggest events in a man’s life, and so it’s natural to be overwhelmed and scared.

And that’s what Pfeiffer’s entire book is about, how to be well prepared from Dad's perspective so that this big life change will be much easier.

kk: Sometimes this starts before the pregnancy though.

vp: That’s a good point. Some people are fathers already and some are planning to become one soon. Either way, getting through the next nine months requires getting informed.

Many dads don’t understand her cycle and how fertility works. There’s a small window of opportunity to conceive every month, and it’s only if you know when that window is that you can make the most of the opportunity.

If it’s hard to get pregnant, your partner may need to seek out medical support. Doing your research on how you can be a supportive partner helps in the process.

Once you’ve conceived, there’s always a risk of miscarriage. That’s why you should plan your announcement date carefully. It’s best to wait until after 12 weeks or the third month to break the news.

It’s a really exciting time for everyone involved, and it’s also a chance to bond with your partner.

kk: You’re going to be seeing a lot of each other for doctor's appointments, right?

vp: Absolutely, there’s a lot of prenatal doctor's appointments before the birth. Some Dad’s may have conflicts with the doctors appointments, but the first, third, and fourth appointments are really important for the Dad to be there. At the first appointment, you’ll be able to confirm the pregnancy. In the third, you’ll be able to hear the baby’s first heartbeats, and the fourth is when you see the baby in the ultrasound.

kk: What else can Dad do to help?

vp: Well, everyone feels different, so just understanding how she’s feeling and learning the different ways to be there for her is important. Sometimes morning sickness can last into the afternoon.

Pfeiffer recommends keeping lemons and ginger on hand to make tea, which helps with an upset stomach.

Exercise is important too. And it’s another opportunity to do an activity together.

Your partner needs your support when her body undergoes dramatic changes. Women can be stressed by this experience, but you can show your love for her transforming body, and help her love it too.

Lastly, try to pick up on different chores around the house like doing the dishes or taking out the trash without being asked.

kk: These are all great in the first trimester. What changes in the second trimester?

vp: Well, in the fourth month, your partner is much less likely to miscarry, which is great. So this is when you start preparing for the baby’s arrival.

You can be a great dad by checking in with her on how she’s feeling. Sometimes fluctuating hormone levels can lead to heartburn, snoring, forgetfulness, and mood swings.

The most exciting thing though is you find out the sex of the baby. And you have a big decision to make whether or not you want it to be a surprise.

Sometimes false labor pains show up in the second trimester too. False labor pains are triggered by movement, don’t follow regular patterns, and aren’t debilitating.

kk: Do most people start a baby registry around this time?

vp: It’s a great time to start preparing for the final trimester. Things get pretty serious later, so you want to get as much as you can out of the way. This is a common time to hold a baby shower.

You can register for things that you and your partner will need. Pfeiffer suggests adding items over $50, because it’ll save you time and money.

Nesting is real, and you’ll want to start preparing the home. Your part will include buying, assembling, and setting up things around the house. You don’t want to rush at the last minute to install things like car seats.

It’s much better to do that early and know that you installed it correctly.

The second trimester is a great time to start picking a name as well. If you pick a silly name, your child might be made fun of in school. If you pick a name that’s too common, they’ll have classmates with the same name. So find a name that you and your partner can agree on.

kk: What does Pfeiffer say about the third trimester?

vp: If you’re on top of it, by this point you have a name picked and your home is ready. The third trimester is really the time to get educated on the birthing processes.

One option for this is birthing classes. You’ll want to get familiar with the hospital layout, parking, and the check-in area. That way nothing’s a surprise later.

In the birthing process, you’ll want to understand if your partner wants to have a vaginal birth or cesarean birth. You also want to decide whether or not to save the umbilical cord or the placenta. If you do, this needs to be set up early.

The author also mentions that if you want to take a final vacation before the birth, now is the time to do so as well as talking with your manager about taking time off after the birth.

kk: How about money in terms of planning for the future?

Financially, it’s a good time to start planning as well. Disposable diapers can cost a hundred dollars a month. And you may consider saving early for an education fund.

kk: And week 38 is a critical time, right?

vp: Yes, by week 38, your hospital go bag should be ready to go, and you’ll be on babywatch.

Pfeiffer writes that 98% of women give birth between weeks 38 and 42. During these weeks, you’ll want to be near your partner in case you need to take off quickly.

Checking in often and sharing how you feel with each other can help with supporting each other.

There are some risks for her during these weeks as well. Preterm labor is when labor occurs before the end of the 37th week, and this requires treatment and bedrest.

