Health Watch - Pregnancy and Birth: Dad's Part

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about preparing for childbirth and pregnancy. A prospective mother needs to visit the doctor for a checkup, eat a more nutritious diet and begin vitamin supplementation before pregnancy. But the mother-to-be isn’t the only one who needs to make changes.

A prospective father’s habits and actions can affect his fertility and then can affect the health of his partner during pregnancy. Dr. Lisa Halvorson, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says prospective fathers should stop smoking if they smoke. That will increase their own fertility and keep harmful smoke away from the mother and developing fetus. Alcohol use can also decrease male fertility.

Fathers-to-be who work around dangerous chemicals should change clothes and shower upon returning home so the mother and fetus aren’t exposed to them. While trying for conception, men should stay out of saunas and hot tubs.  

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March 2011


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