Rica Peralejo looks enviably fit and gorgeous on her ninth month of pregnancy.
“I just can't help but smile.
"I feel pretty with the baby bump.
"And my husband [Joseph Bonifacio] also tells me I'm pretty and sexy,” says Rica in an exclusive interview with Smart Parenting Magazinefor its January-February issue.
But apart from having a loving husband by her side, the Kapamilya star affirms that the secret to a happy pregnancy is to be free from any fear about giving birth.
“I’m confident in the way I want to do my pregnancy,” Rica avers when asked about the best tip she can give to other expecting moms.
“Because I have an informed pregnancy and I know what I want, I can make good decisions for both the baby and myself.
"It keeps me at peace with myself.”
NATURAL CHILDBIRTH. Rica believes that natural childbirth is the best method for her and her baby.
She declares, “I want it all natural.
"Since I can’t have a homebirth because it's illegal in QC [Quezon City], the next best thing for me would be to give birth at St. Luke's Medical Center Global City, which has a birthing suite and allows water-birth.
“I don’t like to be medicated, and I don’t want an episiotomy.
"Of course, I still have to discuss all of these things with my OB [obstetrician-gynecologist].”
According to webmd.com, water-birth is a more natural and less stressful experience for the mother and her baby.
It also "reduces vaginal tearing," thus helping the mother avoid an episiotomy or stitches.
In one of her blog posts last September, the 32-year-old actress-host shares that she has been reading a lot about the Bradley method of natural childbirth, or more commonly known as the husband-coached childbirth.
Bradley Method, according to wordnetweb.princeton.edu, is a method that prepares a mother for natural childbirth, with the assistance of the father, by educating them about proper nutrition and relaxation exercises.
Rica is surprised that many pregnant women are not clued in on the different birthing methods or that they rely solely on their doctors’ advice.
In her magazine interview, she elaborates, “People tell you to attend this or that birthing class, but they don’t urge you to think about which one you’d prefer.
“I encourage pregnant women to be informed, as early as their first trimester, of their choice of birthing method."
Although a handful of people have discouraged her about opting for natural childbirth, Rica is determined to go through it no matter what.
“Sabi nila, ‘Pag nandoon ka na, let’s see if you won’t ask for meds.’
“Based on what I’ve read, all women will ask for that, but it's a matter of your support system urging you not to choose it.
“I told my husband, ‘The moment I ask for an epidural, don’t give it to me,” Rica adds with a laugh.
“MOTHERHOOD IS A SELFLESS JOB.” Looking forward, Rica is prepared to shoulder the big responsibility that motherhood entails.
She is mindful that her priority will always be the welfare of her baby, whom she has named Philip Jonathan.
All throughout her pregnancy, knowing that “whatever I eat goes to the baby,” she makes sure that she eats a balanced diet.
“I used to be vegetarian but since I got pregnant, I now eat chicken not only for its protein but also because I no longer feel full with just veggies,” she says.
Through it all, Rica is in awe of the beauty of motherhood and what it really means to be responsible for another person’s life.
The happy mother-to-be confirms: “Motherhood is really a selfless job pala.
"You have the option not to be selfless.
"But the more you hold on to yourself—who you are, what you want—the more that you’re also not releasing the best for another life.
"And that is more than enough to change a person.”