"How maternity wards cash in on mothers"- damning report on Bounty in the Independent

(45 Posts)
MrsJamin Mon 22-Aug-11 14:41:56

Read article here

I received the Bounty pack after the birth of DS1, and definitely remember saying no to my email address being sold on, yet I received emails via Bounty for months afterwards, including one for a loans company particularly targeting mothers. Needless to say after the birth of DS2 I told them where they could go with their tiny pot of nasty chemical bottom cream and advertising bundle.

I'd love to see Bounty disappear but I fear the maternity wards rely on the income. I'd like to see better regulation though.

kelly2000 Thu 01-Sep-11 18:24:48

There is someone on the comments page on the independent calling herself photographer01, who thinks she is ethical because she goes to speak to the midwives about their patients so she knows who to speak to, she then adds she waits a reasonable time depending on the patients birth experience. So midwives are according to this woman giving away confidential patient details, but we should be happy because if they did not break the law like this she would march right in.

stripeybump Thu 01-Sep-11 18:31:00

I've been shocked so far in this (my first) pregnancy by the amount of advertising crap that the NHS seem happy to hand me like it's something really important. I can do my own research and shopping, I just want the important and necessary information from the NHS and nothing else.

I went to an early pregnancy evening at he hospital and it was like a bloody marketing fair with companies vying to flog their wares, I left in tears as was v hormonal at time blush I just wanted, oh I don't know, a tour of the facilities and a sort of 'what to expect from us and from your pregnancy' type evening.

Anyway I'm now well warned off the photos scam and will forewarn DH too.

CaptainMartinCrieff Thu 01-Sep-11 18:38:44

Bizarrely I started getting junk (3D scan offers, have your bump photographed etc...) before my DS was even born and before I'd even signed up for anything.

I can only assume my details were passed on by GPs surgery and/or community midwife?!

My pregnancy notes did come in a plastic bounty envelope that I was told to keep it in at all times (it actually went in the bin).

SardineQueen Thu 01-Sep-11 18:39:15

With DD1 they only did the packs at my hosp. I don't mind a pack.

With DD2 they had the photographer and I was surprised and horrified frankly. Here were women who were on heavy duty drugs after all sorts of birth experience, bleeding, in pain, drugged up and this woman was doing a really hard sell at them. All this "you don't want to MISS OUT on babies FIRST photo this is your only chance" etc etc etc really laying it on thick. Appalling.

I told her no photo but I'll take the pack which pissed her off grin but I thought it was just outrageous.

2shoes Thu 01-Sep-11 18:41:41

have the bounty packs changed? I had one with both ds and dd(now 19 and 16) and loved them, seem to remember getting about 3 at different stages,

MyGoldfishIsEvil Thu 01-Sep-11 21:37:26

Some bad stories on here. My experience with the Bounty Photographer was ok - she was ever so slightly pushy about taking the photo of dd in the first place - I sent her away once as I was bf, and she was back half an hour later.

She was quite gentle though, this was my third child so I was no fresh-faced mum, and I'd had an absolutely awful delivery. Dd was very red faced, puffy and bruised - poor thing. This bounty photographer took this picture of my beetroot faced daughter, and we both looked at it, and I said well, I just don't want to pay for a photo that shows my baby looking so red & puffy, but thanks anyway. She gave me a ref no. and said if I changed my mind I could order it later (of course I never did), and went on her way. I obv got a gentle one.

Even so, I do think it's very wrong to let these Bounty people roam the maternity wards like that - lots of them clearly aren't averse to the hard sell. Needs to be stopped.

frecklyspeckly Thu 01-Sep-11 22:40:31

had absolutely horrid time with first ds. Was very confused for days afterwards and thought the bounty woman in her pink uniform was some kind of midwife/nurse (went slightly odd -long story for another time and felt kind of obligated to let her take picture of my yellow jaundiced baby, but then I had visitors WHO I KNEW but couldn't place them who they actually were!) and I can't believe they let them target people like I was in a very vunerable state AND sell them stuff - basically what other people on here have said!

MyGoldfishIsEvil Thu 01-Sep-11 23:26:34

Perhaps a MN campaign? I would have no objection to Bounty, say, having a stall at the hospital, where mums could go to collect a bounty pack/ get a photo maybe?. But clearly they should not be allowed to go from bed to bed on the maternity wards - that is so wrong.

