In a day and age where anything goes on television, showing the reality of a postpartum mom is deemed “too graphic.”
Most women feel adequately prepared for pregnancy and birth. We spend hours scouring the internet, comparing our baby to the size of a walnut, a grapefruit, and a cantaloupe. We carefully decide what foods we should eat to best nurture our growing baby. We research the heck out of contractions, natural birth, and epidurals. We even plan ahead for breastfeeding and caring for our newborns. However, one topic surrounding pregnancy that often gets overlooked is the immediate postpartum period.
The days and weeks that follow birth are typically focused on the baby. We, as a society, often fail to discuss the physical discomfort, blood loss, and the emotional swings that come with giving birth. Instead, the media depicts a new mom as a smiling woman, fully equipped with a fit body and a cute baby. Frida Mom wants to change that. They quickly learned that some major networks won’t help with their cause.
Frida Mom, a company that sells feminine care products for the postpartum mom, created an ad that was scheduled to air during the Academy Awards. The 60-second commercial was rejected by ABC, who claimed that it was too “graphic” to show on air.
The ad begins with the sound of a crying baby. An exhausted mom flicks on the light at 2:57 am. With her postpartum belly hanging over her mesh panties, she carefully gets out of bed and walks gingerly to the bathroom. Watching the ad, you can feel the mom’s discomfort, as well as her sense of urgency, as she quickly tries to take care of her personal needs so she can attend to her infant.
“Postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be this hard,” the ad concludes, before showing several Frida Mom’s postpartum products.
Frida took to YouTube to show their ad, writing, “The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show. It’s not “violent, political” or sexual in nature. Our ad is not “religious or lewd” and does not portray “guns or ammunition.” “Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief” are also banned subjects. 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. We make products that help women prepare for postpartum recovery. We’re Frida Mom.”
The ad has people talking, including Busy Philips. She reposted the commercial on her Instagram page, writing in the caption, “I legit teared up when I just watched it. Partially because this is clearly an ad made by women who have been there and get it and partially because I DO believe so strongly that the more we can NORMALIZE A WOMAN’S BODILY EXPERIENCE IN MEDIA.”
As of February 12, the ad has been viewed close to 2.5 million times.