Yes you read that right. I have written “that controversial post” that risks losing me followers due to a difference of opinion. Although I’d assume that anyone up for questioning the ethics of Bounty and the NHS must have a sense of ethics when it comes to respecting the differing opinions of others too?!
WARNING: This post contains a heavy amount of sarcasm, which some may find offensive! (I tried to write maturely, honest!). If you are a sensitive person, stop reading now!
So… what is this whole Bounty Mutiny really about?
Well Bounty is the person (for arguements sake we’ll use “lady” in this post) who comes to visit you just after you have had a baby. She does two things.
1) Gives you a big bag of baby-related freebies
2) Takes a photo of your newborn, which you may or may not decide to buy.
Why are people up in arms about getting free stuff and having their baby’s photo taken?
Well to be honest I think this whole campaign has gone way too far. It is a massive over-reaction of the people who have had bad experiences with unprofessional individuals.
Some people don’t like the contents of the bounty packs
Some people don’t like all the leaflets within the bounty packs
Some people don’t like a stranger visiting them when they are “vulnerable”
Some people don’t like the “hard sell” of the photograph.
Is it just me who finds this all very trivial?
Here’s my experience:
Baby 1: I was overwhelmed by a mass of emotions, I’d never held a baby before, yet here I was, holding my own, that I had only squeezed out of my uterus a few hours before. I’d had a fantastic birth, yet couldn’t complete “stage 3” so I was given a spinal block (and yes that is completely different to an epidural), paralyzing me from the chest down so I was confined to my bed. This combined with my emotional state probably would deem me “vulnerable”. A lady knocks on the door, she comes in and takes a photo. She comes back later with said photo. It’s horrible. My beautiful baby looks blotchy and strange. She asks me if I want to buy it. Shock horror. What should I do? Well, I look up at her and say…
…wait for it… “No Thankyou”. Wow that was hard!
She then gave me a massive bag of freebies. It contained a flannel, a full sized bottle of fabric conditioner, 5 nappies, a standard sized pack of baby wipes, a miniature pot of Sudocrem (well you don’t want to lug a big one round in the changing bag do you?), a few sample packs of baby friendly, non-bio washing detergent, and a ton of other things. Then there are about ten leaflets, mostly with coupons attached. Yes there are some adverts in there – how do you think they fund the freebies? I can’t say I’m massively influenced by adverts at my age.
Baby 2 & 3: I had a 75% chance of surviving after my pre-eclampsia developed into HELLP Syndrome. My Liver and Kidneys were failing. I was anaemic and kept haemorrhaging, I was drugged up to the eyeballs on a concoction of different things and I was attempting to breastfeed twins. I was terrified and having the worst time of my life. No Bounty lady visited. I was very disappointed. Aside from the fact I’d have liked to chat to her, some freebies would have cheered me up a little. Photos of my beautiful but tiny premature twins would have cheered me up, as I couldn’t get up to take any myself.
On Day 10 in hospital, weak and wobbly, I walked down the hall and went in search of her. I found her. She was massively busy but took the time to apologise for not getting to me. She knew I was ill and didn’t want to bother me. She gave me the Bounty packs and a apologised again for my not getting the chance to have the photographs.
The bounty packs this time didn’t have the full size bottle of fabric conditioner, but they had really soft baby bath towels with hoods. They were brilliant! It had all the other stuff similar to before. Maybe a few more leaflets this time. I kept the ones I wanted, and recycled the ones I didn’t.
If you don’t like the adverts… don’t read them! You know where the paper recycling bin is (I refer to my earlier comment about challenging ethics and apply it to recycling). If you don’t want the coupons – give them to someone less well-off than yourself, who would really appreciate them. If you don’t like the freebies – do the same.
If you don’t want the photo – say no. Unless you have lost your voice, no matter how emotionally insane you are, you are still perfectly able to say no. Blimey if you are strong enough to carry a baby in your womb for 9 months and then either squeeze it out of your lady parts or undergo major surgery, you are capable of saying no.
If you don’t want to see the Bounty lady at all, when she knocks on the door, just say “no thankyou, I’m not interested”. You are an adult!
Here’s the thing. People are saying that they were “pressured into buying the photo, which they later decided they didn’t want”.
Well here’s a scenario for you…
You are ill, , therefore “vulnerable”, for arguements sake, we’ll say you have Cancer (like me). You go for a short walk as you’ve not left the house in weeks. You pass a bakery and end up buying a dozen cream cakes. You eat them. You then decide you probably shouldn’t have eaten them, because
a) they lack in nutritional value
b) you are dieting and they will make you fat
c) you couldn’t afford them
d) any other reason.
Do you then campaign against said bakery and try to get it shut down because they they sold you something you didn’t want, at a time when you were vulnerable?
(I’d like to point out, I only bought one cream cake and I did not regret it).
What about all the good Bounty do? Have you ever looked on their website or twitter page? It’s full of helpful articles to guide new mums and help solve mum issues. What about all the people who really appreciate the freebies? I’ve always been skint around the time of having babies and especially with twins, it all helps. What about all the women who love the photos of their newborns? If you are campaining to get Bounty off the wards – all the women who enjoy the benefits of Bounty will lose out too!
I won’t be signing the petition to get Bounty off of maternity wards, because if I had another baby, I’d welcome the chat with the Bounty lady and I’d want the freebies and the opportunity to buy a photo. I also wouldn’t want to ruin that positive experience for the other people who wanted it.
Whatever your negative experience of Bounty, ask yourselves these questions:
a) Is it “Bounty” that you are against or is it one individual employee of Bounty who acted unprofessionally? If it’s one employee… COMPLAIN (to Bounty)!
b) Is it worth hundreds (maybe more) of people losing their jobs? People like you and me, who have children and families to support who are just doing their job, taking photos of newborns and handing out Bounty packs. The majority with no sales pitch, just a gentle demeanor and trying to help.
c) Is it the brands who advertise in Bounty that you are against? Don’t confuse brands, advertising and Bounty with endorsement or the NHS – they are very different things!
What I AM against:
I am against Bounty staff approaching women who have tragically lost their babies. However, I have to ask – whose fault is that? Is it the fault of the Bounty lady, who had no idea – or should someone from the hospital have informed the Bounty lady of who not to approach?
I am against unprofessional behaviour. A member of Bounty staff who does pressure sell, or who returns twice to the same mum, is acting unprofessionally. That is out of order – but that’s not Bounty as a company – that’s the individual employee.
Perhaps what we should learn from this is the following:
a) We all have different opinions and experiences – that doesn’t make any of us “wrong”
b) There should be a tick box on a mum-to-be’s birth plan which states whether or not she would like a visit from Bounty. Therefore making this experience an informed choice.
We’ve all heard about those who’ve had bad experiences of Bounty, so how about we hear from those who’ve had good positive experiences of Bounty for a change? I don’t like ranting and I don’t like arguements, so let’s keep this blog positive – like the saying goes – if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything! If you’ve had a good experience or you loved your Bounty packs or photos… drop me a comment below!