Dads Need Prenatal Nutrition, Too

A new study shows that prenatal health is not just mom’s responsibility

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Pre-baby dietary concerns are no longer just for Moms.

It’s a well documented fact that the health of the mother has a direct effect on the health of the child she is carrying, but what about the father’s role?

A new study by a team of scientists at the University of Nottingham, England reveals that the father’s diet at the time of conception could impact the health of the offspring as well.

The team, led by Dr. Adam Watkins, found that when a mother mouse was fed on a low-protein diet, her offspring developed health issues such as hypertension, and exhibited altered behavior. When the father mouse was fed the same low-protein diet at the time of conception, the offspring showed hypotension and a precursor symptom of diabetes known as low glucose tolerance.

The findings suggest that concentrating on prenatal health might not be enough to ensure the health of the child. Mothers-to-be might want to call on their baby’s father to join them in eating right for the sake of the offspring.

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Dr. Watkins and his team will present their findings at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction in Montreal, Québec.