Iya Villania is hoping to give birth the natural way as she did with her two sons four-year-old Primo and two-year-old Leon with husband Drew Arellano.
Giving birth in the time of COVID-19
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 6, 2020 - 12:00am

Set to give birth in July within days (or hours!) of each other are Iya Villania middle of the month to her and husband Drew Arellano’s third child, and Max Collins on the 12th (EDD/Estimated Date of Delivery) of the month to her and husband Pancho Magno’s first child.

“It’s a boy,” Max told The STAR, “and we already have a name for him but we are keeping it a secret just yet.”

Understandably, because of the unusual times, the expectant moms have apprehensions.

“From now until delivery,” admitted Iya (who hosts the Chika Minute segment of 24 Oras from home), “I fear a few things like, will COVID have settled by then? Also, gaining too much weight and the baby getting too big that delivery may become more difficult than it already is, and the baby positioning, cord coil and its health.”

“Of course,” Max echoed the same thing, “I’m worried about the COVID situation, about contracting the virus, or if I would be able to get the proper medical attention at the hospital in case my ‘home water birth’ has complications.” (Knock on wood!!!)

On the other hand, Iya is hoping to give birth the natural way as she did with their two sons, Primo (who is turning four years old) and Leon (turning two).

“But I’m ready for anything,” assured Iya, “even if it means having to do CS (Cesarean Section). Or whatever needs to be done to keep me and the baby safe.”

Are they having regular check-ups?

“Regular check-ups? Hahahaha!!!” laughed Iya. “COVID has been keeping me at home that I wasn’t even able to go for my congenital scan because hospitals wouldn’t accept cases unless emergency. My doctor always just checks in with me through texting.”

Max said that she has avoided going to the hospital since the pandemic was declared.

Photos courtesy of Max

“I have opted to have a doctor visit me at home instead. So far, all of my check-ups are good. The baby is healthy,” adding, “water birth at home is the best option for me and my child considering the present circumstances. It will be facilitated by a midwife and assisted by a doula.” (A doula is a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience such as childbirth, etc.)

Contrary to belief that first-time dads also infanticipate (naglilihi) along with the expectant mom, Pancho (a registered nurse) said he experiences no such thing.

“Nothing like that,” Pancho clarified. “But we eat anything now. Walang diet-diet.”

Max Collins is set to give birth in July to her and husband Pancho Magno’s first child.

Together with Pancho (who is giving his mom, GMA executive Redgie Magno, her second grandchild, the first from Pancho’s sister), Max exercises three to four times a week. She usually does pre-natal yoga, lightweight lifting and mobility exercises.

According to Iya, her third pregnancy is different from the previous two.

“In the sense that my first trimester wasn’t as easy and smooth as in my first two pregnancies,” said Iya. “Also, I feel so much bigger with this one! Hahaha!!!.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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