Belfast Telegraph

More Northern Ireland mums hit out at 'pushy' baby photo service in hospitals

A newborn baby
A newborn baby

By Christopher Leebody

More mums have spoken out about the pressure they felt from photographic company Bounty after the birth of their children.

As revealed in the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, a Freedom of Information request showed that Bounty has paid more than £224,000 since 2014 to Northern Ireland's health trusts for access to the wards.

Bounty sells a variety of products, including post-birth portraits.

One mother who described her experience was 25-year-old Rebecca Stewart.

She was 24 at the time of giving birth to her son Oscar in Craigavon Area Hospital on March 29, 2018.

Explaining that she gave birth at 11.40am on that day, Rebecca said that the Bounty sales rep, who had not previously introduced herself, "appeared for the first time by 3pm".

She said: "I was in the midwifery-led unit so I was in a room on my own. She opened the door, pulled back the curtain and let herself in.

"She wanted me to buy a USB with photos at £90, key rings, pocket photos, everything.

"We assumed she was a doctor, then she took out her camera and introduced herself as Bounty staff. At this point I was barely able to walk.

"It made me feel anxious and vulnerable. I was a first-time mum and hadn't the knowledge or strength to ask her to stop or to leave.

"It should be an opt-in service. Perhaps an office in the hospital where parents can go. I don't feel Bounty reps should have free roam access to wards.

"I think they definitely have their place for those who wish to avail of their services. I know people who have been delighted to have Bounty photos taken."

Laura Kelly (32) from Belfast described her negative experience of Bounty following the birth of her premature son Cormac in 2017, who later passed away.

Laura spent her time between a private room and intensive care and described the environment as "a pushy sales floor rather than a post-natal ward".

She said: "No wasn't taken as your answer. They said they would come back tomorrow to see if you had changed your mind.

"It is taking complete advantage of very vulnerable women."

Bounty did not respond to a request for comment.

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