Expectant Dads Need Prenatal Care, Says University of Missouri Researcher


Pregnancy: Not as easy as it seems.
  • Pregnancy: Not as easy as it seems.
No doubt about it, pregnancy is a bitch. The nausea. The stress. The hormones.

It' also tough on the mothers we're told. But, it's the fathers-to-be who most often suffer silently, according to new research out from University of Missouri.

"Too often, men are treated as observers of the pregnancy process," says ManSoo Yu, an assistant professor in the school's College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Yu adds that expectant dads aren't nearly as likely to seek support during pregnancy, even though they, too, can experience severe emotional changes in the run-up to delivery. Those changes can include financial stress, self-criticism and low self-esteem.

"Acknowledging and addressing the emotional well-being of men as well as women is recommended," concludes Yu. "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."

The study suggested that low self-esteem can also lead to substance abuse among the fathers-to-be. And while dad's binge drinking and drug use won't necessarily impact the health of the fetus, it can certainly take a toll on the mother's emotional state during pregnancy.

Yu's research was recently published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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