Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dear Bounty Lady

Over the last few weeks Mumsnet and NCT have been running a campaign to rid the NHS of Bounty. I feel quite strongly that whilst I am sure there are issues with Bounty in some hospitals, that there are far bigger fish to fry in maternity service provision than Bounty. Today Emma at Crazy with Twins has posted why she is against the Bounty Mutiny, and please read her post. I have wanted to post for quite some time but wasn't sure, I have left the Mumsnet blogging network and removed the widget as I dont feel I can be a member when they choose agendas that I think are quite spurious in nature.

Dear Bounty Lady

You won't remember me. It was a Sunday morning at 9am. The midwife comes, my baby was born two days ago at 27 weeks and is in neonatal, I am too sick to go down to see him, but my husband isn't allowed in until midday, I am lonely and upset. "The Bounty lady is here, you can say no if you want", I am desperate for company and say yes.

You come in, nicely dressed, made up, with two big bags. You tell me they are of limited use yet and just to put them away for when my baby comes home. You pull up a chair, hold my hand, and just listen whilst I sob and talk not making a great deal of sense. 

You are gentle with me, just making idle chit chat, I can't really remember what we talked about but I know you were there a very long time. You gave me hug and wished me well.

Thank you for your kindness on a very bad day.

Kylie

I do understand the issues, around data collection etc, and I understand what some mothers have said. However, Bounty provide services such as the distribution of information on safe sleeping and SIDS prevention, Bliss information on prematurity or having a sick baby, and Tommy's information. Bounty are a commercial organisation, however we will see much more of this, not less, in coming years, and the important thing is how companies like Bounty are monitored and regulated, not just getting rid of them.

But my big issue is that there are so many massive things that need improving in maternity care. Our still birth rate and prematurity rate is still unacceptably high. Babies go undiagnosed of congenital conditions, midwifery is understaffed, there are massive things to be fought for in terms of maternity care.

I feel personally hurt that I have done many posts, and been part of campaigns and mumsnet haven't given me any support. Maternal death, fetal death, neonatal care really matter, these are the issues that need to be brought to government attention in my opinion.

Mothers and babies lives depend on it.

14 comments:

  1. I remember the Bounty Bags with fondness: it was nice to get a goody bag after going through labour!

    I am not aware of the campaign to get rid of them and there were no data collection issues in my day - just bag collections :)

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  2. Brilliant post. I felt quite emotional for you reading the "dear bounty lady". You raise good points that I missed in mine. Great to know I'm not the only one that loves Bounty. Xx

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  3. Well done you. This whole campaign has somehow gone under my radar. Very much agree with you - there are bigger fish to fry!

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  4. I can't remember where, but I did see a post where a lady had had a traumatic birth and the Bounty lady wasn't exactly sympathetic.
    For me, I was in hospital for 2 weeks. I was lucky in that S only spent 2 days in NICU and the rest of the time with me. Every single time the Bounty lady was on the ward, she came over to my bed to say hi, "oh you're still here, you poor thing I bet you're really fed up!" She gave me extra Bounty bags because she had a lot of stock, and nappies like they were going out of fashion. When I came home from hospital, I had about 10 of those Persil baby towels!
    I'm with you; although I have no complaints about my own experience, I do think there are much more important issues surrounding maternity care than whether women are being given free samples.

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  5. You raise an excellent point about the fact that we are going to see more commercial companies in hospitals (well, the NHS in general) over the next few years. You're right that we need to look the management of those companies and how the handle our data and perhaps how they approach patients.

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  6. Brilliant post and I agree. There are far more worrying things happening in maternity units. I understand that some women have had a really terrible experience of the Bounty pack visitors whilst in maternity care but as you rightly pointed out, this isn't the case for everyone. I definitely think that some far bigger problems need to be addressed first.

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  7. I hadn't realised until I spoke to the wonderful ladies from the Lullaby Trust at BML that there was a problem with Bounty.I agree with all your points and feel quite angry at the way organisations like NCT feel they can speak for all parents when they patently don't. Thanks for highlifhting this issue.

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  8. Good points. I really don't see how Bounty can be problematic? Surely as CrazyWithTwins points out - you just say no thanks!

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  9. LOVED my Bounty Bag! Free booty? Are you kidding me? Where else would I find a Sudacreme the size of an old camera film dispenser! x

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  10. Oh yes Kylie, I know exactly where you're coming from. Having started my blog after a traumatic birth, I feel strongly that there are far more important and more pressing issues that need to be solved. xxx

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  11. Oh Kylie this is so annoying me! Mumsnet are using their humble lap dogs to obliterate their rival. Bounty has a forum. So does Mumsnet. Difference? The Bounty one is a nice, inclusive place for Mums and mums to be to share and chat. Mumsnet is full of bullying vipers who put each other done and act like over grown kids. Bounty has had a Blogger Network for years. Mumsnet now has one too. Difference? Bounty pretty much allows any parent blogger to join up, welcomes them and asks for little in return. Mumsnet members treat outside bloggers with disdain, have stupid rules and regs on who it includes, and expects badge upon badge to be a member.

    I loved my Bounty ladies. I had one bad apple, she was reported and sacked, they dealt with it. How many of those who Mumsnet is manipulating into joining in by using their poor experiences ever gave Bounty a chance to rectify it? Whats next, a Mumnset member has a ruck with someone in a school, let's ban schools then? Or a fracas over wine in Waitrose- well let's ban that too. Where will it end? Its made me so mad!

    Anyway, I have a petition for those who feel the same: http://chn.ge/12a7k9Y

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  12. Well, until yesterday I didn't know these Bounty Ladies (and men) existed but what a debate they are causing! This is the only blog I have read on the topic that doesn't just seem like a 'rant' and is a sensible argument. Very refreshing to see.

    I completely agree with you, if someone feels the need to campaign there are surely more important things to worry about.

    I have seen a huge number of arguements with people from Mumsnet on twitter, most (not all) of such arguements I can see it from both sides, but the common factor is always Mumsnet. No idea how people still take them seriously but at least sensible posts like this show a mature, sensible arguement so see the other side of the story.

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  13. Hear hear! Everytime I look at my photo, displayed proudly on my back windowsill, I am reminded of wonderful memories of the time I was roomed in with my ex-27 weeker, the day before she was discharged. The Bounty lady was so lovely and there was absolutely no pressure - and as a a mother had been through the ultimate rollercoaster and would later succumb to PTSD, I was the very epitome of vulnerability I guess. But I could still have managed to say no - after all, if there's one thing NICU teaches you it's that at times you have to be brave and speak up for yourself and your baby. I know others might struggle, and I understand some of what they are saying - but why deny those of us who welcome it?

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  14. I applaud you. Brilliant post. You are so right about these points and as for me, I enjoyed finding the useful little bits and bobs in my Bounty bag and looked forward to getting it. Yes, I signed up and got lots of 'junk' too but I just ignored that but some very good and very special things came too - Bliss and Tommys to name too (I support both having had a premature baby myself), various photo offers, discounts on little ceramic handprints, the list goes on. You can choose what you like, and leave what you don't. I didn't get a Bounty lady - just my lovely midwife giving me the bag as I arrived to have my baby, all ready - but your lady sounded really kind. Let each woman choose - not tell us all we don't want or need something. I, for one, am a little sick of 'big brother' telling me what I do and don't want to be part of in my life. I'm old enough to make my own decisions.

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