Banned Postpartum Ad: Realistic vs. “Too Graphic”

Premier Health Now

Childbirth and the days and weeks that follow are no picnic. Moms who know how difficult it can be are creating an uproar. They’re frustrated with ABC and The Academy Awards for rejecting an ad by Frida Mom for postpartum products, calling the ad “too graphic”.

Premier Health Now asked certified nurse midwife Melissa Burkhardt, CNM, MSN, with Women’s Health Specialists & Midwives of Dayton about the challenges of postpartum recovery and her perspective on the ad.

“I thought the ad was realistic and very accurate as to what a lot of women experience after childbirth,” she says. Although she realizes some families may not be comfortable watching it, she’s glad to see the spotlight on what many refer to as the fourth trimester. “We should have a lot more focus on recovery and self-care,” Melissa believes.

As a midwife, Melissa strives to ensure moms-to-be have realistic expectations for the weeks following birth. “In other cultures women aren’t expected to be productive, like cleaning the house, but in our culture, many women are expected to jump right back into old routines,” she says. The media’s portrayal of energetic moms and squeaky clean newborns immediately after birth are unrealistic and not helpful to a new mom who is struggling. “Some moms transition back more slowly. They need support from family and friends, and to understand that it takes time to heal.” At the earliest, new moms may start to feel better after two weeks. But prolonged labor or extensive tearing can take six to 12 weeks to heal. And emotionally it can take up to a year, Melissa explains.

Although typically not covered by insurance, Melissa recommends moms enlist the help of a doula who provides guidance and support to moms during and after birth. She also encourages moms to seek assistance from lactation consultants who coach moms, typically at no charge, about breastfeeding.

Childbirth education classes also prepare families for what to expect once mom and baby are discharged from the hospital (typically 24 to 48 hours after birth for a normal vaginal delivery).

Learn more in this comprehensive article that provides advice for recovery after delivery, including what changes you can expect, and how to care for your postpartum body.