The day after a Hollywood awards ceremony is always good Monday morning water-cooler talk. This year, in addition to discussing the various winners and snubs, many are talking about the Golden Globes breastfeeding ad. Produced by Frida Mom, which makes postpartum care products for new moms, the ad depicted two women's realistic representation of what nursing mothers go through to feed their children.
The ad did not air in its entirety; according to the New York Times, Frida worked with NBC-Universal to trim down the 75-second spot to 30-seconds, editing and blurring anything that did not comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines on nudity while maintaining the spirit of the original ad.
"The expectation that women prioritize milk-making above their own physical comfort is antithetical to the expectation that women continue for six months or more," Frida CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn said in a statement to INSIDER. "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 tagline that closes both versions of the ad — "Care for your breasts. Not just your baby." — highlights realities that are often overlooked in discussions of nursing. While many focus on the "feeding" aspect and the benefits for baby, there are also breasts, attached to a human person, and there are a cadre of common, painful, even potentially dangerous issues that can arise.
This is not the company's first foray into graphic depictions of motherhood. In 2020, an ad from Frida, which depicted a postpartum mother in mesh hospital underwear struggling with her bathroom routine, was rejected by ABC and the Academy Awards for airing during the Oscar Awards Ceremony.
As someone who nursed two babies over the course of about four years, I can tell you that Frida nailed it. I haven't breastfed a baby in about four years, but the sheer accuracy instantly brought me back to every 3 a.m. feeding, soaked shirt, clogged duct, disappointing pumping session, and aching nipple I ever went through (and there were plenty). And I'm not alone in that visceral recognition. On social media, the ad is being praised for its realism and, moreover, for destigmatizing discussion of breastfeeding and de-sexualized breasts in public.
"Guys there was a breastfeeding ad about taking care of your boobs on the Golden Globes and it made me so happy!!!" Twitter user @EveG44962059 gushed in all caps.
"Just saw the breast care ad on TV for breastfeeding moms. Yes!!! It's. About. Time," tweeted @MarpleSheri.
"This was a great ad," tweeted @jesshardie, sharing a New York Times article on the subject. "It's ridiculous that women's bodies can be shown in ways that are objectifying and demeaning on tv but realistic portrayals of breastfeeding must be carefully edited to avoid any hint of a nipple."
"Looking at this ad on the realities of #breastfeeding is so important," tweeted @ProfASGabriel. "Looking back, my struggles with breastfeeding and pumping were huge contributors to my PPA/PPD. We need more honest, authentic representation of #motherhood."
There were those, however, who were scandalized and found the ad distasteful. "The #immoral #Hollywood #sacrilegious trash at it again..." tweeted @TiaanJonker5, sharing an article from Breitbart. "Is there no privacy left? Anywhere?" @4RANDALL1 tweeted, also sharing the Breitbart article.
Still, the cheers seem to have the day. "[The ad] was sweet and wonderful," tweeted @bee_toes. "More of that!"
See the full, uncut version of the ad below.
Hopefully, this ad can open up conversations not just about breastfeeding, but about the importance of postpartum care.