Prenatal Care: Not Just for Mothers Anymore

How can you increase your chances of having a happy and healthy pregnancy? Make prenatal appointments for the father of your baby.

A new study suggests that pregnancy stress affects the health of expectant fathers in different ways than it affects mothers.

Find out how after the bump…

ManSoo Yu, assistant professor with the University of Missouri’s Public Health Program, reports that pregnancy-related stress compromises the health of expectant fathers, subsequently impacting expectant mothers and their infants.

We know that anxiety and a lack of support during pregnancy can result in poor infant health. Yu points out that men play a huge role in supporting and caring for pregnant women and their well being impacts that care. For the most positive pregnancy outcomes, both parents should receive prenatal screenings.

“Too often, men are treated as observers of the pregnancy process,” reports Yu. “Acknowledging and addressing the emotional well-being of men as well as women is recommended. Providing prenatal care for expectant fathers can encourage men to have a proactive role in pregnancy, which will allow for better maternal and infant health outcomes.”

Yu reports that men typically process pregnancy stress financially and women, emotionally. The study also finds that men show their partners more tangible support, while women show their support emotionally.

“Understanding these differences will help practitioners provide better advice and services for expectant parents,” Yu finds. “For example, men could write budgets to alleviate financial stress and women can seek counseling to understand emotional stressors. Men and women can discuss and learn about potential stressors to become better partners and improve the health of each other and their infant.”

How have you handled stress throughout your pregnancy? How has your partner?

Has your health care provider asked about your partner’s well being?

What are your thoughts?

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