The importance of dads

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

Happy family

The father’s role in producing a healthy baby doesn’t begin and end with conception.

Evidence is now pointing to an important link between the father’s health pre-conception and the health of their child over their lifetime.

“There’s this phenomenon called the developmental origins of health and disease where influences during early life, during pregnancy, during the early post-natal period change your metabolic set up for the rest of your life,” Dr Scott White, WA spokesman for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said.

“Babies born after a period of inter-uterine hostility — where they are a bit smaller than they want to be, their placenta is not fantastic, they are a bit growth restricted — are at significantly increased risk for diabetes and heart disease and some cancers and all sorts of ‘badness’ in later life.

“Traditionally the effect of that was…

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