Until recently, it was the mom-to-be who was asked to alter her lifestyle and include more healthy habits into her routine. But more and more studies are making it quite evident that to make a healthy baby, both parents need to have a healthy lifestyle. And by a healthy lifestyle, we mean, avoiding foods that are rich in cholesterol and salt, drinking alcohol, not exercising much and not quitting smoking, as these will affect the health of the unborn baby. Not just this, some other things like working long hours, and stress, have been found to cause heart problems in the unborn child.
Here's how your lifestyle as a dad before the baby is born can benefit your baby:
1. Balanced preconception diet
A healthy diet with enough folic acid will help reduce the chances of passing on abnormal chromosomes responsible for early miscarriage and birth defects. Include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and lentils in your diet to ensure you get enough folic acid. Some studies also suggest that omega-3 can help improve fertility in men.
2. Limit alcohol consumption
A recent study by British Medical Journal has found that men who consume more than 5 units of alcohol per week may have low semen quality which can further reduce chances of conceiving. Anbormal fetal development has always been linked with mother's alcohol consumption, but recent research has linked father's alcohol consumption and gene expression to abnormal organ and brain development.
3. Managing stress before conception
Studies and research related to the impact of paternal stress on fetus is relatively new and have been mostly conducted on mice. But the results are rather interesting and helpful to further understand the affects of stress on human babies. The results suggest that when a male experience a lot of stress before conception, their offsprings are more likely at a risk of high blood sugar which further increases the risk of diabetes. Now having said that, we do understand life without stress is not possible for most of us but we can definitely plan our life in such a way that we are able to manage the stress better.
There is no good or bad time to exercise, whenever you get time- exercise. If you don't have time to go to the gym, just go for a walk or run. Meditate each day for at least 10 minutes. Take out time for things you love to do.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
More studies are suggesting that paternal obesity can lead to genetic alterations which can further have a negative impact on sperm quality. Fathers with conditions like obesity, diabetes, and depression are at a higher risk of having babies with low birth weight or who are born prematurely. Long-term consequences on the health of the baby include health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions.
A well-known fact with most couples is that it takes teamwork to create a healthy baby. However, many people aren't aware of the fact that the health of the father can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of the mother, which subsequently impacts the baby's health as well! We hope you enjoyed our blog. If you have any other questions or concerns about this topic, please let us know in the comments section. Thank you for reading. Our mission is to provide useful information as much as possible in a simplified manner.