Nina Sebastian discusses fatherhood and pregnancy from the man's perspective.
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Nina Sebastiane: Hello! I am Nina Sebastiane. Welcome to Baby Talk! Now, lots of the programs you see on the Baby Channel concern mothers. So, today, we are going to looking at fatherhood. Stephen Giles, author of the book You're The Daddy will be joining me a little later, plus we will hear from our celebrity fathers and real dads. But first, I am delighted to be joined by Jon Smith, who has written Bloke's 100 Top Tips For Surviving Pregnancy. Welcome to the show. Jon Smith: Thank you. Nina Sebastiane: You have got two children of your own and obviously this is written from first-hand experience. But why did we need the Bloke's 100 Top Tips For Surviving Pregnancy? Jon Smith: Now I think blokes or men in general get a real hard time when it comes to being affected by pregnancy in terms of how people see their involvement. We can't to our friends the support, because really don't want to talk about the subject. Midwives are obviously concerned with how the pregnant partner is getting on and doctors are same. So, I am hoping through the book that blokes can really find the solace they need and the support that they need through reading a book rather than just winging it alone. Nina Sebastiane: I mean, are blokes becoming more interested in the whole series of events? Do they want to know more? Do you think? Jon Smith: I think they do, I mean there is a lot of pressure on blokes to take much more of an active role, but I think that they want to take much more of an active role, and where do you find the advice and the support that you need when there is no one else to turn? Nina Sebastiane: So, what did you do? How did you research this book, because obviously some of it must be personal experience? Jon Smith: Very much so, but, at the time of writing the book, I ran a toy shop and I had all these dads wandering to the shop, looking for somebody to talk, somebody to talk to. Nina Sebastiane: That's brilliant. So, they would come into the shop wanting advice? Jon Smith: They would want advice about toys and I would ask them if they wouldn't mind filling in a questionnaire about their pregnancy or their partner's pregnancy experience and the whole fatherhood issue. And I found that they were more than willing to give these diatribes and the essays on how they found the whole experience and through those kinds of questionnaires I was able to construct the book. Nina Sebastiane: So, you actually researched this with real blokes going through the experience or having gone through the experience? Jon Smith: Very much so. I think there were 116 I interviewed as well as my own experience, obviously as well. Nina Sebastiane: And what did you -- I mean, you must have had some hilarious replies. I mean now some of the ones I love in here. I have got to read you a couple out. This one, Tip Number 55, however much you wash already, wash more, wash to the point of developing obsessive compulsive disorder, da, da, da, da. It basically goes on to say, you are a stinker and you smell. I mean, pregnant women have very heightened sense of smell. Jon Smith: They do. And it's important to acknowledge that, because otherwise you are going to get shouted at. So my advice is, change your socks probably three times a day. Nina Sebastiane: And this other one, Tip 54, you might feel that in her opinion you can't do anything right as far as she is concerned, that's right, you can't. Don't fight it. Just accept until the baby is born, you are going to be picked on a lot. Have some sympathy. As far as she is concerned, you are the one who got her into this mess in the first place. That's brilliant! Did you find a lot of sort of solace in writing the book? Jon Smith: I did. I mean, it was a form of catharsis there and I was obviously writing retrospectively after having two children. But what was interesting from the writer's point of view is that the two pregnancies were very, very different, even though you think you would be expert, you have done it once