Friday, March 2, 2012

Marketing - Make It Stop

Every mother who has lost her baby knows this - but it's something the rest of the world doesn't even think about.


Yes, junk mail. There isn't a week that goes by that marketing isn't coming through from Enfamil, Johnson & Johnson, or Babies R Us.

Usually it doesn't really bother me. And I even discovered that my sweet husband usually throws it out before I see it, when he gets the mail.

Today I decided I was sick of it. Yesterday, I received an email from Enfamil (Serouisly, why nearly 7  months after giving birth am I starting to receive these?). I tried to unsubscribe. They didn't make the process easy, but I did it. Today, I got another email from them and I decided I'M SICK OF THIS!

I don't even know how so many places got my information - if I had my guess it would be that the clothing store Motherhood Maternity sold it off to them, but I don't know for certain.

I remember the hospital gave me a paper that talked about sending something in to get off of the mailing lists for things like this, but it wasn't very clear. If it had been, I most certainly would have done it! I'm all about unsubscribing from any sort of junk mail -physical or digital.

No mother that doesn't get to bring her baby home should have to deal with the unending marketing, constantly reminding us of what we don't have.

I think I've finally discovered what I can do to give back to this community of bereaved parents. Like I mentioned before, so many people offer such beautiful gifts for healing after their own loss. I didn't feel like it was my call to make necklaces or anything like that, but I wanted to do something. Well now my blood is boiling and I think it's going to move me to action. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. I'm not sure how long it will take. But I want to create a "one-step" process that will notify everyone -Babies R Us, Enfamil,, you name it- of your loss so that they can stop sending you the unwanted and even painful marketing that shows up everywhere.

I'm sure this won't be an easy task because asking a corporate company to stop advertising and trying to make money seems impossible. But they're not making money off of us! Hopefully I can find someone with a heart that will be willing to help me make it happen.

I don't really know how to go about this yet. But I'm sure going to try. Comments, thoughts, and suggestions are very welcome!


  1. What a GREAT idea! Wish I had some ideas for you, but I'm coming with a big zero. Love you!

  2. More power to ya! If I were to do it, I would start where you traced things back to. Go to Motherhood Maternity and talk your way up the chain to find out the exact process they use when they collect the contact info of a customer. You could even ask a friend to be your guinea pig and try out the system and whatever turns out to be the first attempt to make it stop. I think you're right, I think it's likely someone shares with someone who shares with everyone. This is a great thing to try and figure out. A very possible sad ending to this adventure will be that it's like having your identity stolen. Once everything is out there, you can't possibly gather all the pieces back. In that case, I wonder if there's a one-step-stop system you could develop that would allow a grieving mother to send a short explanation letter to the company as soon as she receives something. I wonder if that would get to the right place. Anyway, I wish you all the best with it and I hope we can hear lots of updates! What a great project!

  3. I know that I know nothing about losing a child and how hard that is, but I can imagine being able to unsubscribe from all of the junk and advertising would be incredibly helpful. I also think that it's something that anyone who hates the junk mail would love. I don't think we've used one bit of the baby advertising garbage that has come to our house. We just throw it away too! I'm not sure how to go about doing it either, but I would be interested if you figure it out. XOXO!

    p.s. I think you are amazing and brave Shelley. You and Luke are in my thoughts often. You are such a great example of strength. Just wanted you to know...

  4. I think it's a wonderful idea. Yesterday I got an email congratulating me on the birth of my child (it was from enfamil) I tried to unsubscribe to everything, but it's SO painful to delete my children from a website or to try to remember who I've subscribed too. GL, I really think it's an awesome idea. If there was a way to do it without deleting the child (on enfamil I had to 'remove' my children) I think that would be helpful. . . If it was a simple unsubscribe button or something.

  5. You're right - it absolutely hadn't occurred to me to think of that aspect of coming home from the hospital w/o a baby. Wow. I think this is a great project, and I really hope that companies are cooperative with it. If they're not, they're lame and heartless. Wish I had a good suggestion for you. The only thought I have is maybe pitch the idea to the media. Make a video on youtube. Make a fb page. :) Those all seem to be pretty swift calls to action. haha Hugs! Best of luck to you, my friend.

  6. I love your idea Shelley. It's time for people to stand up against stuff like this.