Eva Genk: It’s inconvenient to be so open, but it’s necessary

90 percent of women need stitches after giving birth. 1 in 5 women give birth as a trauma. 1 in 4 will experience urine leakage or other physical problems after childbirth. 1 in 3 suffers from prolapse to a greater or lesser extent after childbirth. And 1 in 10 women suffer serious damage that requires surgery. Just some tough stats you’re going through eva worlda new original three-part video in which Eva Genk talks with experts, medical professionals and parents about the intimate matters that come with motherhood in 2022.

shocking numbers

Eva, who became a mother to son Pax (now 3) in 2018, was also shocked by these numbers, she said. “I thought I knew a lot about it already, but this shocked me.” Eva’s birth ended in an emergency caesarean section due to severe preeclampsia (high blood pressure); Something you weren’t prepared for at all. “I studied what was there to study, read everything that was loose and hanging, followed a birth course and watched videos of quieter deliveries. I thought: I always treat everything, and I am ready. An emergency caesarean will not happen. For me. But during childbirth, it happens Much is out of your control. This is severe. When you feel like you are losing your strength and your physical integrity, it touches your deepest being. It fundamentally makes you insecure.”

She wouldn’t describe her experience as painful, but it was not pleasant and calming. “After the birth of Pax, I had a hard time, also because I was very sick. Normally, this preeclampsia stops once the baby is out of your body, but with me it lasted for weeks. I was hospitalized twice after that. In the hospital. I honestly thought at the time: I wouldn’t I’m back the way it was again. I was afraid I’d never become physically strong again. I was so sad about it. I also didn’t want people to know, that felt like a weakness. I tried to hide it, buy time.”

Only when things got better physically was she also able to recover mentally. That took some time. “Not everything was in tune with the image I had of myself. I am very active myself. At 36 weeks pregnant I was still presenting the audience and warming up, I ran with that bloated belly like it was nothing. I felt loved and thought pregnancy would be representative of time. Next, like everyone else, I have fueled my life with words, images, and ideas about what motherhood is. This image is rooted in who I am and what I thought I would do. But the reality was very different. It made me lonely.”

lower sex drive

Childbirth is just one of the three topics Eva covers eva world† The other two are postpartum sexual activity and working mothers’ guilt. Regarding sex, the numbers also do not lie: in the first 3 months after childbirth, half of the women had a lower sex drive than before, and after six months this still applies to 1 in 3 women. 10 percent of couples have not even started intercourse by this time. Doctors say he’s allowed again after six weeks, but many women aren’t ready for that yet. Eva is far from being like that, as she says in the series: “I can just hold my baby over my head and empty it, because it takes a long time before this caesarean wound is healed. But it really wasn’t just this wound. I didn’t recognize My whole body again. My breasts were twice the size of my head due to breastfeeding, I had sore nipples, and I was constantly pumping in such a device. I felt lethargic and bloated. Completely unexciting. It felt like a pair of Crocs shoes.”

And then the guilt that many working mothers experience: This was no stranger to Eva either. Although she knew that when she worked, Pax was in good hands in the world – his father Dexter – she still had a feeling that she should be at home. And I felt guilty about that guilt again. Thanks to the series, she no longer suffers from it. “Making the series has taught me a lot, including things that I felt intuitively but couldn’t put into words before.”

As for guilt, two conversations really opened her eyes, she says. One was with social psychologist Lianne Arntzen, who told Eva that research shows that the care responsibilities we associate with men and women are different. “A father who works outside the home fulfills his care responsibilities in the eyes of society, while we still expect the mother to take care of the children. If the working father cannot pick up his child from the nursery, we think this is normal, while looking at the mother. Then people can To think: What a cold, selfish woman, who puts her work in front of her child. And that showed me that he was outdated and that he ought to be different.”

Biological evidence

Another conversation that brought me to new insights on this topic was with biological psychologist Peter Buss. “He explained to me that there is no biological evidence that a mother can take care of a child better than a father. Of course I saw it with my own eyes for three years with Dexter, but I thought he was an insanely good father who might be an exception. That is not the case. A mother has only a slight advantage because she She carried the baby and then breastfed, but then it’s all about the experience.And yes, if the dad comes back to work after a few weeks and the mom sits at home with the baby all day, then she gains a lot of experience that the dad can’t catch up with. But that has nothing to do with biology. Absolutely “.

In this series, many moms (and dads too) talk very openly about their struggles with parenthood and the physical discomforts that childbirth can cause. For example, show host Roos Moggré shamelessly tells that she can no longer jump on a trampoline ‘without wearing clean pants afterwards’, due to urine loss. One woman, Mariska, says she’s been walking around with serious complaints “down there” for seventeen years. She doesn’t always control her bowel movements (in other words, she sometimes poops in her pants) and her vagina often makes slapping sounds. Terribly annoying, especially in front of the class. Eva is following her in the lead up to and after her recovery process, which she encouraged for after all these years. “Maresca is a hero,” says Eva. “Such a strong, energetic, intelligent and eloquent woman who has been turned down so many times when I seek help, makes me fear for all these women who are less energetic and less self-confident than they are. I admire her very much. So a lot of people will recognize themselves in what she says.”

Presenter Léonie ter Brac talks about how difficult it was in her early days as a mother. “Enjoy it, people said. How about sore boobs, leaking chest, no sex, sleepless nights and no life of your own anymore? Where is that damn fun then? I was really pissed off at first.” She was also in pain during sex with her husband after the difficult delivery of her first son, but she took it for granted, which eventually made her cramp even worse. Making love with stones eventually turned out to be the solution.

Settling the taboo

Eva herself is also open in the series. She finds it very difficult. “My job for a long time has been to get others to tell stories. Now I say a lot, a lot more than I find easy. But I realized that I do it because it allows me to use my brand awareness to tell stories in order to shine a spotlight that can help others. And to make the conversation about it It’s normal. And when that penny fell, I embraced it. Yes, I find it uncomfortable to share so much, but if it helps others, I want him to do it. Then it’s worth it. I think it gives people comfort in knowing they’re not the only ones going through things. … Although it seems very revealing, I loved being able to do it.”

In recent years, more women have stood up to settle taboos related to motherhood. Eva says it is a good development. “There is more and more honest talk about it. That irrational image of that pure pink cloud is being hacked by more and more women. But it needs to be talked about more. What I came across often was a certain kind of mindset about natural motherhood. We should all naturally That we know how to give birth, and so no pain relief would be necessary. Are you suffering from something? Just biting, because it is nature. There is a culture of getting rid of all those bodily annoyances that are part of ‘dealing with it.’ Many women suffer the consequences of this. They feel lonely, are reluctant to seek help, and if they do, they do not always receive adequate help. While much of the hidden suffering can simply be remedied there is a world to gain if we talk about it openly.”

Of all the misery you almost give up on wanting to have children, but Eva can’t often stress that motherhood is wonderful too. “The last thing I want is to scare people. It’s good to show how wide the palette is: motherhood is also amazing, overwhelming, beautiful and touching.”

Eva’s entire world can now be seen on Videoland

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