Superdrug Ditches Online 'Mother & Baby' Section

Superdrug Renames Mother & Baby Section

Superdrug is to make its website "more inclusive" after a dad took to social media to complain about the wording of the 'Mother & Baby' section of the site.

The Huffington Post reports:

A single dad called out Superdrug for the gendered way they promote baby products, after he was unable to find a parenting section on the website. Dave Darby, from Berkshire, said he was “somewhat perplexed” by Superdrug’s 'mother and baby' section and found the wording on their website 'derogatory towards fathers'.

He wrote:

'Hi. I am somewhat perplexed Superdrug. Whilst looking on your website, I could not find a section for father and baby, yet there is one for mother and baby. As a single parent father, I find this somewhat derogatory towards fathers and their children and respectfully ask that this is changed to parent and baby, thus making it politically correct and also Superdrug acknowledging that men can also be single parents.'

A Superdrug spokesperson later responded to say the website would be updated as of 20th February to be more inclusive.

We've been debating this here at Playpennies HQ today. Like lots of mums who commented in response to the original post, I can't see why anyone would take issue with the wording of the 'mother and baby' section on Superdrug's website.

In fact, I'm in total agreement with the poster who pointed out that the section is called 'mother and baby' because it contains products for MOTHERS and BABIES. Breast pumps, nipple cream and pregnancy vitamins are products for mums, and all the other stuff in that section is for babies. So what's the problem?

Darby reportedly told the HuffPost that "things for the child (nappies, nappy rash cream, bottles) should be in a section labelled ‘babies’ with no gendering of the parent" but seriously, who wants to navigate between one section for babies and another for mums when shopping online for an imminent arrival or stocking up on last minute bits for your hospital bag?

As for the wording being derogatory towards fathers – give me a break. There's nothing critical or disrespectful – which is the definition of derogatory – about this. I am pretty sure the wording of Superdrug's website is not a deliberate attempt to deny the role that fathers play or to disregard the fact that dads – single or otherwise – also shop online for baby gear. That's why the section isn't called just 'Mother' but 'Mother and Baby'.

And where next if we go down this route? How about redesigning the website to reflect that grandparents often buy pricy bits of baby gear? Or what about childminders who aren't mums or dads but who keep their supplies of baby wipes stocked up thanks to Superdrug? Will they feel excluded if the site section is renamed 'Parent & Baby'?

This point won't make me popular but it's well documented that women account for the majority of household spending so I'd wager that targeting mums over dads when it comes to online shopping is partly drawn by market forces. If women are the ones typically choosing which brand of buggy or baby wipes to buy – and the statistics prove they are – then why shouldn't retailers recognise this fact and account for our purchase power?

There can be no denying that women still do the lion's share of childcare in the average household, too – so why shouldn't that also be reflected in the design and navigation of the websites we buy baby products from?

If you want to decry gender imbalance when it comes to parenting, let's forget Superdrug's website and focus on the real issues, like why British men spend just 24 minutes caring for their children for every hour a woman spends, or why so few fathers take up shared parental leave.

If you ask me, those are the parenting gender wars worth fighting.

We'd love to hear your views on this story. Do you think this dad has a point?

Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.

111 comments

  • Nicola K.

    Parent and baby sounds good to me.

  • Abi R.

    For real?! It’s because half the items are for mothers!!!! Pregnancy essentials and after care.

    When men have to wear giant, disposal pads in their pants, rub creams on their multiple stretch marks and stuff their bras because their boobs are leaking... then it can be “father and baby”

  • Hayley R.

    How stupid 'mother products' tend to include nipple creams, stretchmark creams, maternity pads they're not trying to be sexist but ive never know a dad to need these products :joy:

  • Clare P.

    I am not sure how many products the aisle would have for "parents" or "dads"..... just giant nappies, boob cream and witch hazel.... don't know any dads needing those!

  • Jenni B.

    Coz so many fathers need breast pads and nipples cream, postpartum pads. What on earth?!

  • Sharon C.

    Another day ... another person offended ... give me strength

  • Claire B.

    honestly you can't say anything nowadays.

    • Kev Y.

      Some people must have so much boredom in their lives that they have to resort to this crap. Pissing me right off this gender fluidity argument crap. Who gives a ....

  • Lou P.

