The ‘oops moment’ really?


The award winning programme for post natal women, the MUTU System, fights back against the ‘oops moment’….

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Dear Tena Lady,

Please can we talk about your ads?
Specifically, about the ones where a group of women are doing a bounce fitness class on mini trampolines, or on bikes, smiling, having fun and happily declaring that they’ve just had an “oops moment”. They’re peeing themselves as they work out. Lights by TENA

The messaging inherent in this ad fills me with sadness and frustration towards an industry (your industry) that should know better, an industry that claims to serve women but that misinforms and misguides them, an industry that normalizes leaking, convincing women on a daily basis, that incontinence is a normal outcome of childbirth (or even simply of being female) and something to accept, shrug off and simply mask with a pad.

You’ve created a marketing campaign to further normalize incontinence, branding it an “Oops moment”. By trivializing and normalizing leaking, you are doing a HUGE disservice to women everywhere. The “Oops moment” messaging is dangerous and damaging on so many levels.

If a woman needs to wear a pad to do any type of exercise, her body is telling her it is not ready to do that exercise right now. Leaking is a medical red flag, it’s your body letting you know that something is not okay, that it can’t cope with what you’re asking it to do.
If a woman is leaking she needs to back-up and build the foundations first with the help of a women’s health physiotherapist or a trained postpartum exercise specialist, so that she can. And IF she keeps asking her body to do that thing regardless, before it’s ready, she WILL cause greater issues in the long term.
Your latest ad suggest that she does carry on regardless. It’s this messaging that is the most damaging.
Trampolining does NOT strengthen your pelvic floor. The high impact and repetitive bouncing creates downward force through your pelvic organs and muscles, and if you are leaking, those structures are not strong enough to cope with this pressure. This can cause long-term damage and even more issues such as pelvic organ prolapse. High impact exercise is simply not right for you if you leak when you do it.

Pads are NOT a solution to the problem. It’s like the bandaid for the pelvic floor. Yes, the pad will stop a woman’s underwear from getting wet, but it does nothing to address the lack of optimal function and strength that is causing the issue. This vital information is lacking in your advertising.
I’m calling you to reconsider your marketing and messaging towards women.

Yes, your company provides a wealth of truly valuable products and services for short term recovery or healing, for seniors and for care facilities, but healthy adult women deserve better than this. They deserve to be given the right information, that they don’t have to simply put up with leaking, as your message suggests.

Vital information that you need to include in future advertising and marketing if you want to market to women responsibly.

1. It is never too late to make a difference and address these symptoms.
2. Women DO NOT need to put up with leaking.
3. It is not normal for a woman to pee herself and she deserves so much better.
4. She can do exercises again with the right guidance, exercises and alignment adjustments, without the embarrassment and inconvenience of leaking.
5. She can see a qualified specialist women’s health physiotherapist who will be able to help you. If you live in the UK, in some areas you can even self-refer. These specialists are trained to help women to strengthen their pelvic floor and STOP relying on pads.
6. If she feels like it’s been too long, there are ways of building that connection with those muscles again.

With thanks for your attention and very best regards,
Wendy Powell Dip PT
Director and Founder of world best selling postpartum recovery program MUTU System and accredited postpartum recovery and fitness education provider MUTU Pro.

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