Best Ways To Make A Baby

An estimated 11 million couples in the U.S. are currently trying to conceive a child. Medical groups now recommend that would-be parents plan for baby-making at least three months before they begin trying.

Pregnancy guru Heidi Murkoff, author of "What to Expect Before You're Expecting" as well as the very popular series of books thart began with "What To Expect When You Are Expecting" visited The Early Show Monday with some surprising tips on baby-making tips.

Co-anchor Julie Chen, herself several months pregnant, played "True or False" with Murkoff, to dispel lots of myths.

  • Eating oysters helps you get pregnant: True.


  • "Believe it or not, this is true," Murkoff said. "This is one of the few conception clichés that actually stands up to scientific scrutiny."

    Oysters are also aphrodisiac, Murkoff adds, but they help you get pregnant, as well.

    "Oysters are the food chain's most concentrated source of zinc. And zinc is one of nature's most fertile nutrients, in addition to being a libido-booster," she explained. "So, yes, it's true what they say about oysters: They are nature's answer to Viagra - for both sexes, in fact."

    Murkoff reiterates that both sexes can enjoy the benefits.

    "You should share those before you get busy. Also, you can still have them raw pre-conception, along with your sushi and sashimi. Once you are expecting, that's going to be off the menu," she noted.

  • Cough medicine makes getting pregnant easier: True.


  • "Yes, potentially this is true -- kind of off-label, but true. We're talking about expectorants. Expectorants work by thinning the mucous in your chest, which is a good thing if you have a cough," she said. "But they don't distinguish between different types of mucous in your body. They may also be thinning your cervical mucous, which is easier for sperm to hitch a ride in."

    Murkoff also adds that, if you try this at home, you don't want to choose an expectorant that has antihistamines, which she says "are fertility-unfriendly because it may dry up your cervical mucous along with your nasal mucous." She stresses that you should read your labels.

  • I can keep drinking coffee until I get pregnant: False.


  • "Sorry, this is false. Yeah, it's not just pre-pregnancy no, no. Heavy caffeine consumption is linked to decreased fertility and also to an increased risk of miscarriage if you do conceive," she said. "So, you've got to limit to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day."

    Murkoff demonstrated that by showing 12 ounces of brewed coffee a day and stressed - "This isn't an hour, a day!"

    "So the good news is you don't have to cut back any further once you're expecting, because pregnant women are allowed the same 200 milligrams of caffeine," she said. "A good reason to get that before you're pregnant, is you're going to have enough headaches and fatigue and irritability. You don't want to be adding caffeine withdrawal symptoms to the mix."

  • Hopeful dads don't need to cut back on alcohol: False.

    "Guys don't get an all-you can drink pass during preconception, because it can lower testosterone levels and decrease sperm production and even bring down the curtain on performance. Kind of essential during operation conception. So they should limit themselves to no more than two drinks per day."

  • Men should wear boxers instead of briefs to promote fertility: True.

    "This is true. The bottom line is that anything that overheats that southernmost region on a man can give a cold shower to sperm production. So that could be a laptop, it could be hot tub, sauna, steam room or a pair of 'tighty whities'. Women like them better anyway, right?" Murkoff joked.



    To rad an excerpt of "What To Expect Before You're Expecting," click here.
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