Perhaps add it into this MN campaign for Improved Postnatal Care.

I didn't give birth in the UK so didn't have the horror of Bounty or the photographer - photographers particularly sound like parasites. Since coming back though I have been rather horrified at some of the advertising the NHS allows to be associated with its services. Particularly the disingenuous way some of it is allowed to be presented to look an endorsement by the NHS and, worst of all, the way people are targeted when they are vulnerable. I think it's despicable to sell out the more vulnerable to make a bit of money.

DrCoconut Fri 02-Sep-11 22:45:39

We actually liked DS2's bounty picture. It is really cute and we still have it! The woman was not pushy and offered to come back at another time (or not at all) if I preferred. Sounds like I just got lucky with my bounty lady.

mycatoscar Tue 06-Sep-11 07:45:10

wow- i am stunned by the experiences some of you have had with bounty reps. I had dd 6 years ago this friday smile and the bounty lady came round gave me a pack, congratulated me and asked if i would like photos done. I said no thank you and she went away, never came back!

CaptainNancy Tue 06-Sep-11 08:12:06

I agree with others who said the crap started pre-birth with all the 'Emma's Diary' rubbish.
The bounty woman after my 1st birth was very forceful, but got nowhere with me when I refused to give my details- forget making up email addresses, just say 'no' - no-one has a right to your information, and anyone official has already had it in triplicate by the time of birth. I had just had a dire birth experience <<bitter laugh>> so she got short shrift and was pretty rude and huffy ( she certainly had a wee humphy face).
2nd time round, the women took one look at me, backed away and didn't even ask confused. Birth had been a dream cf. first one, so no idea why! grin

I obviously give off 'no nonsense' vibes....

Ryoko Tue 06-Sep-11 12:41:08

mycatoscar had mine last year and thats how I felt it was, as I said way more bothered about the useless rude, pushy, uncaring midwives then the bounty people

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 06-Sep-11 13:31:46

I didnt realise it was Bounty who did the photos, my pack was left in my room but a lovely lady photographer did come and ask if we would like a picture and I thought it was a lovely idea. She came back to visit me several times on her photo rounds as I was in a room on my own after a CS so she bought coffee and chatted.

She was far more pleasant than most of the hospital staff.

Solo Tue 06-Sep-11 13:41:26

I don't know if Bounty had anything to do with the photo's for Ds in 1998...I didn't think so. When I got my huge box of goodies I was very grateful for them, but never ever had anyone come round to me, badgering me etc and I was in for 5 nights in total.
With Dd, she was born on Boxing day, got a small bag of Bounty goodies and no photographer sad which I was quite sad about actually.
I was very glad of the freebies both times and was never approached by anyone trying to sell me stuff.

StillSquiffy Sat 10-Sep-11 07:46:22

I loved having the Bounty women sticking her nose in after my DD was born.

Being so deeply PC, I find there are very few opportunities to use the 'f' word in real life, and to be able to do so without feeling in the slightest bit guilty was divine.

The photographer looked at DD1 and decided that as she had a NG tube in she wouldn't take her picture. Was a bit cheesed off with that - she was beautiful then to me and seven years later still is. smile

With DD2 I'd wised up, realised that getting a cereal bar and a jar of cream isn't worth all the hassle of being bombarded with e-mails and phone calls, and told Bounty lady to sod off.

babyicebean Tue 13-Sep-11 12:58:35

The only thing I remember about the Bounty pack that you get after you give birth, which the midwives were giving people, they had the packs in a large cage, was the litre bottle of persil and three washing tablets.

Ciske Tue 13-Sep-11 13:07:48

I thought the Bounty packs were ridiculous when I first got them and I still can't understand why the NHS give them away as if somehow these are medically condoned products. It's a waste of paper, I threw pretty much all of it away apart from the free products. I guess the plastic cover was handy for the maternity notes, but that's it.

Luckily they didn't have a photographer in my ward but my God, what a horrible way to sell pictures. I'm surprised it's allowed to continue and I don't blame the mothers who posted on here to say they were less than friendly to them.

sprogger Tue 13-Sep-11 13:15:15

Reading this, I am so glad I was in a position to have home births for my two younger DCs. The only overenthusiastic photographer I had to bat away was DH.

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