Exactly six months ago today, I was sitting on the toilet, doubled over in pain, trying to do something so simple that I usually don’t even think about it: pee. In the next room, my daughter cried from the hospital bassinet. I sprayed myself with a weird plastic bottle the hospital gave me, but in my haste to make it to the toilet, I’d filled the bottle with cold instead of lukewarm water. I screamed louder than the baby.
It’s a memory so foggy, it almost feels like a dream—but this experience bonds every mother who has ever had a vaginal delivery. There was a bright turquoise Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle waiting for me at home that a friend sent me, and over the next two weeks of recovery, it became one of my only sources of relief. (It’s ergonomic, easy to clean and way more gentle than the crappy one they give you at the hospital.) Since then, I’ve bought it for three other friends who were expecting. “You’ll need this,” I wrote on the card. “Trust me.”
How I felt at that moment was lying dormant in the back of my brain until I watched Frida Mom’s newest commercial, which was just banned by ABC and the Oscars. Why? Because it’s been deemed, “too graphic, with partial nudity and product demonstration” by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Too graphic for who, exactly? The kids whose mothers went through this to bring them into the world? The partners of those women, who sleep while their other half selflessly (and probably without complaint) wakes up every two hours to feed the new baby while in severe pain? The soon-to-be postpartum moms who need to know that products like this actually exist?
The Academy’s statement? During the Oscars broadcast, “Advertisement of the following is not permitted: Political candidates/positions, religious or faith-based message/position, guns, gun shows, ammunition, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, condoms or hemorrhoid remedies.”
Frida Mom has posted the banned commercial on its YouTube channel, adding, “It’s not violent, political or sexual in nature. Our ad is not religious or lewd. And does not portray guns or ammunition. 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.”
Do you think the ad went too far? Or, like me, would you want to know the truth?