The promotion of active fatherhood has increasingly gained importance in many countries’ agendas and fathers want to be involved in pregnancy.
Pregnancy can still seem like it is all about the mothers, but it is so important for the fathers to be part of the experience. Of course, the physical aspects of pregnancy are experienced only by the mom, but there is more to pregnancy than the physical part. There is also emotional preparation that happens during pregnancy which is important for dads to be part of.
Recent studies have provided interesting information on the importance of the role of the father. In 2010, Prakesh S. Shah of the University of Toronto noted that scant research had been done on whether there was any link between fathers and either preterm infants or those born full-term with low birth weight. (Both outcomes increase the risk of illness or death in the first days and weeks of life.)
And another study out of New Zealand in 2011 looked at how fathers could affect the birth weight of their children. The group recruited 2,002 couples while the women were pregnant and followed them until birth. And the conclusion was a surprise to them; Once fathers have fertilized an egg, they have no physiological connection with their developing fetuses. But somehow they are affecting the children’s physiology.