It all started with a baby… and a book. Heidi Murkoff conceived the idea for What to Expect® When You’re Expecting during her first pregnancy, when she couldn’t find answers to her questions or reassurance for her worries in the books she turned to for much-needed advice. Determined to write a guide that would help other expectant parents sleep better at night, Heidi delivered the proposal for What to Expect® When You’re Expecting just hours before delivering her daughter, Emma.
Dubbed the “pregnancy bible,” What to Expect® When You’re Expecting hit a publishing milestone in June of 2015 when it became the longest-running title on the New York Times bestseller list, where it debuted in September of 1990. The book is now in its 5th edition and features a photograph of a pregnant Emma, the baby who inspired the original edition, taken when she was expecting her first baby Lennox, who appears on the back cover.
Currently, there are over 19 million copies in print. In addition, USA Today named it one of the most influential books of the last 25 years—reporting that it is read by 93 percent of women who read a pregnancy book. Other titles in the series include Eating Well When You’re Expecting, What to Expect® the First Year, What to Expect® Before You’re Expecting (a complete pre-conception plan), and What to Expect® the Second Year, the must-have guide for parents of toddlers.
The What to Expect® books have sold more than 34 million copies in the United States alone and are international bestsellers, published in over 30 languages. Heidi’s What to Expect® kids’ books for preschoolers include What to Expect® When Mommy’s Having a Baby and What to Expect® When the New Baby Comes Home.
In 2005, Heidi expanded the What to Expect® (WTE) brand online with WhatToExpect.com. Filled with the latest in pregnancy and parenting information and news—presented with What to Expect’s trademark warmth, humor, and empathy—the site is also home to a close-knit community of more than 11 million moms worldwide.
WhatToExpect.com sees a new post from a parent every three seconds. In 2009, WTE went mobile to serve moms and moms-to-be wherever they are. More than 1 million parents use the WhatToExpect® pregnancy, baby, and fertility trackers for iOS and Android devices, which deliver both personalized content and information, as well as daily news parents can use.
Heidi connects daily with her WTE family through WhatToExpect.com, the WTE apps, Facebook, and Twitter. In 2012, Heidi helped turn her iconic book into a feature film—“What to Expect® When You’re Expecting”—acting as executive producer. The film, a comedy that stars Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, and Elizabeth Banks, features five couples whose intertwining lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood.
Heidi’s passionate commitment to moms and babies led to the creation of the What to Expect® Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underserved families expect healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and healthy, happy babies.
July 22, 2015 marked the first annual #BumpDay which harnessed the power of social media to highlight the importance of healthy pregnancies for mothers and children worldwide. Participants included Whattoexpect.com; International Medical Corps, 1,000 Days and the United Nations Foundation.
This campaign encouraged women all over the world to share photos of their bumps, past and present, to bring attention and raise awareness to the overwhelming challenges that make pregnancy and childbirth perilous for too many moms and babies around the world. #BumpDay was a huge success and trended on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It takes place this year on August 3.
In 2011, TIME magazine named Heidi one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She has also been honored by Smithsonian Associates with the prestigious John P. McGovern Award, which recognizes contributions to American families, and has been inducted into the Books For a Better Life Hall of Fame. Heidi has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including the TODAY show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Early Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, BBC Breakfast, and Good Morning Australia. She has also been featured on CBS Sunday Morning.
Heidi and her husband, Erik, went on to deliver a second bundle of inspiration, Wyatt, just as Heidi was about to start her very first book tour (her first appearance on the TODAY show was when she was 39 weeks pregnant). On February 12, 2012, Emma delivered the newest member of the What to Expect® family, her son Lennox. Proud grandparents Heidi and Erik live in Southern California
How to Celebrate #BumpDay
WHY: Healthy futures start with healthy beginnings. A healthy mom, a healthy pregnancy, and a safe delivery not only help ensure the healthiest start in life for a baby – but the healthiest, happiest and most successful future for both mother and child. There is no more pressing global issue impacting our collective future than maternal health – and yet it has remained a low priority around the world. Let’s change that this year. Our future depends on it.
WHO: What to Expect, the world’s best-known and best-loved pregnancy and parenting brand, is bringing together organizations equally devoted to maternal health, along with corporate and media partners, and the global community of moms (and those who love them) for a day of celebration and action to promote healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and healthy futures. HOW TO:
Invite moms from around the world to share their bumps on social media in a show of celebration and solidarity for their sister moms. All bumps are welcome: current bumps, bump blasts from the past, bumps of all sizes, shapes, and colors, from dierent cultures, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Partners can show their love for bumps with their arms wrapped around them. Siblings and other loved ones invited, too.
Hashtag: #BumpDay Groups can post, too! Form a flash mob of bumps – at a prenatal yoga session, a prenatal clinic, a workplace, a park, a pregnancy or childbirth class, or with pregnant friends. Spread the word. Use social media, your networks, and signage to share vital facts, stats, and a call to action to promote healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries around the world. Hold a special #BumpDay celebration or incorporate messaging into events leading up to it. Speak up for bumps. Urge your Congressperson or Senators to support programs that invest in healthy bumps around the world.
Heidi answers your pregnancy questions next page.