It is perfectly normal that mothers are at the focus of pregnancy, after all they are the ones who are carrying the child for about nine months. But compared to earlier generations more people started to take fathers into account, too. Not as passive observers but as active members who can contribute a lot to the development of the child before birth. I have just heard the news about a scientific study which evaluates to role of fathers. According to the news titled “Expectant Fathers Should Receive Prenatal Care, Support, Study Finds” in  Science Daily,

A University of Missouri researcher has found that stress related to pregnancy uniquely affects the health of expectant fathers, which in turn, influences the health of expectant mothers and their infants. Health services should incorporate counseling and assessments for men and women to reduce stressors and promote positive pregnancy outcomes, says ManSoo Yu, assistant professor in MU’s Public Health Program.

Mental distress in pregnant women — caused by anxiety, lack of social support or low self-esteem — is associated with poor infant health. The importance of psychological and social factors in women is well documented, but few studies have examined these factors in men. Men play an important role in supporting and caring for pregnant women, Yu said.

“Too often, men are treated as observers of the pregnancy process,” said Yu, assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “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.”

The original article is titled “Unique perspectives of women and their partners using the Prenatal Psychosocial Profile Scale” and published recently in Journal of Advanced Nursing.