While we hear a lot about normalizing breastfeeding, we don’t often see mothers feeding their children candidly and realistically on television. Enter Frida, a parenting product company that deglamorized and demystified breastfeeding in their new commercial that ran during NBC’s Golden Globes broadcast.
The ad depicts new mothers struggling to get the hang of breastfeeding and pumping while managing their new babies. Although we would like to think we inherently know how to take care of children when they arrive in our arms, the women in the ad openly acknowledge that there’s a learning curve when it comes to motherhood. They reassure themselves by saying, “you got this,” although there’s a nagging feeling in the back of their mind that ponders how “good moms should know how to do this.” So, the moms try to apply cabbage compresses on pained breasts and attempt to use their pumps while the baby is asleep.
It’s no great secret that there’s hardly any realistic representations of new motherhood. Breasts are often obscured (when feeding babies at least), and the very real discomfort of breastfeeding is barely mentioned. In their commercial for breast care products–a series of pads and warmers to offset the pain of sore breasts and chapped nipples–Frida portrayed the real-life struggles that new moms face when choosing to breastfeed their children. The tagline read, “Care for your breasts. Not just your baby.”
In a statement regarding the groundbreaking ad, NBC said, “We agree that the ad may push the envelope, but it is the context surrounding the visuals that makes this ad different, and we stand by it.”
Although the 30-second edit that appeared on NBC blurred or covered the women’s nipples, they are visible in the original ad that runs 75 seconds in length. In a statement to the New York Times, the company’s chief executive, Chelsea Hirschhorn, said, “the physical and emotional breastfeeding journey puts an unrivaled pressure on women to ‘perform,’ and no longer should women be expected to prioritize making milk over their own physical discomfort.”
The ad was directed by Rachel Morrison, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for the 2017 movie “Mudbound.” Morrison was the first woman to be nominated in the cinematography category.