Fathers play an integral role in the healthy development of their child- from pregnancy and birth to raising their child and preparing them for school, dads matter every step of the way.
Studies have found that positive mental and physical wellbeing in fathers leads to healthy mental and physical development in children. For example, children are more likely to be ready for and do better in school if their father has positive mental wellbeing and they are less likely to develop depression (see: Timing of parental depression on risk of child depression and poor educational outcomes: a population-based routine data cohort study from Born in Wales, UK | medRxiv)
Similarly, the likelihood of childhood obesity, especially in girls, is reduced if their father is in good physical health (see: Child Fitness and Father’s BMI Are Important Factors in Childhood Obesity: A School-Based Cross-Sectional Study (nih.gov)
The ‘Born in Wales’ study seeks to explore the mental and physical health of dads who have recently had a child and those who are expecting. We would like to know how these experiences have affected you and we want to hear your thoughts on what can be done to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing during pregnancy and childbirth.
Fathers who have participated in the study have expressed the “need for greater paternity leave and rights for partners” and they have called for “more financial support for first-time parents.”
“A child’s development is influenced by the father’s mental and physical wellbeing which is why dads matter. The ‘Born in Wales’ study wants to understand what is needed to support the health and wellbeing of new fathers. Fathers need to take care of themselves too in order to be able to support their partner and baby” – Sinead Brophy, Director of the Centre for Population Health.
With your help, we can understand how to best support families in the future to give children the best start in life and improve their education, health, and wellbeing.
Useful resources for Dads