Online Program

Fathers matter too: A national network to improve maternal and child health outcomes

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Marc Stevens Jr., MPH, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Christina Gebel, MPH, LCCE, birth doula, Maternal and Child Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jermane Bond, PhD, National Collaborative for Health Equity, Washington, DC
There is a great need to develop evidence-based strategies to improve paternal involvement before, during, and between pregnancies, particularly in communities where paternal involvement has been traditionally low and pregnancy outcomes have been poor. In 2013, the CDC reported that the infant mortality rate for White women was 5.07 per 1,000 live births and 11.22 for Black women, and the literature shows that 72% of Black infants were born to single mothers and about one-third of these children get little or no assistance from their fathers. Because of these statistics, we believe expectant fathers are the missing link to improving MCH outcomes. We seek to increase understanding of the importance of paternal involvement in pregnancy and family health by advancing a research, policy and practice agenda to support greater involvement of men in family planning, preconception health and expectant fathers in pregnancy through the development of a Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes Network. Our efforts to develop evidence-based strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy outcomes will center on the development of an agenda to: 1) improve the preconception and reproductive health of men and expectant fathers, by identifying a core set of constructs and quantitative measures of men’s preconception and reproductive health; 2) enhance male involvement in family planning and reproductive health initiatives; 3) promote more father-friendly clinical practices, hospital settings, and policies, by developing educational materials and didactic training modules; and 4) partner with national organizations to raise awareness for the importance of fathers in MCH.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of paternal involvement in pregnancy and family health. Explain the role of the Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes Network to improving maternal and child health outcomes.

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Men’s Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in the maternal and child health field for the last five years. I have aided in the writing of several manuscripts and published one article in the European Journal of Pediatrics. Dr. Bond, Christina and I have over 10 years of combined experience focusing on improving paternal involvement in pregnancy outcomes.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.