Pregnancy and cancer risk

I didn't get pregnant until I was 36, and the event was very much wanted and planned. So it's not as if pregnancy caught me off guard! I was as well prepared as I could reasonably be in various aspects—mentally, professionally, financially, logistically—but of course hindsight is 20/20.

And now that my twins are 10 months old, I have a bit of clarity on just a few more tweaks I could have made to be even better prepared. Here's what I've been thinking I might have done:

1. Strengthen my core. Until I got pregnant with twins, I was a physically fit and active person. I assumed that would continue through my pregnancy. However, halfway through I became too big, too uncomfortable, and too high risk to reasonably or safely do much in the way of exercise. It's possible that this factor contibuted to my diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles. Perhaps focusing like a laser beam on strengthening my core while I was physically able could have helped minimize this issue during and after pregnancy. And bonus if I had even educated myself a bit on the condition, given how common it is.

2. Travel only to the least kid-friendly places in the world. Regular readers of this blog know my obsession with travel. And knowing kids would be in our future, my husband and I stamped the heck out of our passports as much as possible before I got pregnant—hitting far-flung and off-the-grid places. But we also used our funds and vacation time to travel as a kid-free couple to some places accessible by much shorter flights and with family-friendly amenities. If I had it to do again, I'd have saved those experiences for the first few years with the kiddos, and used our couple's-only time for the more exotic destinations.

3. Realize my ignorance. Until you've been pregnant, and then brought children into the world, you may think you know about the experience—but you just don't. That's why I recall with shame the small ways in which I judged friends who were TTC, pregnant, or already parents. Now that I've been through it myself, I realize how naive I was. And If I had fully grasped that concept years ago, I might have been a better friend, daughter, sister along the way. (But it's never too late to make up for lost time!)

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She's also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.