There are a lot of factors that can affect your fertility. It's important to know what to do before you get pregnant.
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Juli Auclair: We know her from her bestselling book What to Expect When You are Expecting, but Heidi Murkoff is here today to talk about her latest book What to Expect Before You're Expecting. It is always good to have you with us in the studio. Heidi Murkoff: It's great to be back. Juli Auclair: Good to have you. Now your books have always had great information for moms and dads -- Heidi Murkoff: And they still do. Juli Auclair: -- who are already pregnant, and they still do, but now you are helping them out beforehand, when they are getting ready. Tell us about that? Heidi Murkoff: Exactly, this is the prequel to What to Expect When You're Expecting, and it's the first step in What to Expect and it's a step that really every couple who is thinking about having a baby, might want to think about before they actually get busy making that baby. Juli Auclair: Okay. Heidi Murkoff: And that's because there are a lot of perks to planning and preparing for pregnancy. It can fast track your fertility, actually help you get pregnant faster, so -- In fact it could save your time in the long run. Juli Auclair: Which is a good thing. Heidi Murkoff: Always a good thing, and also it can help you have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby. That's what the research is showing and that's what doctors or CBC, everybody is pushing this preconception planning. Juli Auclair: Now, for starters you are saying that women should add three months to their pregnancy, you need -- Heidi Murkoff: No, not being pregnant -- Juli Auclair: Right, not being pregnant -- Heidi Murkoff: I don't think I could convince anyone to do that. No, no. Juli Auclair: No, no, no nine months is just about -- Heidi Murkoff: Let me you know thank you very much. Juli Auclair: But you are talking about three months of planning -- Heidi Murkoff: Of getting ready to become pregnant. Juli Auclair: And what do you mean? Heidi Murkoff: So getting your body and your partner's body into tip-top baby making shape before sperm meets egg. So you know conceptions sneaks up on a lot of couples and that's going to happen, but if you are thinking ahead and you are thinking, oh what on the baby this year? Well, then get busy planning. Juli Auclair: What kind of things quickly should you -- Heidi Murkoff: There are so many factors that affect into your fertility, like your weight, being overweight or underweight can really undermine your fertility. Juli Auclair: So let's talk about that. Heidi Murkoff: Yeah. Juli Auclair: What should you do if you are planning? Should you check with your doctor? What do you need to know? Heidi Murkoff: You should check in with your doctor, both of you, not just want-to-be moms, want-to-be dads also should get a preconception checkup. And if the doctor will say, okay, you need to lose certain amount of weight before you conceive. It should be as close as possible to your ideal BMI and your ideal weight before you starting your baby-making engines. Too many fat cells means you are producing too much estrogen, and you know, that sounds great for women trying to make baby, oh! It's a reproductive hormone. Juli Auclair: Right, right. Heidi Murkoff: How can I go wrong! Well, in fact, too much of any hormone can lower your fertility. So you want to take a look at your bottom lines, get those where they need to be. But also your lifestyle, if you smoke, a lot of women say, oh! and men too, once we are pregnant then I'll quit. Well the one problem is, with that theory, is that smoking can lower fertility for both partners. Juli Auclair: So it's going to cause you problems. Heidi Murkoff: It takes you longer to get pregnant if you are smoking, either one of you, and caffeine also, alcohol -- Juli Auclair: Are there foods that can actually help you get pregnant? Heidi Murkoff: Well, there is some evidence, though -- of course you can get pregnant no matter what you eat, no matter what you don't eat, but there are some very preliminary kind of compelling evidence that