Health programs and professionals have become increasingly aware of how fathers, specifically, affect the health and development of their children.
Fathers matter more than any other caregiver in the health of their children. Evidence suggests that fathers play a critical role in the health and development of children. This starting from the prenatal period and continuing through early childhood and adolescence.
When dads are involved during pregnancy, mothers are more likely to have higher care in the first trimester, which has positive effects on both mother’s and baby’s health.
During infancy, dads should support mothers during breastfeeding as this may reduce the risk of premature death in infants. Fathers also play an important role in supporting children during early childhood. This, in terms of executive function and social-emotional development, and during adolescence, father involvement translates into better school outcomes.
However, despite this evidence, dads still face barriers to inclusion, including systemic barriers to employment and a lack of confidence stemming from social stereotypes about a father’s expected role. /mommytobe