A scientific article was recently published about how the age of the father affects the health of newborns. We often take into account the age, health and well-being of the mother during pregnancy, but the father’s condition is rarely considered. As the time spent in education grows, so the ages of both women and men becoming parents, also grows. In France, the average age at which women have their first child is 28 years old * while two thirds of men have their first child after 30 **.
The study relied on data from just over 40,000,000 births between 2007 and 2016 in the United States alone.
According to a study conducted in late October in the United States, at birth, a baby born to a young father (in his twenties or thirties) is more likely to be in good health than if the father is over 40. Thus, the age of the mother, often discussed, is no longer the only factor to take into account.
What is the impact of the father’s age on the health of his newborn?
The conclusion was that the risk of premature birth, an underweight baby and a low Apgar score (taken 5 minutes after birth) slightly increases according to the age of the father. The Apgar score, used since the 1950s, provides an important indication of the baby’s overall condition at birth, assessing responsiveness, heart rate, skin colouration, muscle tone and respiratory effort. If it is too low, it is a harbinger for a problem in later life.
Surprisingly, the advanced age of the father can also cause health problems for the mother. For those mothers with older partners, the risk of gestational diabetes increases by 30%, of which 18% is directly related to the age of the father .
All these effects are due to alterations to the father’s sperm which takes place with age. This raises the question of the ideal age at which to have a child. In this particular study, the reference group was 25 to 34 years old with risks shown to largely increase after 45.
Even if this study should be looked at with a certain amount of caution (because it is the first on this subject), it does bring into play a real question on what determines the health of a newborn. The age of the father should be taken into account, as well as the general physical health of the parents and their well-being.
This is where we come in: at any age, a suitable diet is essential to optimise the chances of having a healthy child, and this concerns both the future father and future mother. These ready-made menus, put together by your nutritionist Dietician Coach, will increase the chances of getting pregnant. Similarly, during pregnancy, you’ll avoid deficiencies for yourself and for your baby. Take a look at this program that we developed especially for pregnant women with the objective of having a smooth and successful pregnancy.
* INSEE, vital statistics and population estimates. Adjusted birth ranges from the1968 to 2008 censuses and from the 2011 annual census survey.
** NEYRAND, G., (2014), The factors that explain the tendency of men to have children later and later in life, Atlantico
Study cited: Association of paternal age with perinatal outcomes between 2007 and 2016 in the United States: population based cohort study. Eisenberg, Khandwala et al., (2018) BMJ 2018; 363: k4372