Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bounty Hunters are on the move

Hip hip hooray for Sarah Crown and Mumsnet for their new campaign to get rid of Bounty reps from our maternity wards. I've been banging on about this issue for years since the birth of my baby when I first encountered the astonishing Bounty Pack.

Stuffed full of what I assumed was nonsense, I found my child benefit form, some interesting information about local breast feeding groups and other NHS leaflets about how to keep my baby alive. I could hardly believe that Bounty were entrusted to deliver this vital information to parents and the fact that it came with heavy advertising from Pampers and Sudocrem seemed incongruous at best. Did I have to clad my baby's bum in Pampers and stinky zinc cream to claim my child benefit? Did I have to read all the endless bits of paper to make sure I wasn't missing some instructions on how to avoid cot death?

I read everything in my pack with raised eyebrows, increasing hilarity and finally wild-eyed fury. Who knows when Bounty first got its tentacles into our hospitals (they bear a striking resemblance to the Nestle Nurses of days gone by) but they are fresh from 1954. I found a pamphlet full of quotes from - I kid you not - the Daily Mail and The Sun claiming to offer relationship advice. What?! Yes, I too was unaware of their expertise in this area, they actually recommended 'ring fencing' 20 minutes of your day to not talking about your new bundle of joy and - even more repellent - resuming marital relations as soon as possible. Don't mind the stitches, honey, the only thing your man is interested in after a long, hard day in the episode of Mad Men he comes from is a long, hard ... chat about the golf course and a romantic spin about the sheets.

So, as it's now 2014 and we're all a little bit wiser about the machinations of advertising execs and want our healthcare delivered by midwives and doctors rather than underpaid Bounty reps let's politely ask them to leave and let new mums get on with recovering from childbirth, learning the mysterious art of breast feeding and having some toast and tea. Get the midwife to hand over the child benefit form. After all, far fewer of us are entitled to it these days.

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