An Open Letter to Enfamil
I get it, okay? I get that you want me to have a healthy baby, not because you care about my well-being, but because you want me to feed said baby with your product. I get it, I really do. You’re a company, you need to keep you stock-holders happy, blah, blah, blah…, but your hyper-aggressive marketing campaign is just cruel. Not cruel for the women who have healthy babies (for those with healthy babies that chose to breast-feed, I am sure you are just annoying) but for those of us that don’t.
I went to my OB way back in September of 2006 and was SO happy to be pregnant that I got sucked into your evil campaign. I filled out a card with my EDD (because once you get a positive pregnancy test, you obviously give birth to a healthy baby, right??) and gave it to my OB’s office. In return, I got lots of free stuff. It was great. I was happy. I had your glossy advertisement-cum-magazine with pretty babies and life was good because in nine months I was going to have one of those, too!
Except I didn’t and apparently you didn’t get the fucking message. Before my EDD, you started sending me more stuff, including formula samples. Then you started sending me Enfamil Family Beginnings: A Time of Transition that just pours salt in my already painful wounds. Then I got pregnant again and you know what? I still found your stuff annoying. Now after this most recent miscarriage, every time, like this afternoon, that I open my mailbox and see one of the doe-eyed little babies on the cover of one of your publications, it makes me sad. Fuck you, Enfamil. I don’t need more things in my life making me more sad than I already am.
I know that I signed up for it, but maybe you could remember that 15-20% of women miscarry in the first trimester, and we don’t need you to remind us of the fact that we don’t have babies at home to feed. Can’t you offer a “rescind my Enfamil registration because I had a miscarriage” card? Or can’t you wait until perhaps the second trimester to start your marketing campaign? I can unsubscribe to all the web-feeds I naively signed up for the first time detailing the minutiae of daily or weekly embryonic and fetal growth (I was not such a sucker the second pregnancy). Why can’t I unsubscribe from you? How can I make you go away?
BUT (isn’t there always a “but?”) I am still hoping to have a healthy baby and I do like all the free stuff. So maybe your corporate whoring to new mothers is not such a bad thing. I, however, am not a new mother and not everyone who gets pregnant will be, either. So, in the interest of not pissing off all the miscarrying women of the world, hold off on the free stuff, at least until the second trimester and please give us the option to stop the happy-faced baby mail.
MC, the miscarrying non-mama
[For another letter to Enfamil, see Barefoot And...'s Nov. 2004 posts, the inspiration for my rant.]