Why Did a Postpartum Care Commercial Get Banned From the Oscars?

Whether you deliver a baby vaginally or via C-section, your body is basically a mess postpartum. The pain, discomfort, and emotional turmoil of those first weeks are something moms used to avoid talking about, what with all the focus on the miracle of having a newborn baby. It’s also something that the powers that be would rather we continue to avoid — at least, apparently, when it comes to the commercials being shown during the Oscars on Sunday night.

According to a Frida Mom press release, ABC is refusing to air an ad for the company’s postpartum care line during the ceremony broadcast because it is “too graphic with partial nudity and product demonstration.”

You can watch the ad for yourself on YouTube to see what they’ve deemed graphic. It’s a woman — a single mom in a single bed, it appears — getting up in the middle of the night, wearing those mesh panties from the hospital, sitting on the toilet using her peri bottle and numbing spray, peeing and changing her pad. It all looks very uncomfortable and is causing me many flashbacks right now.

The network has cited rules from the organization behind the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which prohibits airing ads for “political candidates/positions, religious or faith-based message/position, guns, gun shows, ammunition, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, condoms or hemorrhoid remedies.”

Apparently, the Academy doesn’t want to take the focus away from all those glamorous Hollywood folks dressed in their finest with a reminder that we all have physical bodies and came from mothers with physical bodies.

This is the second time since Frida Mom launched last year that it’s had an ad banned. Advertising companies in multiple cities said they wouldn’t put up signs for the Frida Mom Upside-Down Peri Bottle that said, “Trust us, your vagina will thank you.” The signs eventually went up in New York City, but nowhere else.

But without having to pay for those pricey Los Angeles billboards and Oscar ceremony ad rates, the company has certainly been able to use this rejection to make its point. The YouTube version of the ad begins by telling us about being banned.

“It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time,” reads the text before the spot. “Yet it was rejected. And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared.”

Sounds about right. How are new moms ever supposed to feel prepared when the information — and the products — that can help them are kept hush-hush and off our screens?

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