Maternal and Child Health Journal
Efforts to reduce infant mortality in the United States have failed to incorporate paternal involvement. Research suggests that paternal involvement, which has been recognized as contributing to child development and health for many decades, is likely to affect infant mortality through the mother's well-being, primarily her access to resources and support. In spite of that, systemic barriers facing the father and the influence on his involvement in the pregnancy have received little attention. The Commission on Paternal Involvement in Pregnancy Outcomes (CPIPO) has identified the most important social barriers to paternal involvement during pregnancy and outlined a set of key policy priorities aimed at fostering paternal involvement. This article summarizes the key recommendations, including equitable paternity leave, elimination of marriage as a tax and public assistance penalty, integration of fatherhood initiatives in MCH programs, support of low-income fathers through employment training, father inclusion in family planning services, and expansion of birth data collection to include father information. (Author abstract)
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