Why Commercial Reps Should Be Allowed On Postnatal Wards

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Okay, a bit of a different topic from me today. As much as I adore beauty and of course will still keep writing about it, I really want to write some more ‘thought pieces’. This post may contain some touchy topics and I understand everybody will have their own opinion on the matter, but this is what I personally believe.

So, last year I had a job as a commercial rep on a maternity ward. This meant I would go around the postnatal ward, offering free bags of samples to Mum’s who had just given birth. Alongside giving them this bag, I would offer a free photo service. So parents had the chance to get 10 photos of their newborn, which they then had the option of purchasing if they so wished. The only thing was, I would need to collect some information from the Mother before handing over the bag/taking the photos. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the job and getting to photograph newborns was honestly such a dream.

Why am I writing about this you may ask? Well, back in 2018 there was a Mother who managed to get herself on the news and create a petition to stop commercial reps from offering their services on postnatal wards. At the time, I was still working on the ward and it ignited some serious anger within me. This Mother’s main argument for trying to stop commercial reps from even entering the ward was that, ‘its intrusive and an invasion of a Mothers privacy’. Now, I don’t want to dismiss someone else’s feelings and if thats how she felt, then fair enough. I just want to speak out from a reps perspective, as we were perceived as the ‘bad guy’ in this whole situation.

The way she described us reps as being ‘intrusive’, kind of hurt. When I was going around the ward approaching Mother’s, I made sure I was friendly, kind and respectful. I can’t speak for every rep, but I’m sure they did/do the same thing. I understood I was in a very sensitive environment and I’d had the appropriate training to deal with it too. I would only pop my head around the curtain, or door to see if the Mother was interested in taking advantage of the bag and photo service and if it was clear they weren’t, I’d move on. I had so many Mother’s who were happy to see me and get themselves a bag of freebies for both them and baby.

So the main issue I had/have with particular Mother complaining about reps, was that she clearly wasn’t considering less privileged Mum’s. Unfortunately, there are many Mother’s and families who don’t necessarily have enough to fund a baby and free samples of nappies, wipes etc can be extremely helpful. I met a fair few new Mum’s who were so grateful for the bags and it was so lovely to see. The same goes with the photo service. I remember these two Mum’s who had met on the ward, and they wanted a photograph of their two newborn girls together. I honestly thought this was just the sweetest thing and the most amazing thing to have for the girls to look back on when they’re older.

I guess this is my response to those 13,000 people who have signed the petition to get commercial reps off the postnatal wards and say, just think about what you’re signing. Remember the Mother’s who need that extra support that the bags can offer and to the Mother’s who want to capture such a special time in their lives, but having some beautiful portraits of their newborn.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Lucy

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