Disney Preys On New Moms In Maternity Ward


I'm down to hang with Snow White, but my baby's not.
As if it weren't bad enough that hospitals hand out formula samples, new moms are now getting pushed something else: Disney merchandise! The Walt Disney Company is hitting hospitals nationwide with its brand-new Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, a onesie that will be given away by the thousands before it officially launches on Amazon.com in May.

What I find more disturbing than a free onesie , however, is that the representatives are giving bedside demonstrations asking mothers to sign up for email alerts from DisneyBaby.com, which appears to be an online store disguised as a helpful pregnancy/motherhood website. This is an example of a much bigger problem: The maternity ward is not a place for anyone to be receiving sales pitches.

I know that Disney will someday be a part of my daughter's life, whether it be a love of The Little Mermaid or a desire to go to Disney World (which, by the way, I totally support; it's a playground for adults, too!). But the maternity ward is a bit early to be suiting her up in Disney merchandise.

I'm not saying I don't love free stuff. However, the maternity ward is a sacred place. Not a place to prey on new moms with merchandise. Consider this: if I'd just given birth and had plans to exclusively breastfeed, then find a packet of formula in my hospital gift bag, I'd be pretty offended. If an exhausted new mom is having trouble getting started on breastfeeding and the formula is right there, she's more likely to try it. That has the potential to damage the chances of successful breastfeeding altogether. Luckily, I delivered at a hospital that was extremely pro-breastfeeding, but if I hadn't, I might have been tired enough to accept formula, too!

The point is, we are vulnerable after delivery. And we are so tired that we just might say yes to anything. Companies like Disney and some formula giants know that; they've done their market research. But marketing and maternity ward are two things that should not go together. Enough people drop in to poke and prod you and your baby after delivery that the last thing you need is someone trying to sell you something.

I do not want anything given to me while I'm trying to bond with my baby, even if it's something as harmless as a onesie with Minnie Mouse on it, because the implication is that I might be willing to buy something from that company later. Instead, I'll take the ugly striped hat as a memento.

How do you feel about hospital freebies like the Cuddly Bodysuit?

formula, baby clothes, breastfeeding


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Heart... HeartCharmMama

I'm not opposed to it. If you don't want to put your baby in a Minnie Mouse onesie, then don't put her in one.

I was given many formula samples over the mail and through my hospital but I was determined to breast feed my baby so I didn't use it. I've been frustrated and exhausted in the beginning but I was never tempted to give him formula.

Besides, I'd be grateful to have an extra onesie lying around in case I run out of clean ones that my newborn pooped all over.

Much ado about nothing!!  Just say no if you don't want one.

toria... toriandgrace

I'll be giving birth on a secured military facility, so I'm doubting they'll be there, but I'd be totally good with a free onsie! As long as they aren't coming in while I'm pushing to get me to sign up for stuff, I'm sure I'll be able to say no thank you. Oh, and I love the formula samples, they were a life saver when I got the flu and had to go to the ER in the middle of the night when my daughter was a week old. It's the only time I used them, but they were so helpful. If you don't want the samples, say no thank you, it's not that hard..

nonmember avatar Jen

*sigh* You can always say no to formula samples, onesies, whatever. Honestly a free onesie would be the thing that least offended me in the hospital. I had everyone from ministers to a photographer giving me their "sales pitches". I would love to know which hospitals give out the formula samples and coupons that everyone goes on about hating so much. I didn't get that experience. But the other way around happens too. Moms who don't want to breastfeed get hassled, actually hassled by snotty nurses, not just having to see a formula sample.

Lynette Lynette

really just say no to the formula sample huh?  So easy right.  Not if you dealt w/ the nurse that tried to give me the formula bag after my 1st child was born(he's 8 now).  She was so frustrated I refused to take the bag.  Eventually she got me to agree to take the bag if she took the formula samples out.  She just didn't know what w/ me, and I just wanted her to leave me alone.  I think they need to take the advertising out of hospitals

Margo Trueman

So glad that I never had to deal with this. I gave birth at home and it would appear that one of the many benefits is that I didn't have to worry about stuff like a discharge bad or a rep coming into my room.

RanaA... RanaAurora

The worst part is they're supposed telling the information to other companies as well, and potentially getting into the baby food market. Soon enough, they're going to end up being boycotted for breaking the WHO's Code of Ethics. Oi.

RanaA... RanaAurora

And I've written about the damage formula freebies do to new moms, whether people believe they do or not. :-/ banthebags.org

Carol... Caroline2010

omg i hated the formula samples!!! even after i shouted i was breast feeding from the roof tops the nurse still came in with a bottle of formula every 3 hours, "just in case"! drove me nuts!!! the third time she did this i threw it at her and told her to shove it up her a$$ and that i was BREAST FEEDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i made her cry but for the next 2 days not one person spoke of formula around me! lol! and they didnt even dare give me one of those bag things!! lol! we got a free swaddle blanket/sleep sack! i loved that thing it was great!! i dont think a onies would hurt anything!

Mythi... MythicMMM

Care instructions for hospital gift bag: remove can of formula. Open can of formula. Flush the powder. Fill formula containor with 1/2 inch of water. Place dry baby wipes the hospital provides in the water. Close lid. There. Two problems solved at once.

qrex912 qrex912

Lynette. Chill out, no one forces anyone to use the formula samples. The breastfeeders who b!tch and moan about formula companies ruining their breastfeeding success are full of crap. No one forces you to give it to the baby, and it isn't a failure if you do. Take responsibility for your own actions rather than blaming a company, huh?


That being said, if a company wants to give me something free, even though I probably won't buy their stuff, that's cool. And if it was something I was opposed to *ahem* formula* ahem* I would say "no, thanks," and not blame "the pushy nurse." If you're adult enough to get pregnant and have a baby, you're sure as hell adult enough to say no to a nurse or sales rep, right?

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