Pregnancy and the transition to parenthood are critical periods for parents to be provided with relevant care, information, and assistance. Unfortunately, fathers do not receive the same guidance and support by the health care system, policymakers, or programs as their partners do. This paper reviews twelve studies that address father transition to parenthood and involvement in prenatal care, the positive outcomes of father involvement on child well-being, and the current state of prenatal father involvement. Recommendations for increased paternal involvement in prenatal care include creating a more father friendly environment in the health care setting, providing prevention-oriented care for men during their partner's pregnancy, and furthering research and policy changes to support a more holistic approach to family health.

Author Biography

Mary Elizabeth Meier is in her final year at the Catholic University of America and plans to graduate in the spring of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Mary Elizabeth has worked with the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project to provide children experiencing homelessness in D.C. with a healthy playing environment. Mary Elizabeth has also interned at Children at Risk in the Center for Parenting and Family Well-Being with research around the importance of fatherhood and the prevalence of fatherhood programs in Texas. Currently, she works with the DC Superior Court in their Urgent Care Clinic to serve individuals in the criminal justice system who are in need of immediate mental health and/or substance abuse services. Lorena Avillaneda is a third year student pursuing a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with a Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification at the University of Houston. Lorena co-founded, and continues to co-lead, the Chicktime- Katy, Tx chapter, a national non-profit that introduces passion-led activities to girls that have been abused and neglected. Lorena joined CHILDREN AT RISK in August of 2015 as an intern for the Center of Parenting and Family Wellbeing. Due to her personal experiences and her work with adolescents, Lorena has developed a profound passion and restlessness in the war against social injustice toward children.