Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Infant mortality and father absence

Time magazine just published a piece on premature births in the U.S. We lead the industrialized world in infant deaths. The article explores the medical mysteries behind this and touches on some of the social factors as well.

We know from research that when fathers are involved in the pregnancy, mothers are less likely to have low birth weight babies or for their infants to die. The Time article does not mention this "father factor" but hints at it when discussing "social stress" affecting the health of unmarried mothers.

Interestingly, the two-page photo at the opening of the article shows a man's hands holding a tiny baby. Indeed, infant health is, in part, in the hands of involved fathers...

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