There is growing awareness of the vital role that men play in the lives of children, and in maternal and child health. Many groups are attempting to engage fathers in supportive services due to the benefits of father engagement. For example: Children with involved and nurturing fathers are more likely to avoid drug use and criminal activity, do well in school, exhibit empathy for others, and report a positive sense of identity. Fathers who participate more equally in care giving report better mental and physical health than those who do not. Through caring for a child, men build stronger and more affectionate connections with those they care for. Mothers who have involved partners feel more emotionally supported and less stressed than women with absent or uninvolved partners. Furthermore, when fathers are involved during the pregnancy, babies have fewer complications at birth. These findings support the development of initiatives that help fathers develop and maintain positive relationships with their children. Health care professionals can play a key role in the expansion of father participation in the lives of their children. The Fatherhood Program is committed to developing a healthcare center at MGH Chelsea that is welcoming to fathers with health care staff who are encouraging and responsive to fathers.
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