fathersCalling all aspiring fathers! We are always talking kids’ health at Hospitality Health ER, but healthy kids start with healthy parents. In honor of Father’s Day, we want to focus on Dad’s health and wellness. Believe it or not, a man’s health can impact the chances of successfully conceiving and can even determine the baby’s health.

So men, take note that your health plays a role in that of your child. Here are a few things you should do if you’re trying to conceive:

Eat healthy. It may sound cliche, but a nutritious and balanced diet can help you conceive and produce a healthy human being. Food alone can impact the ability of your sperm to implant effectively in the uterus. In fact, research shows that obese men have lower fertility rates than men of normal weight. And if the sperm is able to implant, there is a higher risk of lower birth weight. Low birth weight is associated with chronic diseases in adults such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. 

So as you begin planning for fatherhood, try to incorporate lots of raw vegetables and fruit into your diet. Avoid fried foods, foods that are highly processed, or foods that are cooked at high temperatures, as they contain higher levels of free radicals which can cause DNA damage.

Quit Smoking and Drinking: It’s time to cut out the smokes and the booze. Here’s why: children with fathers who smoked before conception were 30 percent more likely to have a childhood cancer than children whose fathers didn’t smoke. It’s also important to note that drugs and alcohol can also affect the viability of sperm and sperm count.

Stay Away from Harmful Chemicals: This one may be difficult to do if your job requires working around certain chemicals. But if you work with paint,  household cleaners, metals, or chemical solutions, you may need to find ways to minimize your exposure. Ask your Safety Department about facial protection to prevent you from inhaling certain chemicals.

Get tested. Although you may not like to go to a doctor, you may have no choice if you’re having problems conceiving. A urologist can provide a physical exam and semen analysis which can detect the number of sperm and their motility.

Parenting is a job that should be taken seriously. You can start by maintaining positive lifestyle habits to model and pass down to your children. Hospitality Health ER’s blog is full of child health topics that will help you along the way. Start reading here.