How's Coleen Garcia as a first-time mother?
During Coleen's appearance on the second season of the ABS-CBN online show I Feel U last November 8, 2020, the actress said she was warned beforehand about the major changes that motherhood entails.
"I'm trying to learn how to breastfeed, pero, at the same time, nagre-recover pa lang ako.
Coleen gave birth to Amari on September 10, 2020.
Out of all the things she had anticipated, breastfeeding was the one activity she considered "matrabaho talaga."
Coleen elaborated, "Breastfeeding in itself is actually super hard already, pero iyong gusto ko kasi direct latching kasi lalo na ngayon na parang hindi naman ako lumalabas, di ba?
"Might as well na hindi muna magbote, hindi muna magpump. So ayon, direct latching talaga."
Coleen also hadn't realized that breastfeeding would alter her eating habits as well.
She said, "Nung una talaga, iyon nga, nanibago ako because of the diet also.
"Na parang every two hours kailangan talaga kumakain. Kasi breast milk stays the same, it's nutritious talaga no matter what.
"Pero kapag kulang, kinukuha talaga from my nutrition. So, ako iyong parang nanghihina, ako iyong parang nakukulnagan sa nutrition.
"So I always have to be eating and everything... totoo iyong sinasabi din nila na your body is no longer yours."
For Coleen, the effect of motherhood on her has been deeper and far-reaching.
She told Toni in the interview, "There were so many things before na sobrang sa tingin ko importante, pero ngayon parang ang babaw or parang hindi na ako.
"With him [Amari], siguro nag-change iyong perspective ko with life and I focus on things that matter now.
"Iyong mundo ko paliit nang paliit and parang I don't have to look so far anymore to see what really matters to me. Nandito lang talaga sa paligid ko."
DEALING WITH MOM SHAMERS
Frantic, Coleen immediately phoned her doctors only to be told that acne among newborn babies is common.
Still, the ABS-CBN actress "felt sorry" for Amari, so she thought of slathering his face with her breast milk.
To her relief and delight, it worked!
It so happened that among the topics during the online show was "mom shaming."
Toni Gonzaga, the host of I Feel U, asked Coleen about the reactions of netizens after she shared on Instagram the story of Amari's rashes and her remedy—breast-milk.
It seemed Coleen's hack created a brief "discussion" online.
Coleen said, musing, "Not really thinking of anything that they're saying kasi shine-share ko lang naman. Parang, 'Just sharing,' di ba?"
She stressed that it was not her intention to force her remedy on anyone, and that all she wanted was to share with the other mothers her own experience.
Coleen continued, "It's really up to you naman kasi, everybody naman, magkakaiba ng style ng parenting. Magkakaiba naman tayong lahat.
"As much as I don't appreciate when people push their beliefs or they push the way they do things to me, I wouldn't push the way I also do things to other people.
"I enjoy looking at the journeys of other parents, and I enjoy looking at how other people are handling their babies or their pregnancies.
"Nae-enjoy ko lang. Like iyan, I learned that from someone else.
"There might be somebody like me who's also looking at my profile and they might pick it up.
"Parang ganoon lang. At least, parang, 'Ah okay, ganito pala ginagawa niya.'"
Coleen and husband Billy Crawford have both accepted that because of their work, they've opened themselves up to public scrunity.
She remarked, "All I can say is, naiintindihan ko rin why other people don't post pictures of the baby.
"Because may mga tao din talaga na who can be very harsh and iyong sobrang, 'Saan ito nangagaling,' di ba?
"Iba talaga. But for us, it's just a matter of acceptance.
"No matter what we say, no matter what we do, kahit ano pa iyan, kahit the smallest thing to the biggest, people will always have something to say.
"And it's not always gonna be something good. It's a matter of deciding who's opinion matter."