CareNine is a Pregnancy Program structured to educate, guide and reassure 'mothers-to-be' with the help of counselling from Specialists; all under one roof.

Preconception Care:
Father's role in preconception care: what should you do?

Preconception care plays a crucial role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. While much emphasis is placed on maternal health, the role of fathers in preconception care is often overlooked. In India, where family dynamics significantly influence healthcare decisions, acknowledging and involving fathers in preconception care is essential for the well-being of both the mother and the child.

Why does the father's role matter?

  • Genetic contribution: Fathers contribute equally to the genetic makeup of the child. Their health and lifestyle choices before conception significantly impact the baby's health and development.
  • Support system: Emotional support from the father is crucial for the mental and emotional well-being of the mother. A supportive environment positively influences maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.
  • Lifestyle factors: Fathers' lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol consumption and diet, can affect sperm quality, which may impact fertility and the health of the baby.

Contribution of fathers in preconception care

  • Health check-up: Regular health check-ups for fathers help identify and address any underlying health issues that might affect fertility or pregnancy outcomes.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Encouraging fathers to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding harmful substances, improves overall fertility and contributes to a healthier pregnancy.
  • Emotional support: Being actively involved and supportive during preconception discussions and decisions creates a positive environment for both partners.
  • Visits to healthcare provider together: Fathers can participate in the preconception stage by visiting the healthcare provider with their partners. It makes it easier to have conversations on family history and diagnose medical problems, if any.
  • Emotional preparation: As much as mothers need emotional support, fathers too need to prepare themselves emotionally. A big change is about to occur in your life, so you should spend time doing several activities with your partner. Talk about your future plans and open up about your concerns. In a partnership, two can tackle any problem where you're together.
  • Plan for childbirth: While the mother focuses on her overall health, fathers should plan for essentials like car seats, baby proofing, hiding sharp objects around the house and other such concerns for when the baby comes. This planning should start in the preconception stage itself so that you focus on every stage of childbirth. Later, you can also participate in preparing a hospital bag for the delivery time. Make sure to get involved in every stage to have a fulfilling experience of pregnancy.
  • Prepare to be a father: Don't postpone this realisation to the day of delivery. You should start feeling the responsibility of being a father from day 1 of preconception itself. Talk to your healthcare provider about anything that you may need help with. You might have mood swings or anxiety for which you need medical assistance. Start taking active care of your health at this stage.

The role of fathers in preconception care is indispensable. Their active involvement in the preconception stage, during pregnancy and after birth cements their relationship with the baby too. Fathers should concentrate on growing closer to their baby even before birth and have as much skin-to-skin contact after delivery, as possible. It's time to recognize and empower fathers as equal partners in preconception health and on their journey to fatherhood.

American Academy of Pediatrics
National Institute for Children’s Health Quality
Health Hub