Ad about breastfeeding realities – from raw nipples to milk duct clogs – to air during Golden Globes


NBC is set to air a groundbreaking ad by the feminine hygiene brand Frida Mom during the Golden Globes broadcast this weekend, with video that candidly documents the less-talked-about struggles of breastfeeding.

Last year, Frida Mom created a similarly raw ad for the Oscars, which was rejected by ABC for being ‘too graphic’ — but this year, the motherhood brand will be getting its wish to help destigmatize postpartum realities with its ‘Stream of Lactation’ commercial.

The minute-long ad, which has already debuted online, shows new moms lactating, pumping, struggling to get their babies to latch to their nipples, and massaging their breasts to release clogged milk ducts.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

New ad: NBC is set to air a groundbreaking ad by the feminine hygiene brand Frida Mom during the Golden Globes broadcast this weekend

Motherhood: The new ad candidly documents the less-talked-about struggles of breastfeeding

Motherhood: The new ad candidly documents the less-talked-about struggles of breastfeeding

Reality: The motherhood brand is working to destigmatize postpartum realities with its 'Stream of Lactation' commercial

Reality: The motherhood brand is working to destigmatize postpartum realities with its ‘Stream of Lactation’ commercial

New moms: The minute-long ad, which has already debuted online, shows new moms lactating, pumping, and massaging their breasts to release clogged milk ducts

New moms: The minute-long ad, which has already debuted online, shows new moms lactating, pumping, and massaging their breasts to release clogged milk ducts

Real life: It also shows other mothers struggling to keep up, including one holding up a near-empty bottle of milk and wondering if she should call a lactation consultant for help

Real life: It also shows other mothers struggling to keep up, including one holding up a near-empty bottle of milk and wondering if she should call a lactation consultant for help

Immediately, the ad begins with a closeup shot of a breastfeeding mom. 

The screen shows a new mother holding her crying newborn baby and squeezing her nipple into his mouth to get him to latch.

‘Alright girls, you got this,’ a voiceover begins, posing as the internal monologue of new moms everywhere.

The video cuts to another breastfeeding mom who appears to be in pain and pulls her nipple away from her child. 

It also shows other mothers struggling to keep up, from one who is trying to drink enough water while nursing to another holding up a near-empty bottle of milk and wondering if she should call a lactation consultant for help.

It spotlights many if the common worries moms have, from ‘Am I a bad mom if I stop [breastfeeding] now?’ to ‘I should know how to do this.’

Mothers are seen pumping in bed, breastfeeding in the middle of the night, and leaking in their sleep.

Wee hours: Mothers are seen breastfeeding in the middle of the night and and leaking in their sleep

Wee hours: Mothers are seen breastfeeding in the middle of the night and and leaking in their sleep

Never stops: One new mother is seen using her breast pump while her partner sleeps

Never stops: One new mother is seen using her breast pump while her partner sleeps

On offer: Frida Mom sells products for new moms like a Breast Care Self Care kit

On offer: Frida Mom sells products for new moms like a Breast Care Self Care kit

Nothing to be ashamed of: The ad makes no attempt to censor what life looks like for new mothers

Nothing to be ashamed of: The ad makes no attempt to censor what life looks like for new mothers

Stock: A mom keeps track of all the milk she's pumped and labeled in the fridge

Stock: A mom keeps track of all the milk she’s pumped and labeled in the fridge

In one particularly enlightening shot, a woman uses the bottom of an electric toothbrush and a vibrator to massage her breasts in the shower in an effort to unclog her milk ducts.

The ad makes no attempt to censor what life looks like for new mothers, and even shows one manually expressing milk in the shower before wondering if her breasts will ever return to how they looked before pregnancy.

‘Whether starting or stopping, breastfeeding is an emotional and physical journey full of highs and lows that many new moms are unprepared for,’ the brand says. 

‘We’re lifting the veil on the challenges new moms (and their breasts) face as they DIY their way through lactation woes — from massaging out clogged ducts with an electric toothbrush to slowing the flow with cabbage leaves. 

‘Enough is enough. It’s time to care for your breasts, not just your baby — with Frida Mom. 

'Whether starting or stopping, breastfeeding is an emotional and physical journey full of highs and lows that many new moms are unprepared for,' the brand says

‘Whether starting or stopping, breastfeeding is an emotional and physical journey full of highs and lows that many new moms are unprepared for,’ the brand says

'We're lifting the veil on the challenges new moms (and their breasts) face as they DIY their way through lactation woes,' adds the brand

‘We’re lifting the veil on the challenges new moms (and their breasts) face as they DIY their way through lactation woes,’ adds the brand

Surprising: The CEO of Frida Mom said that women are often 'blindsided by the physicality of breastfeeding'

Surprising: The CEO of Frida Mom said that women are often ‘blindsided by the physicality of breastfeeding’

In one particularly enlightening shot, a woman uses the bottom of an electric toothbrush and a vibrator to massage her breasts in the shower in an effort to unclog her milk ducts

She also expresses milk manually in the bathroom

Ouch! In one enlightening shot, a woman uses the bottom of an electric toothbrush and a vibrator to massage her breasts in the shower in an effort to unclog her milk ducts

They're here for it! NBC said they are 'passionate about bringing to life authentic portrayals of women and sharing their stories with people around the world'

They’re here for it! NBC said they are ‘passionate about bringing to life authentic portrayals of women and sharing their stories with people around the world’

Chelsea Hirschorn, the CEO of Frida Mom, added in a statement: ‘The reality is that women are blindsided by the physicality of breastfeeding — raw nipples, uterine contractions, painful clogs — no one tells you that it can be as painful as your vaginal recovery. 

