Why Dads Are So Important


The impact:

  • dads-importanceBabies born to women without involved partners are almost four times more likely to die than babies born to women with involved partners.
  • Babies born to African American women with absent fathers are seven times more likely to die before their first birthday.
  • Women with absent partners have a higher prevalence of complications during delivery, are less likely to get adequate prenatal care and more likely to smoke.

(Alio, A. P., Mbah, A. K., Kornosky, J. L. Washington, D., Marty, P. J., Salihu, H. M. (2011). Assessing the Impact of Paternal Involvement on Racial /Ethnic Disparities in Infant Mortality Rates. Journal of Community Health, 36, 63-68.)

It’s complicated

Whether or not you are living with or are in a relationship with your child’s mother, it is important to stay involved during the pregnancy and after the baby is born. Your presence emotionally, financially and physically can make a difference to your partner’s health and your baby’s well-being.

Take care of yourself

Men often do not get regular medical check-ups or preventive care as regularly as women.  It is important for men to control stress effectively, reduce risky behaviors, get exercise and eat a healthy diet.  Men should also get checked regularly for sexually transmitted infections and visit the dentist regularly.

Where you can get help

On the Resources for Dads page you can discover programs such as fatherhood mentoring, online trainings about childcare and other tools for dads.


External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Last updated March 27, 2019