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Newlyweds looking forward to starting their family certainly know where babies come from…but what they may be wondering is how long it could take to make a baby.

“Some couples conceive on their first try while others may take a little longer,” said Jennifer Gell, MD, FACOG, obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive endocrinology, Geisinger. “How long it takes you to get pregnant is dependent on a few factors.”

For couples trying to get pregnant, the chances that a woman will conceive are 15 to 20 percent in any particular month. That means there’s a chance you can get pregnant the first month of trying, but it could take anywhere from six months to a year or longer to conceive.

“For women under the age of 35, you should talk to your doctor if you’ve been unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for 12 months. If you’re older than 35 and haven’t been able to get pregnant after 6 months of trying, you should talk to your doctor,” Dr. Gell said.

If you’ve only been trying to get pregnant for a few months or are just about to start trying, don’t jump the “infertility” gun. There are some things you can do to help things along while also prepping your body to carry a pregnancy.

First, if you smoke, it’s time to quit.

“Smoking has been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies,” Dr. Gell said. It’s not just the mom-to-be who needs to quit either. “You don’t want to be exposed to secondhand smoke from your partner. Plus smoking also lowers a man’s sperm quality and function.”

The next thing you should do is start (or continue) taking a daily multivitamin or a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid.

“In the earliest weeks of pregnancy, perhaps before you even know you’re pregnant, the baby’s neural tubes develop – these are the earliest versions of the brain and spinal column,” Dr. Gell explained. “Taking a supplement with folic acid is a key component of reducing the risk of birth defects.”

You may also want to talk to your doctor about your weight – being significantly under or overweight can have an impact on your fertility.

“Women who are underweight, or with a body mass index (BMI) lower than 19 may have difficulty conceiving if they do not have regular menstrual cycles,” Dr. Gell said, noting that a normal BMI range is 19 to 24. “Women with low BMI and absent menstrual cycles should consider an evaluation with a fertility specialist.”

Contrastingly, being overweight could mean you have insulin resistance – having too much insulin in your body can disrupt menstruation. Losing 5 to 10 percent of your bodyweight can be enough to spur ovulation and menstruation.

You may also want to curb your alcohol intake.

“There’s no solid evidence that moderate alcohol intake will have an effect on your fertility, but you may want to err on the side of caution and stop drinking alcohol when you start trying to conceive,” Dr. Gell said. “Early in pregnancy, the baby’s crucial organs develop, typically before eight weeks of pregnancy, when a woman may not know she’s pregnant yet.”

Although having a glass or two of wine before you know you’re pregnant is usually fine, there’s technically no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. And excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a constellation of physical and mental defects.