As anyone who has breastfed their baby (or attempted to) knows, breastfeeding isn’t always smooth sailing. It can be fraught with painful nipples, latching struggles, the fresh hell of seemingly endless cluster feeding sessions, & occasionally the searing pain of a clogged milk duct.
It’s not easy. In addition, breastfeeding still carries an uncomfortable stigma in many parts of society; breastfeeding moms are often relegated to nursing in public bathroom stalls or facing the unjustly disapproving glances of strangers.
Frida Moms has created a poignantly realistic commercial that attempts to break the taboo by featuring breastfeeding as a normal part of early parenting, & it’s set to air during Sunday’s Golden Globes award ceremony.
Frida Mom is a company that not only provides helpful supplies & equipment for pregnant & postpartum mothers, but also strives to normalize many aspects of the postpartum recovery process.
(And for those of us that once cherished the hospital-issued mesh underwear that miraculously held everything in place, you know how gritty recovery after childbirth can be.)
In short, Frida Mom wants to keep it real.
Both childbirth and postpartum recovery are raw & messy, but they’re NORMAL. They are both a normal, natural part of life, & shouldn’t be seen as taboo, unspoken subjects.
To that end, Frida Moms has created a new commercial specifically -and graphically- highlighting the highs & lows of the breastfeeding process, nipples and all.
The commercial, entitled “Stream Of Lactation”, opens with a new mother cradling her newborn as she attempts to get her baby to latch onto her breast.
And as many new breastfeeding moms know, getting your baby to latch properly for a feeding isn’t always a cinch; in fact, sometimes it’s quite the opposite…
…as one new mom perfectly illustrates, with her grimace of pain as her baby clamps down hard.
And as someone who has nursed six kids, I feel your pain, mama. My nipples are cringing in memory of those initial barracuda clamps.
The narrator talks about the latching. Then there’s the need for hydration- drink water! Drink more water! Are you drinking enough water? How does a new mom find time to drink all.that.water??
Then of course, there’s the PUMPING…
While new moms probably learned the basic mechanics of using a breast-pump & likely did their diligent research in buying the “right” one for them, most had no idea it would be so complicated!
When to pump? How much to pump? Am I pumping enough? How come my supply is so/high? So low? What am I doing????
“Stream Of Lactation” is quite an apt title; it tackles not just lactation itself, but the “stream” of doubts, insecurities, & struggles that so many new breastfeeding moms mentally stew over in those first few months of motherhood:
He’s STILL crying!
Do I love my baby?
Am I a bad mom if I stop now?
Frida Moms really nails the internal struggle with this one: a new mom tries to change her baby’s nursing position, infant wailing, as she squints as her computer screen, seeking some kind of help while beating herself up with the thought that:
Good moms should know how to do this.
The commercial then features a mom waking up to nurse her baby at 3am.
(Seriously, those cluster feedings are brutal.)
As if breastfeeding isn’t challenging enough when your breasts are at their best, the commercial also tackles the angst of a *ouch!* clogged milk duct:
It also shows moms attempting to decrease the pain of clogged ducts/mastitis by using any and ALL measures possible, including massage with a shower head (or hell, a vibrator, because when it comes to clogged ducts, desperate times call for desperate measures, people).
And how about the old “cabbage leaves in the bra” to treat a clogged duct infection?
It’s a gritty business people, but if a cabbage-leaf compress can provide the sweet relief of unclogging the boob duct-works, then cabbage it is!
The commercial concludes with various moms pondering if their baby is getting enough milk. How utterly exhausted they are. How deliciously sweet-smelling their precious infant is as he/she lies in mom’s arms, nursing quietly.
And it ends with a powerful message that all new breastfeeding moms should take to heart:
While the product that Frida Moms created the commercial for is Breast Care Self-Care Kit, the message is clear; new moms need to give themselves as much TLC as they are their sweet newborns.
Frida Mom’s message is an important one, but their timing of its promotion is equally important, too.
The commercial is officially set to air on Sunday, February 28, during a commercial break for the Golden Globes award ceremony.
The reason that this timing is so significant is that the televised Golden Globes draws a huge viewing audience. And Frida Mom wants to ensure that the act of breastfeeding -nipples and all- isn’t viewed as something shameful or profane, but normal & natural.
Frida Mom has attempted to normalize messages of this sort before, with mixed results. The company released a powerful postpartum commercial in early 2020 that was rejected from being aired during last year’s Oscars ceremony because it was deemed “too graphic”.
Graphic or not, normalizing the birth & postpartum experience is important in helping new moms (as well as their partners & family) feel seen & supported in those crucial early weeks.
And as Frida Mom CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn explained when interviewed by Today Parents, presenting a realistic, honest view was their goal:
The reality is that women are blindsided by the physicality of breastfeeding — raw nipples, uterine contractions, painful clogs — and no one tells you that it can be as painful as your vaginal recovery.
New moms need to know the reality they face in order to feel more prepared & less isolated as they embark on this new journey of motherhood.
Whether you agree with the transparent angle of Frida Mom’s lactation commercial or not, it’s heartwarming to know that there is a company that is sincerely devoted to caring for new mothers & their postpartum recovery.
To view the commercial in full, click the link below.