Jack Heinowitz has written a much needed book which, in a simple and loving style, offers guidelines, methods and techniques to help the anticipatory father assume his crucial role in the most positive way. The book includes, among others, chapters on reconceiving fatherhood, changing needs and feelings, communication and the father's role during the birthing process, itself. The chapter designated Partner-to-Partner Communication includes a variety of awareness exercises which would be affective in human interaction under any circumstances. Pregnant Fathers is illustrated with numerous carefully chosen photographs, charts, exercises, and anecdotes and includes, for professional caregivers, one Appendix on Caring for the Pregnant Couple and another which lists Support Organizations.
The book's value is clearly expressed in a forward by APPPAH President, David Chamberlain. Dr. Chamberlain comments that, "fflathers are desperately needed," and often do not realize it. Today of course dismal statistics reflect that 30 percent of babies in the United States are born fatherless. "In some large cities," Dr. Chamberlain adds, "as many as 50 to 70 percent are born to a father who has disappeared." Indeed William Raspberry, a columnist for the Washington Post, wrote a review of a book by David Blankenship entitled Fatherless America which claims, with justification, that the absent father is America's "most urgent social problem." Blankenship describes a growing conviction in this country "that the father is not a necessary component of the family unit." Given the emotional, economic and societal disaster for children this belief has created, Jack Heinowitz' book should be required reading not only for adult males but especially for teenage boys. I wish Dr. Heinowitz had the time to embark on a book tour to promote his ideas in the public schools. Pregnant Fathers offers all of us an opportunity to explore new avenues, reabsorb old wisdom and begin to achieve the reversal of a cultural trend which has deprived so many of our children of the presence of a dedicated father.
Fatherless America: Save the Endangered U.S. Dad, by William Raspberry syndicated from the Washington Post to the Wilmington Morning Star, Wilmington, N.C., Tuesday, March 28, 1995, page 7A.