An ad for Frida Mom postpartum products was banned from airing during the 2020 Oscars telecast. It was deemed "too graphic". What the ad showed was a new mom's experience with her postpartum body–getting up during the night and all the pain and selfcare that entails.
While none of this is new to health care providers, it is new to the vast majority of new parents. And based on the comments on social media, more of them wish they'd been better prepared for the postpartum stage of pregnancy.
Speaking about the banned ad, Frida chief executive Chelsea Hirschhorn told Today Parents that the squeamishness around the realities of motherhood makes it difficult for women to be prepared. "We wonder, after experiences like these, why women remain so completely unprepared to navigate this very fragile time period," Hirschhorn said. "It's because there are very narrowly defined ways in which we can share information."
As the company points out in its YouTube caption next to the ad, "It's just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet it was rejected. And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared."
Thousands of comments poured in with support for the ad, saying things like:
"I'm one week postpartum and this is wayyy too real. I'll survive, but I really wish someone had given me some sort of heads up on what to expect."
"Postpartum is by far the worst and least talked about part of pregnancy. I LOVED that ad!"
And even, "As a man who has never sired a child, this ad actually taught me something. I didn't even know women go through this after childbirth."
Model Ashley Graham, who gave birth in January posted a picture of herself wearing disposable underwear on Instagram with the caption, "Raise your hand if you didn't know you'd be changing your own diapers too." Her post was "liked" by more than 777,000 people.
Graham went on the say, "No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through. I wanted to show you guys that it's not all rainbows and butterflies!...It's unbelievable the obstacles we still face talking about what women really go through."
While the ad may not have run on television, the controversy caused by its ban may have brought the company even more attention. And based on feedback from parents, it seems clear that postpartum realities should be addressed at least before they are sent home from the hospital, if not sooner, so they can prepare themselves.
Coming soon from Customized Communications, Inc. is Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care, an updated version of A New Beginning as our postpartum and newborn education book.