Bounty: why they’re not welcome at my bedside

bounty-packWhen I first found out I was pregnant, my behaviour changed. I don’t mean I suddenly went all neurotic, emotional and irrational – oh no, these were already stable parts of my personality. I mean my buying behaviour changed.
When I went to do the WBS (Weekly Big Shop™), stocking up on red wine was no longer top of my list. We didn’t eat much blue cheese, cured meat or seafood anymore, I bought tents instead of dresses and shoes that accommodated ever-swelling feet, rather than pretty beauties with heels.

I also found myself on various mailing lists for baby stuff: your baby’s development at x weeks, the realities of childbirth, baby paraphernalia that you can’t live without* etc. I still get a load of these emails delivered to my junk folder daily, but you know what – I signed up to them, so that’s fine.

*Turns out I could live without it. I manage perfectly well, in fact.

The Bounty bunch
One of these sign-ups was to Bounty. Not the chocolate bar (we’re Cadbury-only in this house, don’t you know) – Bounty the baby people. I signed up because I got to get some freebies at various stages of bringing a baby into the world (and who doesn’t want freebies). Freebies and emails; nothing particularly stressful there.

On 21st August 2013, after 15 hours of contractions, a rush into theatre and surgery, Bear entered the world. Wonderful, what I remember of it. Once feeling had been restored from my boobs down (anyone that has had an epidural knows what I am on about), I got to move along to the maternity ward for a 2-night mini break (of sorts).

It was about a million degrees outside, and the ward was much the same. The morphine was making my face itch and sweat (attractive, eh? Form an orderly queue, gentlemen…) and I was trying to get used to everyday functioning while effectively wearing a humongous nappy. My nipples – they were something else (and not in a good way).

And the hormones – man alive! Half the time I didn’t know why I was crying (could have been the nipples, could have been the nappy, who knows). I didn’t really sleep for 2 days and 2 nights – not an uncommon story when you’re unable to go home with your little bundle of joy soon after birth.

Just then, as Paul and I happily tried to get our heads around the last 24 hours, while we changed Bear’s nappy for the first time, and absorbed every remaining ounce of concentration in our beautiful daughter, our new little family, we hear “Well helloooooo! Congratulations! Ahhh boy or a girl?”

The curtain of invisibility
It’s the same spiel she gave to the other 5 couples on the ward and, as she ignores the privacy of our closed blue hospital curtain, it appears it’s our turn. Over the next few minutes I was asked if I wanted to sign-up to regular email marketing (right at that moment I just wanted a shower, truth be told). Did I want to collect my bag of freebies from Boots or should she just “leave them here, on the bed?” (well on the basis that I can’t imagine walking unaided for some time to come, you better leave it right there on the bed – after all, we’re overflowing with space in this tiny little cubicle, as you can see). Oh – and would we like her to take a photo with her camera, for the one-off charge of £5? Let me think about that. How does “no” grab you?

My brother and his wife had a similar situation in November, at a completely different hospital. They, too, were enjoying relaxing with their newest gorgeous girl, in the privacy of the infamous (and, it appears, invisible) blue curtain, when in came their invading Bounty brigade.

They learnt 2 things that day; 1 – while it may have magic invisibility powers, the curtain is not sound-proof. If you mutter abuse at the Bounty brigade from behind the curtain, she will hear you. 2 – they’d been bringing their 3-year old up without the essential, must-have parental accessory, and the free Bounty pack was about to enlighten them….

Basmati

Rice. Yep, what every new parent wants. Basmati bloody rice. At least it made them laugh I guess.

Why Bounty can bog-off
When my buying habits changed, when I signed up to receive pregnancy and baby-related bumf, I did so out of choice. I may not have read the small print in minute detail, but I can confidently say there was not a box that said Tick here if you would rather a total stranger pushing a pimped-up mobile photography trolley didn’t barge into your personal space uninvited, mere hours after going through the most life changing – and personal – of events. I did it for the freebies, end of story.

