Research shows that a father’s involvement with pregnancy and his baby’s life makes a difference. From breastfeeding to behavioral outcomes for the baby, a dad has a direct correlation to many factors for both mom and baby. When patients are present for care, providers have a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of fathers.

Encourage your patients to bring their partner to appointments if she is comfortable doing so. Make space in your exam rooms for couples. Make your waiting room welcoming to fathers by hanging posters that feature dads and provide reading material that appeals to them. During encounters, direct your questions to both parents and ask the father how his experience has been, while offering resources as appropriate.

resources

These Healthy Texas Babies exam room posters help keep your patients informed and spur discussion of important health topics.

The Life Planning Tool can be used with both men and women. Men may want to answer questions about birth control on behalf of their partners. Completing the tool can help couples think about their future plans collaboratively, as well as identify priorities.

The Birth Plan is another Someday Starts Now tool that is important for partners to work through together. Clinicians can reinforce this by encouraging partners to bring their Birth Plan to prenatal appointments and ask both partners about their vision for labor and delivery. This can help alleviate concerns fathers may have about their partner’s well being or about their own role during delivery.