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“Test Baby” Superbowl Commercial

(If you suffer from intrusive thoughts, PLEASE do not read this post as it may trigger some intense thoughts.)

A no-name internet company sponsored a Superbowl ad tonight.

The company seems to specialize in the rental of homes and condos vs. hotels for vacations. It’s an awesome concept and had it not been for their commercial tonight, I may have used them for my trip to Seattle in the fall.

Tonight’s commercial involved a family in a glass room meant to simulate a hotel room. The family had a Mom, a Dad, two older kids, and a baby. The Mom put the baby down to sleep on the end of what appeared to be a table. As the older kids pillow fight on the bed, one of them accidentally hits Dad and he falls on the table.

The baby?

Went flying across the room, into the glass wall.

The voice-over stated “test baby.”

Mom stares on in horror in the background.

The baby is clearly a doll but it blinks a couple of times once it hits the glass. And a smear is left as it slides downward.

I cannot TELL you how many times I have heard from mom after mom after mom that one of the harshest thoughts she’s had in the midst of Postpartum is that of throwing her infant across the room.

I had it. Women who have come to me for support have had that thought. Friends of mine who have struggled with PPD have had this very thought.

I am nearly three full years into recovered from my episodes with Postpartum.

This commercial?

Brought it all rushing back. Even managed to kill what little buzz I had going from the beer I treated myself to tonight.

There is no proper platform for humor about injuring a baby.

None.

Not a commercial, not a movie, not a play, none. Not even Adam Sandler or Kevin Smith could pull this crap off and get away with it.

First of all, it’s traumatizing to those of us who have struggled with intrusive thoughts as new mothers. A scene like that, unwarranted, in the middle of what should be a fun and relaxing event, can totally shut a mother down, trigger anxiety, and intrusive thoughts she then has to battle for quite some time. All in the name of making more money.

Second, infant trauma is a real problem. So is Shaken Baby Syndrome.

According to the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome Statistics page:

Based on a North Carolina research project published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August of 2003, approximately 1,300 U.S. children experience severe or fatal head trauma from child abuse every year.

The same North Carolina research study revealed that approximately 30 per 100,000 children under age 1 suffered inflicted brain injuries.

Approximately 20% of cases are fatal in the first few days after injury and the majority of the survivors are left with handicaps ranging from mild – learning disorders, behavioral changes – to moderate and severe, such as profound mental and developmental retardation, paralysis, blindness, inability to eat or exist in a permanent vegetative state.

From Child Abuse Medical Diagnosis and Management by Robert Reece, M.D. – “At best estimate, one third of abusive head injury victims who develop symptoms escape without significant handicapping conditions. Many children are left with blindness, seizure disorders, profound mental retardation, spastic diplegia (paralysis of both sides) or quadriplegia (all sides). Some continue to live in a vegetative state.”

Medical costs associated with initial and long-term care for children who are victims of SBS/AHT can range from $300,000 to more than $1,000,000.

To make light of a very serious injury to an infant in order to sell product is beyond deplorable. It’s beyond despicable. It’s.. it’s… there is no word to describe the atrocity.

Not only is there the commercial, but their twitter account now links to a page encouraging you to put YOUR face on the baby. Again.. no words.

Shame on them.

Shame.

Shame on the NFL and on FOX for accepting this commercial and essentially endorsing the act of violence against an innocent infant.

NFL, FOX, and the responsible company owe us an apology. Shame.

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