WASHINGTON – Ahead of Father’s Day 2023, North Texas Representatives Marc Veasey (TX-33) and Colin Allred (TX-32) introduced a resolution highlighting the importance of father engagement in infant and maternal health outcomes.
“As a father, I’ve witnessed the benefits of being involved in the health and well-being of my family early on,” said Representative Veasey. “ It is important that we recognize the struggles Black and Brown mothers and infants face in our health care system and find solutions that support families holistically – including providing fathers with the resources and knowledge they need to be strong advocates for mothers and babies.”
“I didn’t know my father, but long before I had my two boys I knew I would do things differently,” said Congressman Allred. “It’s why I took leave after both my boys were born, and it’s why we must pass policies that support every kind of family and ensure fathers can have that precious time to be with their children. We know that when we have paid family leave, affordable child care, and affordable health care and postpartum care – these policies lead us to better outcomes in maternal and infant health. I am proud to help lead this resolution with Congressman Veasey,” said Representative Allred.
“Science backs it up. Research backs it up. Fathers are biologically hardwired to be nurturers. Their involvement matters – and not only for the wellbeing of their children as they grow, but for the health of their partners and babies during pregnancy and postpartum. A father’s engagement during pregnancy and beyond reduces a mother’s risk of life-threatening complications that can lead to maternal mortality and morbidity, preterm labor, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It boosts their baby’s birthweight and significantly increases breastfeeding success. Dads are, in fact, the best and most effective champions and advocates for their partners, but only if we include them. And too often, dads, especially Black and Brown dads, are not included by our healthcare system.
This Father’s Day, the What to Expect Project and I are so grateful to Representatives Veasey and Allred for their passionate leadership and commitment to moms, dads and the little ones they love. Wishing them and all dads a happy and nurtured Father’s Day,” said Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and founder of the What to Expect Project.
Research confirms that positive father involvement during pregnancy supports mothers and prepares men to be active parents in their child’s life. Most notably, an increased sense of trust between parents reduces mental and physical stresses and promotes well-being. Additionally, active participation by fathers can promote timely care during pregnancy, improve mental health, can positively impact short- and long-term health outcomes of mother and child, and assist in identifying and seeking health care in cases of postpartum complications.