A new study from researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia emphasizes that the "environmental factors" your egg or sperm is exposed to before it meets its opposite and becomes a potential human "have more influence on the child's future than previously thought."

The study, published in the journal Science and touted by the University, explains that "stored environmental factors in the egg and sperm are contributing more than just genetic material to the child." Things that can fuck up that perfect egg and sperm include eating poorly, smoking and drinking. So basically all the things doctors tell you not to do so as not to hurt yourself could also eventually impact your future child.

This whole study seems pretty "No, duh" but the headline, oh the headline, is great: "Message to parents: babies don't 'start from scratch.'" You hear that parents? You can't live a dangerous life of debauchery and then settle down and think it didn't have some negative impact on your babymaking stuff.

All is not lost, however. Professor Sarah Robertson reveals that just a few tweaks to your life – especially right before that egg is fertilized – "could have a lasting, positive benefit for the future of their child." Whether those tweaks would put a big damper on your current social life remains to be seen.

Image via General Photographic Agency/Getty