Why Dads Are So Important

The ImpactFather and child at beach

  • Babies 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 frequency of complications during delivery. They 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. Stay involved during the pregnancy and after the baby is born. Your emotional, financial, and physical presence 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 often as women.

It is important for you to:

  • Control stress effectively
  • Reduce risky behaviors
  • Get exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet

You should also get regular checks for sexually transmitted infections and visit the dentist regularly.

Where you can get help

On the Resources for Dads page, you will see programs for dads. These include fatherhood mentoring, online training about child care, and other tools.

The Texas Department of State Health Services does not endorse external links to other websites or documents created by other agencies. These links and documents are informational and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities.