My Experience Of Bounty, Good & Bad.

I've seen lots of chatter on social media recently about Bounty, the company which distributes so called "goodie bags" and arranges newborn photography, often just hours after the baby has been born.

baby willmore

The camps for and against the Bounty distributers and photographers seem very divided. My feelings are mixed.

I've had seven children in hospital, all by CS Section, two of which were emergencies. I've had more than a few stressful admissions while pregnant when I didn't know how things are going to turn out and a truly terrible few days on a ward while I miscarried what should have been my eighth baby.

When I was young and naive and couldn't imagine things would go anything but text book (or rather in a similar fashion to Emma's Diary) I was delighted to realise I would be gifted these bulging plastic bags. To be fair 25 years ago I am fairly sure the bags were more exciting than they are now - more actual samples than hard-sell pamphlets and coupons.

A close friend had a baby this year and I was dismayed to see her bag didn't even contain the little pot of Sudacrem which was an absolute staple of every change bag in my circle of mummy friends back in the day.

When I was in hospital on one occasion and I wasn't sure if I would keep the baby I was carrying I did find it upsetting to see the Bounty bag distributer doing her rounds. I agree, I thought it was insensitive when she approached me but didn't actually blame the poor woman who was only doing her job. I remembered that I was pleased too see her when all was well and let my feelings of annoyance and dismay go.

So maybe we could have a different system so they know who to approach and who to avoid? Except I know what you are going to say - midwives are busy enough without making lists for Bounty people.

As for the Bounty Portrait service, I loved the opportunity to have professional pictures taken back in the day when very few people had mobile phones to snap new baby images. I used them for their first passports and baby announcement cards before people announced births on social media!

And when I had babies in special care I felt sad that we didn't get the opportunity to have their pictures taken,  tubes, wires and all.

Newborn photograph taken by Bounty

And maybe experiences vary from hospital to hospital because while my friend was on the maternity ward this year spotting the Bounty photographer to book a picture was actually quite tough and lots of people came back into hospital to have their baby pictures taken.

I certainly never saw any Bounty rep opening closed curtains round a bed both then or in the past as newspaper reports have suggested happens - that surely should be a no-no for anyone apart from medical staff and the patient's own visitors.

But what about those mums who are alone. No family, no friends. When my husband could only do short visits because of commitments to work and our other children I welcomed the opportunity to show off my new baby to anyone, even a sales rep who did a good impression of appearing interested. Rifling through and sorting out the Bounty bag was a distraction from pain, exhaustion and, lets be honest, a bit of boredom in hospital.

However my overall feeling is that wards are not a place for even soft sales techniques. Bounty -why not just have stands in shopping malls, hospital receptions, baby exhibitions and sports centres where pregnant women and new mums can approach, explore and sign up instead of being sitting ducks in hospital wards.

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