As you get closer, your partner will be thinking about whether or not she wants the possibility of painkillers during labor, having the labor induced, or getting a cesarean section. Your doctor will be able to help weigh the pros and cons.

You may be nervous or excited, but remember that your role in being a supportive partner is really important. She needs you and you should let her know how much you need her too. Be open and don’t hide your feelings.

kk: That’s a lot of change to go through in 9 months!

vp: It really is, and it’s actually just the beginning of the journey. After the birth is over, you’ll head home together with your new life.

The first thing to get used to is breastfeeding. Your partner may go the natural way, which is great for her health and the baby’s health, or they may opt to use formula, which is more practical. This is a good conversation to have in advance.

Giving birth isn’t easy, so it’s okay to get and ask for help. Grandparents can be great to help, but you’ll also want to set and discuss boundaries. You make the decisions on how you want to raise your child, so be clear on your house rules.

You’ll likely have many friends and family who want to visit, but the baby will need a lot of rest, and their immune system is very fragile, so keep germs and sick friends away.

Your partner has been through a pretty demanding physical process, so be cautious when it comes to sex. Doctors typically recommend not having sex until at least six weeks after the birth.

kk: I’ve heard that sleep can be tough in the first few months?

vp: Sleep is probably one of the biggest challenges. Research shows that in the first two years of a child’s life, parents miss the equivalent of six months of sleep!

But it’s temporary and you can get through it by communicating, planning ahead, and supporting each other.

kk: It sounds like the key takeaway from this book is that pregnancy isn't just for mom. Dad and soon-to-be-dads have a role to play as well in supporting their partner. Good planning during the 9 month period will make the future transition easier. And working together, communicating, and helping your partner whenever you can will help with future challenges.


kk: That’s it for your briefing. I’m Karsen Kolnicki. See you next time.



There are approximately 3,712 ways for a guy to look stupid during pregnancy – this book’s here to help you avoid all(most) of them. And here’s your first hint: Focus on what you can be doing for her rather than what’s happening to her.

She’s pregnant. She knows that. You know that. And her 152 baby books tell her exactly what she can expect. Your job is to learn what you can do between the stick turning blue and the drive to the delivery room to make the next nine months go as smoothly as possible. That’s where John Pfeiffer steps in.

Like any good coach, he’s been through it. He’s dealt with the morning sickness and doctor visits, painting the baby’s nursery and packing the overnight bag, choosing a name, hospital, and the color of the car-seat cover. All the while he remained positive and responsive – there with a “You’re beautiful” when necessary – but assertive during the decision-making process (he didn’t want to wind up with a kid named Percy). And now it’s your turn.

The First Trimester (Weeks 1-12)

Plan your announcement date carefully

It’s best to wait until after 12 weeks or the third month to break the news.

Important doctors appointments for dad

#1 Confirm Pregnancy

#3 Heart Baby’s Heartbeat

#4 See Baby During Ultrasound

Quick Tip

  • Lemon & Ginger Tea Help with Morning Sickness
  • Exercise together
  • Pickup chores like doing the dishes or laundry

The Second Trimester (Weeks 13-26)

Baby’s sex

  • Decide whether you want to know the sex of your baby or keep it a surprise
  • Also a good time to brainstorm baby names!

Keep an eye out for

  • Check out how your partner is feeling, fluctuating hormone levels can cause heartburn, snoring, forgetfulness, and mood swings.
  • False labor pains (often triggered by movement)


  • A biological urge to prepare your home, is experienced by animals and humans alike.
  • Prepare your home early – including cleaning, organizing, decorating, or designing the baby’s room.
  • Plan your baby shower and registry and register things over $50 that you need to save time and money.

The Third Trimester (Weeks 27-40)

Birthing process

  • Decide whether you want to know the sex of your baby or keep it a surprise
  • Also a good time to brainstorm baby names!

Planning financially

  • Kids are expensive so it’s best to be prepared financially.
  • i.e. Disposable diapers can cost $100 a month, baby food, clothes, etc.
  • You may want to start saving for an education fund

Week 38: The final countdown

  • Get your hospital bag ready to go because 98% of women give birth between weeks 38-42
  • Check in with each other and share how you’re feeling

After Birth


  • Have a conversation about whether your partner would like to breastfeed or use formula


  • Friends and family will want to come visit, but the baby will need a lot of rest, and their immune system is very fragile, so keep germs and sick friends away


  • Sleep is one of the biggest challenges
  • Research shows that in the first two years of a child’s life, parents miss the equivalent of six months of sleep!
  • You can get through it by communicating, planning ahead, and supporting each other

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