Two months after giving birth, Max Collins admits to experiencing "baby blues."
She counts herself among the many new mothers who experience postpartum blues, and says that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not helping.
“Meron, meron ako,” she reveals to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an exclusive interview via Zoom.
“Hindi ko alam kung postpartum—but I guess, postpartum. Kasi, iba iyong feeling.
"I mean, nakaka-drain siyempre na magpadede. Nakaka-drain na maging nanay. Naninibago ako sa challenge and, also, during pandemic pa.
“Hindi kami nakakalabas, so all those factors, nakaka-depress.”
Max reveals there are moments when she can't help but cry.
“Minsan umiiyak ako, naaawa ako sa sarili ko kahit hindi naman dapat.”
According to WEBmd, "Eighty percent of new mothers" experience short-term dips in mood. This is called baby blues, and they go away after a few weeks.
When the feeling of sadness lasts longer or becomes worse, it becomes postpartum depression.
Pancho tries to make light of the situation as he teases Max, "Umiiyak siya sa bintana. 'Tapos, nakatingin sa labas, umuulan.”
Max counters that Pancho is actually referring to their dog, who was pregnant and actually did this.
When Max finds herself "by the window," Pancho says he is always there to support her.
“I try my best na itago si baby sa kanya—hindi, joke lang,” Pancho jokes.
Still teasing Max, he adds:
“Tina-try ko na intindihin talaga. Kailangang maging understanding na—ano ba iyang ulan na iyan, mawawala rin iyan."
Turning serious, Pancho says, “Si Max naman, sobrang lakas niya. I just make sure na i-massage ko siya. Parang mag-date kami na wala muna si baby.
"Siguro, kailangan talaga ng parents iyon. Iyong may time pa rin na silang dalawa lang.
“Kahit two hours a day na kayo lang or alone time niya. Walang naka-latch sa kanya.”
He then adds jokingly, “Walang bintana na malapit sa kanya.”
Max says that even if Pancho likes to tease her, she does feel his support.
He gives her time to work out so that she can have some "me time."
HOME BIRTH AGAIN FOR SECOND BABY?
When Max gave birth to baby Skye Anakin on July 9, 2020, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the country was rising.
This was one of the main reasons she and Pancho chose to deliver their baby in a home or water birth.
When the time comes that Max becomes pregnant with their second baby, they would still choose a home birth or water birth.
Now that she has gone through it for Baby Skye, Max says she experienced a quick recovery from the birth.
"It was really fast. Siguro nag-bleed lang ako ng mga two weeks, ngayon, wala na ang bleeding.
"I feel sort of normal na, and medyo lumiit na iyong tiyan ko nang konti. It's been a good recovery.
"And I think, doon ako happy sa home birth. We did it na walang any medication. That's why, I think, mas naging mabilis iyong pag-heal ng katawan ko."
Max also says there were some healing methods from elders that she tried to help with the recovery. One of these was to steam guava leaves.
She recounts, “Iyong steam sa bayabas, I did that mga one week after with my doula. Kasi, iyon ang inihanda niya for me. Iyong steam sa toilet, iyong may bayabas, para mas mabilis iyong (pag-heal).”
Pancho adds, “Ano naman, sobrang open naman kami. There’s nothing wrong naman to comply sa mga kasabihan ng matatanda.
“Iyong mga old school na practices.”
The new dad says his mom, GMA-7 executive Redgie Magno, also had her own practices to share with the new parents.
"Iyong sinulid sa noo! Kahit iyong mommy ko, hinahanapan ako [ng sinulid] kapag sinisinok si Sky. So ako, 'Bakit sinulid?' Sa damit daw o kahit saan. So ako, okay..."
But one practice they did not do was to keep the belly button of their newborn son.
Max says they do not believe in this, while Pancho jokes, "E, kasi, baka mahalo sa chicharon."
Instead of the belly button, the couple has a unique keepsake created by their doula: a bracelet with their baby's umbilical cord and breastmilk.
But one of the things they made sure to do after the birth was placentophagy, which is the practice of mixing the placenta into drinks or any type of food.
This is said to have a positive effect on the mother's health, such as decrease the chances of getting postpartum depression, increase breastmilk supply, and boost energy.
Pancho says, “Grabe si Max, sobrang sarap ng placenta niya. Trinay ko once, pero siya, iniinom niya iyon.”
Max says she didn't really taste the placenta since she only mixed a small piece each time.
“Five pieces iyon, five small nuggets, five days after akong manganak. Hinahalo lang sa ice-cream and berries. 'Tapos, shinake. And inencapsulate naman ng doula ko. So, iniinom ko siya hanggang maubos.
“Makakatulong daw siya para maibalik iyong nutrition sa katawan. Very nutritious iyong placenta.”