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by Katie Hodgkins

Open Letter To MLM Reps Targeting New Mums

*Disclaimer: in order to not mention specific companies and get myself into a shitload of bother, I will refer to all companies under one generic name, ‘Company X’.
I’m not tarring all reps with the same brush; just those greedy ones lacking a moral compass.*


Dear reps of Company X,

I’ll get straight to the point.

Why are you targeting new mums? Even pregnant mums?

I see you…

Thinking you’re being stealthy, sneaking into a mummy group on Facebook, or trawling peoples friends lists looking for new mums, with your profile full of sickly sweet inspirational quotes and posts about your ‘team’.

I see you...

Lurking on posts where vulnerable new mummies are feeling like utter dog shite about their new mummy tummy and wobbly bits, or desperate for extra money without needing to leave their babies, thinking you’ve got an easy target to try and sell to or recruit, under the guise of altruism when in reality, it’s money motivated.

I see you…

In my inbox, sending a huge essay full of colourful emoticons and condescending ‘heya babes’, promoting a product that isn’t NHS recommended, scientifically proven to do anything beneficial (beyond the research that the company paid for) or the answer to my prayers, contrary to your almost evangelic dedication to the brand.

I see you…

Adding me as a friend, with your profile full of ‘#femaleboss’, corny inspirational quotes, calling yourself CEO (you’re not a CEO) and the token photo of someone else’s sports car…and me being both naive and as soft as shit, accepting you under the assumption you’re someone I’ve interacted with in a group – only for you to forcibly add me to your selling group, and continue to re-add me when I leave…

I see you…

Preying on new mums struggling on Statutory Maternity Pay, trying to recruit them in the promise of them making a fuck tonne of cash and becoming a ‘Female Boss’, luring them in under false pretences to boost your own income only for them to be left high, dry and begging for work a few months down the line because you’ve encouraged them to spend money they don’t have on stock they cannot sell.

I see you.

Where are your ethics?

Where is your sense of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Newsflash: there is nothing quite so guaranteed to put people off buying off you than harassing them, and misleading vulnerable people about how much money they can make is wrong.

Even worse is claiming your products cure things like diabetes, asthma, even AUTISM (true story).

Fuck. That.

Inboxing a new mum about a product used for weight loss can actually be incredibly hurtful, particularly if the mum hasn’t given any indication that they have a weight issue.

You’re basically shaming their post partum body. You’re indirectly telling them they need to lose weight. You’re indirectly calling them fat and making them feel ashamed of the body that created, carried and birthed an entire new human being.

All for a few quid. Where is your shame?

We are under way too much bloody pressure to not gain too much weight during pregnancy, and to ‘snap back’, as if the pregnancy was a mere dream.

Your unsolicited messages further compound this pressure; rep of Company X, you could honestly be the straw that broke the camels back for a new mum who is seriously depressed if their baby weight is an aggravating factor in their struggle.

It’s completely heinous when it’s a pregnant woman.

Taking vitamins other than prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is not advised as prenatal vitamins contain very specific amounts; some vitamins are actually toxic to growing babies, and it’s not advised at all that pregnant women take ‘health’ products that aren’t prescribed or NHS endorsed during pregnancy as they contain unsafe quantities of certain vitamins.

Just because a product is marketed as ‘natural’, this doesn’t mean that it’s safe in pregnancy at all. Arsenic is fucking natural, would you take that? Crap analogy as you can’t really compare vitamins and arsenic but do you see my point?

By targeting these ladies, you’re essentially exploiting them; telling them they can be ‘super healthy’ if they buy from you, misleading them with the health benefits, and potentially leaving them and their babies at risk.

All. For. A. Few. Fucking. Quid!

Every time I’m targeted, I report it to the company in the hopes that they’ll rein this in, and I’ll continue to do so.

OK, OK, I get it; ethics and CSR don’t feed the kids and pay the Sky bill.

However, that doesn’t excuse it. Don’t impose your choices on other people. Do it right, or don’t do it at all.

I understand you need to work, I understand you need to earn money and make a living for yourself.

Just, for fucks sake, please don’t target vulnerable people. It’s wrong and it gives you all a seriously shitty image and PR, which I’m sure the more ethical reps of Company X can attest to.


From a pissed off fat mama who needs proper food and exercise to function.


Love from Katie. Xx

Katie Hodgkins Image
I'm Katie, and I'm a mama, wife, and freelance content creator for Bump, Baby & You. I also help to run our thriving online community over in our Facebook support group, as well as volunteering for my local branch of the National Childbirth Trust. I'm a busy bee and enjoy keeping active, cooking, writing, and fun days out with my little family. My special topics of interest are... autism (as me and my son are both autistic), science, all things parenting and pregnancy related, and The Handmaids Tale!
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