    Yeah I was gonna say, since when did dads need nipple cream, humongous fanny or breast pads? Some people have way too much time on their hands to be offended by the small things.

    • Chris H.

      Brilliant idea then call its mother's

    • Chris H.

      And that's gd to know only mother can go to shop to get baby items

    • Lou P.

      This is absolutely wasted on you, you literally have no idea :joy::joy::joy:

    • Ben R.

      Ok 1) I read humongous as homogeneous, not sure why, but that really threw me. 2) Chris Huckle shut up mate, it's items designed specifically women after child birth (we call those women "mothers", hence the mother part of the mother & baby section. There is literally nothing stopping men buying those items, in fact I imagine many do, but until men start using said items and, more importantly, NEED to use them, then I think we can live with "Mother & Baby" just fine.

    • Kirstie C.

      Siobhan Stark it might not be politically correct anymore..we’ll soon be shopping in the gender neutral hygiene section :joy:

  • Sam C.

    One dad complains so they're about to restructure their mum and baby section throughout the country? Whatever! Sounds like we're only getting 1% of the story to me.

    • Claire B.

      exactly what i thought aswell

    • Susie P.

      Sounds like a marketing ploy xx

  • Maxine W.

    Guess he couldn't find his manpads

    • Vicki P.

      Too soon for manpons I suppose....

  • Zoe M.

    Pathetic, PC gone mad. Parent and baby will offend a non parent next so what will it will be called then, adult and baby? !!

  • Jeanette C.

    Does it matter that much seriously. If people are offended by such trivial things they need to get a grip. Clearly thinks he is missing out on paper pants, giant santitory towels and nipple cream!

  • Bridge A.

    Oh yea, I forgot how much a man needs breast pads, suffering with leaking boobs, cracked ad sore nipples, needing nipple cream cause the Babi clamped too hard. And as for maternity pads, well, pushing a baby out that jap eye is sure to cause some bleeding! Jesus wept! The world has gone PC mad! I dread to think how PC the world will be in 20 years time.

  • Ceri D.

    This country is going to be such a mess in a few years, people getting offended over stupid things its a joke

  • Paula W.

    People are so quick to 'have their time in the spotlight' moaning about things in this world that are of no importance compared to various other things going on around the world.

  • Mhairi M.

    I was in hospital for the first 7 weeks of our son’s life- so it was ‘Father & Child’ not ‘Mother & child’ and then became ‘Parents & child’ :blush:

  • Margaret C.

    Oh god what bloody next,give me strength men don’t need the things that’s women need before during and after pregnancy,:rage::rage::rage::rage:

  • Kate H.

    Well if a dad wants to know where to get himself maternity pads and nipple cream then yes, I guess that’s fair :see_no_evil:

  • Anne M.

    These comments are amazing make me so proud to be a woman. What us women have to go through and to get these products during pregnancy and after the birth to cope with such things as post pregnancy bleeding breasts leaking our bodies changing hugely over a matter of 9 months is surely enough but to take away our right to be mothers and change it to parents just because one man decided to take offence to our maternity pass breast pads creams to help with our stretch marks was obviously too much for this fella. I would hate to be his wife or gf and no it’s not sexist if it’s baby section then that’s included in the section name there too when a man can carry a baby deliver it feed it from its nipple then it can be father and baby section.

    • Mike A.

      Not convinced your right to be a mother is being taken away by a website being altered. However, the bloke clearly has too much time on his hands. Get a grip dude would be my response

    • Anne M.

      Not my right to being a mother but being called one by Superdrug yes he needs to get a grip. It’s hilarious that one man can change the name of things for mother’s

  • Kate H.

    And we’re all on the same page here, go team! :joy:

  • Gina F.

    When was the last time a Dad gave birth or breastfed? It’s mother and baby section for a reason and instead of giving over to stupid demands maybe they should of trying giving the man a simple explanation!

  • Sian H.

    the comments on here :joy::joy::heart:

  • Rebecca S.

    Surprise surprise ... another twat being “offended” by the most ridiculous thing! Ok mate you carry a baby within you for 9 months ... push it out your japseye then have it hang off your tits for another 6 months...what a fucking idiot :rolling_eyes:

  • Emmy M.

    are we going to need to call them paternity pads just so he doesn't feel left out?

  • Peter H.

    What about mothercare? Are they to close as well!

    • Cheryl H.

