Don’t Pickle Your Sperm

Doug French2020 Dad 2.0 Summit, Men's Health

We humans have a complex relationship with alcohol. It’s a social lubricant that causes antisocial behavior, and we can’t seem to agree whether even moderate consumption is healthful or not. But a study that went viral this week has cast a mighty blow in the Not column.

If you’re planning some family planning in the next three to six months, put that cork back in the bottle. Because according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, dads-to-be who drink alcohol before conception are 44% more likely to have babies born with congenital heart disease (CHD), which affects 1.35 million live births (or 8.22%) worldwide. Epidemiologically, that qualifies as a major global health problem.

Is this news literally a buzzkill? Certainly. But it’s an important development in the overarching goal of gender equity.

News like this isn’t news at all to women, who since 1973 have been told (by the CDC, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, etc.) that alcohol and fetuses don’t mix. But at a time when men are assuming greater responsibility to care for children, we have another compelling reason to step up long before our kids even arrive: Keep your semen sober.

If you’re a good guy, you probably researched all this when your partner got pregnant and swore off alcohol in solidarity with her. In doing so, it turns out you very likely saved your kid from being born with anything from aortic valve stenosis to tricuspid atresia.

Cheers to that.


A new NYU study indicates that a dad who supports his queer, questioning, or transgender child can decrease that child’s risk of heart attack.

If you think it’s pointless to give homework to an elementary school kid, just say No

Twelve NJ dads and five kids will try to conquer more than 240 miles of overnight trail running to raise money for a nonprofit that makes movies for terminal patients.

Meet Seth King of Late Notes, who makes every morning carpool interesting.

Creator of the “Marriage, Kids, and Money” podcast Andy Hill is featured in this important Kiplinger piece about health plans, deductibles, HSAs, and saving for retirement.

“Just an ordinary suburban family—except dad’s trans, mom’s queer, and there’s five kids in this minivan.” Watch this short documentary and meet Nick North‘s Beautiful Family.

How would you react if Instagram decided that your account was being run by your seven-year-old son?

Men often grieve perinatal deaths by themselves and hide their emotions from those who offer what little support is made available.

From California First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom: “It’s time to stop treating parenting as a mom’s burden and a dad’s adorable hobby.”


“I once believed that as I grew older, as time moved forward, I might leave the past behind. But I carry it with me, and though I cannot change the past, I have decided to honor it.” — William Dameron, Don’t Tell Your Children How To Choose A Good Mate. Show Them.

“Remind her she is a superhero. She literally just moved all her organs around and gained 20 kilograms to give you a child that will be a gift to you for the rest of your life.” — Ted Gonder, a Facebook post to his childless 24-year-old self about being a supportive partner

“My daughter knows that her family consists of herself, her mom, and her dad. This is hard when the parents are no longer together. So it’s up to them to bring this important value to her life.” — Flor Mercado, Single Dad Raising A Daughter

“Whatever your stage in fatherhood, just remember there’s other dads out there you can lean on. And if you happen to be grieving, then grief takes its own timeline.” — Dad Huddle podcast, Dads on Depression, Dying, Grieving, and Creativity

“It’s strange how a single joke I told my sister could cause years of pain. I knew very little about him. My mother refused to tell me anything. Until one day she did.” — Corey Dembeck, The Death Of My Father, And My Advice To My Children



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Photo by Josefin on Unsplash