Fridababy Asks Meghan Markle to Skip the Post-Birth Photo Op in Full-Page New York Times Ad

Parenting company wants her to use the moment to 'pay it forward'

The open letter appeared in today's New York Times. Fridababy
Headshot of Diana Pearl

Today Fridababy, the company behind the NoseFrida, a snot-sucking device for infants, put out a plea to Meghan Markle in the form of a full-page New York Times ad.

Since the days of Princess Diana, it’s become something of a tradition for royal women to stand on the steps of the hospital where they have just given birth (usually, the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London) so their new little royal can greet the public for the first time.

It’s a ritual Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge (also known as Kate Middleton) has continued throughout the birth of her three children at an astonishing turnaround: Just over a day after giving birth to Prince George in 2013 she was on the steps, while after Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte’s births in 2018 and 2015, she was outside mere hours after giving birth.

The ad, which begins “An Open Letter to the Royal Mom-To-Be,” asks the Duchess of Sussex to skip the traditional royal baby post-birth photo op on the steps of the hospital in order to help fuel a dialogue around the physical recovery period women go through after giving birth.

“Sure your blowout will be perfect for your hospital step photo-op, but people will be opining on all the wrong things—like how soon you will fit into your pre-baby wardrobe—instead of having an honest conversation about what women go through during birth or immediately thereafter,” the letter, written by Fridababy CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn reads.

Hirschhorn told Adweek that Fridababy, a company that produces parenting products, wanted to encourage Markle to use this moment to shine a light on what really happens after a woman gives birth, and shy away from setting unrealistic expectations. (Fridababy is run by Hirschhorn with her husband Eric serving as CMO.)

“Meghan will literally be stepping out as the most famous new mom in the world—and we wanted to encourage her to use that stage as an opportunity to prepare women for what to really expect in the hours and days immediately after birth,” she said. “Peeing will burn and sitting like a normal person will feel like a herculean accomplishment.”

“Sure, it’s possible to have a hair and makeup SWAT team come in and work their magic to conceal the realities of what just happened, but is that really what we want women focused on in those first few hours postpartum?” she continued. “Why doesn’t she get rolled out in a wheelchair sitting on a throne of ice as the rest of us?”

Banking on Markle remaining a loyal reader to American papers, Fridababy decided the New York Times was the best platform for the letter to run in order not only to reach her but a substantial audience of women.

“We wanted this letter to be read by Meghan as well as the 4 million women who will give birth this year in the U.S.,” said Fridababy’s CMO, Eric Hirschhorn. “An open letter in the New York Times has arguably become one of the most-recognized platforms for people and brands to share their values and advocate for a shift in the cultural conversation.”

The hope is that the letter will help to change the conversation around post-birth expectations. Hirschhorn said that appealing to Markle in particular makes sense because no woman gives birth with the world watching quite like a royal does.

“Part of the reason those first few hours and days are so intimidating is because first-time moms have no idea what to expect,” she said. “The unknown is terrifying. Then you see a woman strutting out in three-inch heels with a fresh blowout and some lip stain and we wonder why?”

“We’re hoping to encourage women to pay it forward,” she added. “And Meghan happens to have the largest stage to do just that in just a few weeks!”

You can read the letter in full below.

The open letter in today's New York Times

@dianapearl_ Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.