Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Does Father’s Drinking Impact His Unborn Child?

fetusWe all know the warnings new moms are given to stay away from alcohol and drugs before and during a pregnancy. Maternal exposure to alcohol in-utero is a risk and cause for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Children born with FAS can suffer intellectual and social problems, stunted growth and nervous system abnormalities.

But what about the father? Does a father’s lifestyle choices make any difference when it comes to his unborn baby. Does his drinking have a similar effect when it comes to the developing fetus?


A study published in Animal Cells and Systems says YES. The study was conducted on mice and found that paternal mice who were exposed to alcohol consumption prior to conception presented a potential risk to fetal and postnatal development. In the study, fetus that were sired by male mice had more abnormal organ and/or brain development compared to those in the control group.

You may be thinking, wait…the father’s drinking isn’t going into the developing baby like the mother’s would be. After all, she is carry the child. But, the problem begins before the fetus is even conceived. The research shows that the sperm donated by the father is altered by the alcohol (alcohol-induced epigenetic mutations in sperm DNA (Knezovich & Ramsay 2012).These changes or alterations in the critical genes required for normal development can be transmitted through fertilization, resulting in the problems noted.


What does this mean? If you are considering having a child, both the habits and health of mother and father are important to normal development of the baby. Both parents are responsible for bringing the best to their unborn child.



Source: “Transgenerational effects of paternal alcohol exposure in mouse offspring.” Animal Cells and Systems, Volume 17. Issue 6, 2013

Previous Posts

Repairing Family Relationships At the Holidays
The holidays are upon us and everyone has at least one family member they consider a little bit difficult. But what if the difficulty has created an uncomfortable distance that will be felt when you all sit down for the family meal or ...

posted 7:00:54am Nov. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Siblings: Help or Hurt Romantic Relationships?
I've heard my daughter say that having a brother has helped her understand men. She feels comfortable being around men her age, in part, due to being raised with a brother. We know from previous research that having opposite sex siblings ...

posted 7:00:20am Nov. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Thanksgiving: More Than a Meal, Parade and Football
When you think of Thanksgiving, what comes to mind? Watching the Macy's Day parade, eating a very large meal with all the trimmings and watching football with family and friends? Black Friday and the kickoff of the Christmas ...

posted 7:00:21am Nov. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Gratitude: How It Changes Us in Positive Ways
I've been keeping a gratitude journal for the past weeks. Each day, I write down 3 things for which I am thankful. Focusing on gratitude changes a person. If you want to know how, watch my blog to learn about the many benefits of ...

posted 7:00:39am Nov. 23, 2015 | read full post »

What's Your Relationship Deal Breaker?
My daughter was talking to us about relationships the other night. We asked about one young man she knew and her instant response was, "Too needy!" For her, that was a deal breaker. As I thought about this, we all have those deal breakers that ...

posted 7:00:06am Nov. 20, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.