The Role Fathers Play In Pregnancy
The role that mothers play in pregnancy is clear and defined. They’re the vessel that carries their child into the world. Their well being plays an important role in the development of new life. But a mother to be is only one part of the picture. New research is being done on the importance of fathers during pregnancy and how their involvement can lay the foundation for healthier moms and babies.
The National Healthy Start Association, whose mission is to promote the development of community-based maternal and child health programs, has been examining the role of fathers in pregnancy and has published a brief on this issue in order to raise awareness. The importance of an involved and caring father (or father figure) has long been known as an important building block to well rounded children. But how does that same father’s involvement in pregnancy help mom and baby?
Clearly, a woman is much more aware of the changes the upcoming baby is having on her body and life. Those same changes might not be as obvious to her partner, so accompanying her on appointments and helping to prepare the home for baby is a wonderful way for the father to start preparing himself for the baby’s arrival. In addition, it can help to reduce stress and strengthen the bond between mother and father. A happier home sets the foundation for a better life for the new baby and family.
At MFHS, we encourage fathers to be involved in all prenatal care and planning. Taking an active role in deciding when to have children helps to strengthen the parents’ communication skills before baby even arrives. Learning how mom’s body is changing and how baby is growing can also help dad get more excited and involved. At some locations, such as Circle of Care, we offer well baby checks and love to see dads taking an active role in their baby’s health.
We hope to continue to see fathers taking an active role in prenatal care, and look forward to seeing how this research at the National Healthy Start Association continues to develop!