In the hours leading up to and then following child birth I think it's probably a time when as women we're most vulnerable, we're hormonal, emotional, tired and generally don't really have a grasp on much. Who can blame us, it's the toughest thing we go through right? So what baffles me is why the NHS deem it appropriate to bring what is effectively doorstep sellers, to your hospital bed, with your precious newborn bundle used as a tool to lure you into spending hundreds of pounds. I honestly don't even know where to begin with this post, it's one I uhm'ed and ahh'ed over writing for so long, because I do think the NHS is an invaluable service. However when I touched upon it in a previous post, it seemed fitting to explain just exactly why I detest Bounty reps on maternity wards.

If you're new around here you might not know that in 2016 when I gave birth to our second son Patrick, he was premature, not massively, a month, and so it was quite the shock when at 6.5lb, five hours after birth he was whisked off to NICU where he spent the next 8 days of his life. It was all pretty traumatic as you can imagine, and something I have covered previously here if you want to read into it. So there I was, pretty distraught being without my newborn baby, echoing words of underdeveloped lungs, sepsis and a plethora of things you don't want to hear when you've just given birth. I spent the first day after his birth on a ward with other women and their babies, one even had twins, it all felt really cruel and nothing heightens your sense of longing and emptiness than seeing everyone else with the one thing you crave. Thankfully I was then put in my own room, peace and quiet you would think. Wrong.

Yes, you guessed it, in come Bounty with their sales pitches, at the point when my defences are down and quite frankly the sight of anyone other than loved ones, wasn't welcome. Even after I heard a midwife swiftly say as she entered 'that's a NICU one', do you think that was enough to think I probably wasn't up to any add on's? You'd think knowing there was no baby in the room, just a pretty broken mother, would be a deterrent enough, but apparently not. In she came like a ray of sunshine, now I'm not saying everyone had to be down in the dumps because I had a poorly child, but nothing screamed 'the world goes on' more than this ladies attitude. I suppose they get used to it? After all they are pestering ladies on maternity wards all day long, they must see every kind of scenario, but regardless of the that, a bit of tact and compassion go a long way. Though this rep didn't really see me as a mother who's world was collapsing, no she saw me as an opportunity and someone who probably had more time to chat than the others, after all I didn't have my baby with me, did I, a fact that was glaringly obvious it felt like it bore a hole into my chest. I was a soap opera to her, something you read about in Take a Break magazine, a story she wanted every single detail of, 'So what happened here then?' being her opening line, and you can imagine how it went from there. Was this the last I saw of her? Absolutely not, instead she liked to almost taunt me daily, appearing or bumping into me as I headed across to visit my baby 'Still not out? aww'. Really sympathetic thank you.

It isn't just my story that causes me to feel narked by these representatives, it's the concept as a whole. I even remember with Noah how invaded I felt afterwards, I remember being mid nap, in one of those slight dozes you are after birth, in between the blood pressure checks and medication rounds, I was nodding off. It wasn't for long however as before I knew it the Bounty rep was by my bed, already starting to handle my sleeping baby. I was a new mother, a young one at only twenty one and the last thing I wanted to do was have a complete stranger holding my baby. I was his mother, yet in that moment I felt as though I could have been anyone as evidently my opinion or views weren't even thought about.
For me maternity wards are never a place of tranquillity, they are chaotic and they are busy, I truly fail to see a place for a marketing scheme. We need every inch of peace we can get, is it nice to have lovely posed for pictures of your hours old babe? Of course it is, but I never bought them either time, the prices alone are insane and they would have just reminded me of how powerless and upset I'd been during the time. I think as grown adults we are well able to go off on our own accords and contact photographers, even a box to tick whether you'd like to be approached would be a start, as opposed to an all out invasion during those first few precious days.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this view, while I know there are many who probably enjoyed the experience and really cherish those photos, I can only think of those who didn't have such a good time. The mothers like me, with poorly babies, or the ones who gave birth and didn't get a happy ending, how harrowing that must be to have to explain and relive it to absolute strangers who have zero right to know those stories. This is absolutely no shade on the NHS as I say, they're gold, but I hope when my boys grow up and have children of their own, those Bounty ladies are a tale of the past.

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