Contrary to what Hollywood tells you, childbirth and recovery from it is not pretty.
Of course, meeting and holding your baby for the first time is incredible, but the care mom’s body needs after going through the level of trauma it sustained bringing new life into the world is intense.
There’s pain, stitches, the risk of tearing out your stitches, blood, ooze, hemorrhoids, a fear of using the toilet, the dreaded mesh underwear – and we can’t forget the mental aspect of caring for a newborn while you’re trying to heal and getting used to your postpartum body.
Postpartum recovery company Frida Mom (a branch of Frida Baby) knows a thing or two about this struggle – after all, they sell all kinds of items, from peri bottles to ice maxi pads, to help mom out – and decided they’d try to raise a little awareness on what mom goes through in the days and weeks after childbirth by creating an ad to be played during the Oscars.
In this ad, a mom struggles to get out of bed for her crying infant. She calms the baby and then slowly makes her way to the bathroom in a pair of mesh undies. In the bathroom, she goes through a routine of changing her pad and cleaning up her nether regions – you know, a thing that every mom who has delivered vaginally has to do.
It ends with a note that “postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be this hard.” You can see the ad in its entirety here …
But if you watched the Oscars, this ad probably doesn’t sound familiar to you – because ABC, the channel that plays the Oscars, rejected it.
“The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC and the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show,” Frida Mom wrote in an Instagram post of the video. “It’s not ‘violent, political’ or sexual in nature. Our ad is not ‘religious or lewd’ and does not portray ‘guns or ammunition.'”
According to Frida Mom’s post, the ad was rejected because “feminine hygiene and hemorrhoid relief” are also topics banned from airing.
“It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet it was rejected,” Frida Mom argued. “And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared.”
The add was well-received on Instagram, where it amassed well over 400,000 views and many positive comments.
“Such a beautiful ad. I completely teared up. It brought me right back to having my babies and that our bodies are so badass. Thank you for creating this. It is beautiful. If anything you have impacted me today,” wrote Instagram user @cassyrose.
“Such an honest representation of the new mom experience! My little one is now 20 weeks and your products were amazing! Thank you for sharing this and trying to help remove the stigma from the postpartum journey,” added @bike_run_bake.
And there were even more positive responses on Frida Mom’s YouTube channel. You can read those here, if you’d like.
I’m so relieved to see all the positivity surrounding this ad. Honestly, when I first saw it, I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received. People get weird about certain topics, and there’s this incorrect concept that childbirth is somehow glamourous, that moms should be able to bounce back immediately – and when they don’t (because they can’t and won’t), they’ve somehow failed.
Ads like this – real representations of what real women go through bringing new life into the world – are important so that moms don’t feel alone in their postpartum journey (or with postpartum depression, for that matter).
Maybe, just maybe, if we embraced real life instead of shying away from uncomfortable topics, we’d create a world in which people can find support, talk about their problems and work through the tough times – rather than just silently struggle.
What do you think about the Frida Mom ad? Do you think ABC was right in banning it or did they overreact? Tell us in the comments.