Author of 'What To Expect When You're Expecting'; Creator of Whattoexpect.com; Founder of The What To Expect Foundation
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 preconception 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. With a beautiful, culturally appropriate low-literacy pregnancy guide (provided at no cost) and comprehensive prenatal health literacy support, the WTE Foundation’s groundbreaking Baby Basics program—available in English, Spanish, and Chinese—has helped over 500,000 expectant moms-to-be in need and their babies. The foundation also partnered with the State Department to bring Baby Basics global, starting with Liberia and Bangladesh. In 2013 Heidi and the Foundation joined forces with the USO in “Special Delivery,” a program which supports expectant military moms serving far from family and friends. Baby showers—which have taken place all over the world, from Landsthul, Germany to Okinawa, Japan, Fort Hood to Fort Campbell—are hosted by Heidi and provide gifts, games, and a chance for military moms-to-be to connect with Heidi and each other. Other What to Expect Foundation partnerships include International Medical Corps, where Heidi serves as a first responder. Their mission is to establish a global midwife training initiative and to provide maternal-child care where it’s most needed, to mothers-to-be in areas of the world devastated by poverty, civil war and natural disasters. In the spring of 2015 Heidi and her husband Erik traveled with the IMC to South Sudan, where she visited with displaced moms and humanitarian workers, and they will do a similar trip to Sierra Leone this summer. Another partner is 1,000 Days, a global organization dedicated to nourishing babies from conception to the second birthday. 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—who now graces the cover of the third edition of What to Expect® the First Year, which was published in October of 2014. Proud grandparents Heidi and Erik live in Southern California. WHAT TO EXPECT is a registered trademark of What to Expect LLC.