There's a lot about what happens to your vagina after delivering a small human that one might consider offensive or unsavoury.
The first time you attempt to urinate or — lord help you — have a bowel movement after giving birth. The foreboding that your perineum may actually explode (or re-explode, depending on how childbirth went for you) when you sit on the toilet. Hemorrhoids. Adult diapers. Stitches. Laughing at your adult diaper and hemorrhoids (because what else can you do, really?) and popping your stitches.
But you know what isn't offensive? Using accurate words to describe what's happened to your body after experiencing the miracle of life. That's what U.S. company Fridababy is arguing after several cities rejected their billboards for a postpartum peri-bottle called "Fridet: the MomWasher" because it contained the word "vagina."
"Trust us, your vagina will thank you," said the billboards, advertising squirt bottles meant to help moms clean themselves post-delivery.
Some cities across the U.S. took issue with the use of "vagina" and either rejected the ad or suggested the company replace it with the word "bottoms" or "body," the company explained in an email statement to HuffPost Canada.
"There is a lack of honest conversation about the subject of post-partum recovery," Fridababy said.
The statement included copies of rejection emails Fridababy said they received from certain cities, one deeming the use of vagina as "controversial."
"Censorship of profanity is totally understandable, but this is a part of a woman's body that deserves a lot of TLC after childbirth," Fridababy CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn told Today.
The US$15.99 'MomWasher' has an angled spout and sprays warm water on a mom's underside (yes, including the — gasp — vagina) to both soothe and clean the area while on the toilet. Because wiping, as the company points out in a how-to video, can be a "lingering labour ouchie."
"If women are expected to be prepared enough to take care of a new life the moment they push a baby out, we should support them in the process of preparing to care for themselves and their vaginas as well," Hirschhorn noted in the Today article.
"It's a fact that after birth, a woman's vagina — the anatomical term of where the baby came out of — will hurt and be swollen. There's no reason we should be tip-toeing around this conversation," Hirschhorn told PopSugar.
The messaging was approved to run in New York City, where it will be splashed on over 22 subway station billboards starting this week, Fridababy explained in its statement.
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This isn't the first time public displays about the reality childbirth and postpartum life have been censored.
In August, Facebook and Instagram deleted photos and suspended accounts by Alberta photographers Aimee and Jenna Hobbs that featured moms' postpartum bodies. Their annual project, A Mother's Beauty, captures women and their children posing, playing, and occasionally breastfeeding in various states of undress.
"It's just re-enforcing what society is so good at telling others — if a woman doesn't bounce back after they give birth, they're somehow broken," Aimee told HuffPost Canada last month.
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