      Good point actually..... they’ll have to change their name!

    • Peter H.

      its a bit more catchy than fatherscarejustasmuchasmothercare

  • Grace A.

    Don't think the dads need nipple cream, stretch mark cream, bump cream, nipple pads or maternity towels, cos you know, their contribution was a few mils of man porridge.

  • Sam B.

    Ok I guess dads need breast pads and maternity towels because we all know that the pc crew now think that men are equal in the whole birthing process coz yeh the dad has to get that baby out of their vagina!

  • Nicola K.

    Do any of you have husbands/partners who are stay at home dads?! My husband gets sick of seeing parenting products being aimed at mums only. Case in point: https://www.tesco.com/direct/goldbug-mummy-pushchair-clip-twin-pack/212-0317.prd?source=others

    • Chris H.

      Lol you'll be banned for saying such outrageous things on this post :joy::joy::joy:

    • Jane H.

      That’s a really bad example, I agree that parenting items are usually aimed at the mother but in this case they are selling things that only mothers need ie nipple cream and things babies need ie nappies. You can argue that these sections should be split and be two separate sections but you can’t argue that there are items under the ‘mother’ bit that should be aimed at dads too. Your example is clearly something both parents would use and that’s pretty stupid of Tescos to do

    • Nicola K.

      Jane Hayes I see what you’re saying but if you went on Superdrug’s website, you would see that this section doesn’t just contain things that would be needed exclusively by the mother so it should have a more generic name, or be split as you suggest.

    • Sarah M.

      Is it a Mummy clip because it has Mummy printed all over it by any chance? X

    • Nicola K.

      Sarah Middleton Yeah, it’s not Tesco’s fault it is the manufacturer really.

  • Anne M.

    Don’t think their on about the baby items Chris but more the mothers items that can’t be called mothers incase one man thinks it’s sexist lol of course baby items are for babies but to have babies and feed them we need specialist items for us before during and after giving birth.

  • Richard P.

    Big up to all the mums!! One dad giving us good dads a bad name!

  • Peter T.

    If you actually look at the Superdrug website and go to mother and baby it's not just personal feminine products it's everything from those products to baby wipes, colic medicine, nappies to larger items such as sterilisers and pushchairs. Although I agree bit overzealous to complain... but .. .this has been going on for a long time now to be more inclusive to both sexes(gender neutrality etc etc) mostly against the so called "patriarchy" ..don't like it when the shoes on the other foot do you...this is a good thing surely.

    • Carol K.

      Peter you do understand marketing strategy?

    • Ben R.

      It's literally called mother & baby, this is because some items in that section are for babies - pushchairs and nappies etc, and some are for mothers - breast pads and pumps, pads, nipple cream and so on. It really isn't a difficult concept

    • Nikki C.

      Can u birth a child yourself Peter? :joy:

  • Chris H.

    I don't think it's so much that what he was on about why can't they be called mothers items why mothers and babies?

  • Rachel P.

    Everyone has the right to feel offended by something but it doesn’t mean the world has to change to accommodate them. I don’t really have an issue with it being changed to “Parent & Baby” but it seems a little pointless when the sub categories you’ll get after pressing it will then be “Mother” & “Baby”! :rolling_eyes::thinking:

  • Rinku K.

    Chris you won't get .sometimes mothers need products for babies but used by mum.like breast pump it's for babies. Specially when packing hospital bag this section is very helpful for first time parents to exactly see what is required.

  • Melanie T.

    Some people have way too much time on their hands

  • Lorna J.

    Whoever Decided to take this section off online needs their head looked !

  • Chris H.

    No offence but It's really worrying if people need help knowing who uses a breast pump and who its for. I think it's more the case it seems dads are second class parents its just a shame

  • Kasia K.

    Why just not to change name to sometimg like " For Mum's, dad's and baby's"?

  • EJL

    Yes, there are some products that are for mums (e.g. nipple cream etc) but the subliminal messaging that goes with these aisles (which aren't just about 'mum products' but about supplies parents may need to buy for their children) is that children and their needs are mums' responsibility, not dads'. Then we wonder why its assumed it is mothers who will take time off work when children are ill rather than fathers, why mums will be the ones responsible for remembering when their kids parties are and organising presents, why women end up doing the lion's share of childcare (yes it's a choice for some but a societal expectation for others), why women 'of a certain age' are discriminated against in the workplace, why the gender pay gap continues despite higher educational attainment among women, etc etc. We'll only get equality when we start treating Dads as equal parents with Mums.