And while hospitals limit both visiting hours and the number of visitors at any one time (and rightly so), to welcome a pushy stranger to my bedside when we’re not allowed to have both sets of grandparents at the same time will always be a bitter pill to swallow.

Am I on my own with this view? Am I just being a right old misery bum? Or should more be done by maternity wards to keep these (effectively) marketing people out of the ward and back behind their email campaigns?

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4 thoughts on “Bounty: why they’re not welcome at my bedside

  1. Pingback: It’s a marvellous night for a moonwalk | ChatterBox Mummy

  2. I completly agree!! We woke at 1 am to realise I was in labour with our daughter called grandma to come be with our son had to leave him crying to rush to hospital as had strep b and had to go straight in. Get there to be looked over by a midwife in a assessment room told oh your only two cm you can go home, told said midwife no I’m not going home as it’s a 40 min round trip to go home and come back and I progress fast in labour will wait in lobby if I have to. After a few tuts she goes to sort out a room for me comes back half an half an hour later and I’m nearly ripping the sink off the wall in pain she checks me again says oh yes we are there we can’t move now so had to give birth in an assessment room with no choice of any drugs. Our daughter is born alittle blue so have that worry then half hour after she was born she is whisked off for an antibiotic drip. Afte 40 mind we are finally allowed to go see her wait in nicu with her for another 40 mins not able to hold her while drip is being administered. We finally get to go to our room and I realise I’ve leaked blood all over my bottoms 😦 get to our room and have another shower and change it’s 8am on Sunday morning and we FINALLY get to cuddle our little girl all together and marvel over her arrival when yes we hear a hello can I come in as the curtain is wiped back and there is some woman with a trolley who asks to take pictures we say yes to doing our daughter but no to us being in it as both look a state. She takes 6-8 lovely photos of our daughter then tells us we can buy the photos and the rights to the photos for £50 of we do it right now if we leave it it will be more. After only two hours sleep before I went into labour and no sleep since luckily we still have our wits about is enough to say well I’ve just given birth I’m in hospital I don’t have £50 on us to which she tells is oh that’s ok we can take your card details here and now. We also didn’t have this when our son was born so say we will think about it and go online when home if we want them she is very pushy about how they will be alot dearer if we do that to which my partner who has had enough tells her that’s our choice now can you please leave us alone to enjoy our daughter. Terrible experience and like you say even our own family and son wasn’t allowed to visit and meet his new baby sister until 10 am so why should this total stranger be the first to barge in and meet her I have to say it completly pissed me off and I’m assuming the hospitals must get something to allow them to be there after all they must tell them who is new and where to go.

  3. At first when I read the title of your Blog I wondered why you wouldn’t want Bounty by your bed because they are delicious. Even here in the good old USA I know what Bounty is. Anyway….way back when I had my first little girl…Christine…I remember being asleep and a nurse coming in, waking me up and asking me if I wanted a sleeping pill. Well no I did not thank you very much. And besides, I was nursing and I didn’t think I should have drugs to help me sleep if I was going to be nursing my little one. And I remember my room being right near the ice making machine. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep. And I was there for 5 days. I still do not know why since I did not have a C-section and she was my first baby so I didn’t have anyone else at home to care for. After I had each of my other two girls they sent me home after two days when I really could have used an extra day or two in the hospital just to maybe have some peace and quiet. But coming home was actually much better. I guess what I am getting at is…things are the same all over the world. You have no privacy in the hospital no matter what you think before you go. And things usually turn out for the best in the end. Free stuff is nice if they will just leave you alone!

  4. I totally agree! I found myself being more than a little snippy to the bounty woman when I was in hospital with my little one just three weeks ago. That is the last place I want to be sold to, thank you very much!! Despite the fact I was randomly (and fortunately) ignored when in hospital with my first daughter, so didn’t think it fair to do one and not the other.

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