‘It’s all part of the postpartum physical experience — but it never gets any air time because the end supposedly justifies the means. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive,’ she said.

As for NBC’s decision to air the ad during the Golden Globes, NBCUniversal’s Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales Ann Scheiner said the company is ‘passionate about bringing to life authentic portrayals of women and sharing their stories with people around the world.’

‘We are committed to using our platform to share “HER” story — the story of so many women — and are proud to spotlight the joys and challenges of motherhood with this groundbreaking new creative from Frida Mom,’ she said.

Trying again! Last year, Frida Mom released an ad about the struggles moms face after childbirth, and intended for it to run during the 2020 Academy Awards — but it was rejected

Trying again! Last year, Frida Mom released an ad about the struggles moms face after childbirth, and intended for it to run during the 2020 Academy Awards — but it was rejected

Last year, Frida Mom released an ad about the struggles moms face immediately after childbirth, and intended for it to run during the 2020 Academy Awards.

But after ABC rejected an ad for postpartum products for being ‘too graphic,’ Frida Mom put the network on blast and uploaded the ad to Instagram, slamming the  Oscars for failing new mothers and for placing ‘feminine hygiene’ in the same category as guns and violence as a banned subject.

The 60-second ad shows a new mother being woken up by her baby and then struggling with pain to go to the toilet as she changes her mesh underwear.

‘The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show. It’s not ‘violent, political’ or sexual in nature,’ Frida Mom wrote in their post. 

‘Our ad is not ‘religious or lewd’ and does not portray ‘guns or ammunition’. ‘Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief’ are also banned subjects. 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. So spray it forward and share this video with every new mom. She deserves to be prepared’ they concluded. 

Middle of the night: The ad shows a new mom struggling to get out out bed in pain as her baby cries

Middle of the night: The ad shows a new mom struggling to get out out bed in pain as her baby cries

Too graphic? It has a closeup of her postpartum stomach and mesh underwear as she goes to the bathroom

Too graphic? It has a closeup of her postpartum stomach and mesh underwear as she goes to the bathroom

Mom life: She is shown changing her mesh underwear and lining it against postpartum bleeding

Mom life: She is shown changing her mesh underwear and lining it against postpartum bleeding

It advertised Frida Mom's postpartum products, which they claim will make this easier as they try to prepare new moms for the issues that come in the 'fourth trimester' of pregnancy

It advertised Frida Mom’s postpartum products, which they claim will make this easier as they try to prepare new moms for the issues that come in the ‘fourth trimester’ of pregnancy

The ad goes on to show the woman changing her mesh underwear and using a bottle filled with water to clean herself.

Though it presents some of the lesser-known realities of the time after childbirth and offers a shot at the woman’s stomach, covered pelvic area, and legs, there is no nudity.’

‘Postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be this hard,’ the ad says at the end.   

The company claimed that the ad attempts to show the reality of life postpartum to prepare new moms for what’s in store in the period often referred to as the ‘fourth trimester.’

But they said the Academy rejected the clip because it is ‘too graphic with partial nudity and product demonstration’.

‘Frida Mom’s mission is to ensure women know what’s going to happen to their bodies postpartum and prepare them,’ the company argued in a statement.  

The company’s announcement about the rejected ad was met with a wave of online support, with actress Busy Philipps adding her voice to the mix.

Busy Philipps was among the celebs to post their support for Frida Mom over the ad

Elizabeth Banks commended Busy Philipps for speaking out on the rejected postpartum ad

They liked it! Busy Philipps and Elizabeth Banks were among the celebs to post their support for Frida Mom over the ad

'I legit teared up!' Philipps voiced her support for Frida Mom after their ad was rejected

‘I legit teared up!’ Philipps voiced her support for Frida Mom after their ad was rejected

'So important!' Other stars commented to show their support as well, including Michelle Monaghan

‘So important!’ Other stars commented to show their support as well, including Michelle Monaghan 

‘I legit teared up when I just watched it,’ Philipps wrote as she reposted the video, claiming that erectile dysfunction is not given the same treatment as feminine hygiene and that she was tired of women being ‘rejected by the gatekeepers of media’.  

‘Partially because this is clearly an ad made by women who have been there and get it and partially because I DO believe so strongly that the more we can NORMALIZE A WOMAN’S BODILY EXPERIENCE IN MEDIA, the better off our culture and society will be. AND YES THAT MEANS ADS TOO,’ she continued. 

‘You probably don’t even flinch when an Erectile Disfunction ad comes on but THIS AD IS REJECTED?! I think this is an incredible piece of advertising that accurately represents something millions of women know intimately. 

‘And I’m so f***ing sick of living in a society where the act of simply BEING A WOMAN is rejected by the gatekeepers of media. Well. Shame on them and NOT on us for simply being human women.’ 

Actress Elizabeth Banks commented ‘Bravo Busy,’ while Michelle Monaghan added: ‘This is so important’.  



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