It is well known that the health of a mother before conception and during pregnancy affects the health outcome of the baby. A mother who is undernourished when conception takes place has a high chance of having a baby with low birth weight, small for gestational age and other health complications. The same is true for the other extreme; that is if the mother is obese.
New studies from The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, show that the health of men before the conception of the baby is equally important for the health outcome of that baby. In fact, it says that men’s health before the conception of the baby can affect the health of the baby throughout life and even the next generation.
What is the implication of this?
The new lancet series on preconception health suggests that the men’s diet and lifestyle, sperm quality, epigenetic status (changes in the way your genes are expressed) and DNA integrity affect the lifelong health of babies and even their next generation.
This means that how healthy a man is before his child is conceived, is crucial to the health of his children and that of his children’s children.
Men, your health requires attention too. Don’t compromise the health of your children. You need to keep yourself healthy.
How can you keep yourself healthy?
- Maintain optimum weight for your age and height.
- Eat nutritious foods
- Reduce stress
- Engage in physical activity
- Avoid smoking or being around second hand smoke
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Avoid high risk behaviors that can affect your health.
This message is for those who plan to be fathers someday, those who are fathers and all men generally.
Apart from protecting your children, you also get to protect yourself by being healthy enough to enjoy your children as they grow without regrets on your part.
Don’t forget to eat better and live better.
Lancet Series on Preconception Health
Lancet Series on Preconception Health Paper 2
Lancet Series on Preconception Health Paper 3