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How much can a father influence the pregnancy

Father’s Influence

Women have pretty much been held responsible for the health of their unborn babies. Don’t drink, smoke or eat too much fish when you are pregnant. However, new research is indicating that fathers too need to be careful about what they are exposed to lest they affect their child’s health and even those of generations to come. Animal studies demonstrate that drugs, alcohol, radiation, pesticides, solvents, and other chemicals can lead to effects that are handed from father to son. Teenage dads have increased risk that their babies will be born prematurely, have low birth weight, or die at birth. Babies of firefighters, painters, woodworkers, janitors and men exposed to solvents and other chemicals in the workplace are more likely to be miscarried, stillborn, or to develop cancer later in life. And fathers who smoke or are exposed at work to chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons put their children at risk of developing brain tumors. Although some of this research is decades old it has not seem to have affected our attitude today. Bottom line is men need to be just as careful as women in avoiding chemicals if they want to ensure the best possible health for their children.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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