Dear Sirs/Madams at Bounty,
I am a mum of three, who is very familiar with the Bounty advice and support around all things pregnancy and parenting relating. As a new mum, I spent many an hour on your website during the middle of the night trying to figure out how to tackle some of the conundrums that the little darlings throw at us. I am really grateful for your commitment to providing valuable advice to us mum’s; much appreciated, keep it up.
My youngest is now just over twelve months old and I feel like I am starting to grow back parts of the brain that seemed to fly out of my bottom in 2011 when my eldest was born; I don’t want to bore (or shock you) you with the details of my ‘baby brain’ moments but I have had three children in three years so, as you can imagine, mine was a severe case. Anyways, the point being, is that this, plus the fact that I have made three babies, has now enabled me to reflect more clearly on my experiences of pregnancy, birth and mother hood and I feel I must confess I WASN’T PREPARED FOR ANY OF THIS S*#T
When I had my first, I felt I was ready for the job – ridiculous isn’t it, but I genuinely did. I’d read a lot of information during pregnancy and when I received my New-born pack at the hospital I was ready to go. Wow I thought, look at all these freebies, it’s like a mummy party bag. The leaflets, coupons, brilliant! It felt I had been rewarded for doing such a good job at pushing the human out of my fairy. I read everything and was amazed at how much information was provided, coo’d at the little nappy and couldn’t wait to have a bath and apply the free cream I’d been given. Armed with my bag I left hospital thinking I’d have this shit sorted. Smashed this parenting thing already!
I now must admit that my fondness for the packs has declined with every child born. I wonder if the surprise or the newness has worn off or maybe, now that I have a few kids, I am looking for something a little different and practical. I wonder if this is how Robbie Williams may have felt after his 17th BRIT award; its been done? Anyhow, I am rambling on a little now so I will get to the point of this letter; to provide you with a little bit of feedback on the New-born Packs. Please see below ideas that I have come up with on how the packs could be slightly more of value;
Realistic Advice; I would really like to see some advice on things that every new mum will go through and is completely taken a back by. For instance how to have a poo after an Episiotomy? Perhaps one of the most bizarre experiences of all time – sweating at the possibility of my stomach falling out of the one big hole that has been created where there was once two. Maybe you could include a little card of ‘best-practices’, for example; how to soften the impending movement or using a maternity pad to aid the motion.
Or advice on the practical things that really help, like telling us that the necks of baby grows are actually made like that (an overlapped shoulder type thing) so you can slide them down over the body after a poo explosion avoiding the difficult and messy the over-the-head action. I only realised this after my third, a very annoying mum fail, which I feel could have been avoided.
Money Off Coupons; I feel that the money of coupons when you purchase items in store is a little limiting. After leaving hospital with my third I was at home with a two year old, a one year old and a new-born. I couldn’t even get out to the garden to peg the effing washing out let alone get to the shop to receive a pound off a packet of nappies or fifty pence of fabric softener. Some days I could not get dressed. How about money off vouchers that you can use on the online? Other than that I found them a little pointless; they just ended up in my purse waiting to be ripped out and chewed by one of the children rendering them useless.
Free samples I used to have a lovely ritual of full body moisturising post bath soak and thought the little creams you included were great. Now that I have three kids, by pure amazement you get a soak in the bath, post birth the routine is to quickly get dry, shove ten maternity pads in your massive belly hugging pants to catch the flow of blood, wrap your boobs up before you slip on the leak that is trickling from them all while trying not to do any vigorous scissor movements with your legs. By this time you are answering the desperate pleas of your other half as he tackles the three babies on his own downstairs. Bath is over, with only time for necessities and no time for any sort of self-maintenance including moisturising. I now feel that the below products are of better use (I.E NEEDED)
Alcohol; I appreciate there may be a slightly negative view of alcohol in the packs but I feel it is necessary for any sort of sanity after a day of dealing with three kids. I am proposing a miniature bottle of chosen alcohol so hardly enough to get pi**ed (as I also believe that being pi**ed in charge of children is also frowned upon). I have noticed that Wine and Gin seem to be the most popular amongst mums, maybe its something to start thinking about including in birth plans – ‘choice of post partum booze’.
Chocolate; Not the healthiest of choices, I agree but my god it is better than those cardboard tasting, oatey goodness bar things. Chocolate makes us happy – fact. We need these little pleasures in our life. Sneaking a chunk of fruit and nut out of the fridge are the things we look forward to. Personally I consider it a little reward for dealing with poo on the floor, vomit down your bra and all the other daily pleasures that are the reality of having kids.
Inflatable cushion/rubber ring; My priorities changed a little once I gave birth and on a daily basis I was faced with trying to master the basics; like going to the toilet, washing and most importantly sitting down. This became a bit of an ordeal post Episiotomy, where I had to adopt a strange practice of getting on the sofa on all fours and carefully bringing myself onto my knees and slowly putting my legs down into a seated position. Had an inflatable item of some sort been available straight away (in the packs) it may have softened the blow, so to speak.
So these are just a few of my little ideas which I first thought were a little random. I now realise that many of us mums feel that we should be slightly better prepared for the little shockers that come our way when we give birth. I really hope that you may find this of some use and if you would like any further assistance in such matters I would be more than happy to help. If not then I appreciate you taking the time to read my little rant.
A normal, but sometimes crap mum of three – Laura
P.S. Please tell your woman with her photo lab on wheels that I was not being a knob for not wanting the cute little picture it’s just that I was terrified that my insides were going to fall out when I got out of bed. I only smiled at her because I though that she was the drug trolley. Sorry for the disappointed look I gave her when I realised she had no power to distribute any form of pain relief.
Oh and that little pot of Sudocrem rocks!