  • Kasia K.

    Why they don't chang name to "Mum's, dad's & baby's"?

    • Alicia W.

      Because you won’t find any products in that s section specifically for dads!!

  • Vicki P.

    Shoot a person out of your special place. Then you can complain.

  • Ben S.

    I agree. It’s tough being a single dad, society doesn’t really cater for it. The amount of times I heard from someone ‘ahhhh, are you on babysitting duty?’ ‘no I’m a dad, this is parenting... ‘ suppose it’s a relative comparison

    • Vikki T.

      Don't worry, that annoys us women too. My husband doesnt baby sit if I get the odd hour to myself he parents. Maybe I should just call it baby sitting whrn I'm looking after them alone :joy:

    • Katrina J.

      I hate it when my husband says he’s on babysitting duty, I’m like “no you are parenting. You don’t get paid on clock out and there’s no clock out! Suck it up buttercup”

    • Melissa A.

      The mother part relates to the products women need to buy during and just after pregnancy. The breast pads, maternity pads, the creams, the supplements. Fathers don't need to buy those.

    • Karen G.

      Melissa Amilli are those the only items on that aisle?

    • Rebecca W.

      To be fair many times I’ve had people ask if I am babysitting the children tonight... actually had that question today in fact. So it isn’t reserved for dads.

  • Nixie H.

    Pathetic. We will have parents next asking their children not to reffer to their mother or father as such as its defining their role to their gender and not being gender neutral.

    • Roisin A.

      Don't give them anymore ideas :joy::joy:.

    • Nixie H.

      Haha they've probably already started an online petition and a go fund me page!

  • Samantha S.

    It’s called mother and baby because the products are for babies and women who have just had baby! Fucking Moron :rolling_eyes:

  • Emma J.

    EVERYTHING UPSETS EVERYONE NOWADAYS!

  • Claire-Louise P.

    Aw haway man it's things for mammys things for babies the dad can buy the baby bits but doubt he needs massive fanny pads and nipple guards etc if any daddy needs things like that well so be it change it to daddy mammy and baby event until a Man pushes something the size of a water melon out of a lemon lets just leave it at mammy and baby and daddy's stop being pathetic it's not saying only women can buy in the event :triumph: seriously people are sad as out to be offended by thing like that these days

  • Ria H.

    Ahhhh, come on, a man gets man flu and is debilitated for a week and couldn't even get to Superdrug to buy a lemsip! Whoever you are, wind your neck in....

  • Kirsty J.

    I do actually. It should be "parent and baby".

  • Alicia W.

    I see where he is coming from but come on!! How many fellas are going to make use of the breast pads, nipple cream and maternity knickers??!!

  • Paula C.

    I take it by these comments that the aisle only does things that are exclusive to women? There's nothing that a single Dad would need to buy for his child? I'm amazed how women keep harping on about equality yet when a man stands up all the women go on the defence. Does the equality argument only apply to women?

    • Ben R.

      What specific products does a father need following the birth of a child?

    • Pamela W.

      Yes, there are specific items that a woman needs after giving birth that a man does not need. The man can look for items needed for his baby in the baby section in the baby aisle. It's not saying father's can't shop in the aisle or buy for their baby! As Ben asked above, what specific items does a father need after the birth of a child?

    • Paula C.

      So it is separated to a mother section and a baby section? I will have a look later. I would imagine he'd need nappies, cream etc. Surely if women can demand equality then so can men? Because if not then something's wrong. I'm bemused with females nowadays and how they're always getting offended.

    • Lauren M.

      no it’s not separated, the mother side of things are the nipple cream, maternity bits, breast feeding accessories and so forth and the for babies the nappies and things, there is nothing for a father to buy for himself personally, in a supermarket you have a fruit and vegetable section, it’s together and sign posted together in a lot of cases but they are two separate types of food mother and baby items are grouped together because of the same reason

    • Melissa A.

      It's about the products women buy for THEMSELVES! It's not about only the mother goes down that isle to buy things for the baby. It's about the personal items women have to buy for themselves like pads, creams, supplements etc

    • Ben R.

      Paula Clark so those items would fall into the baby part of mother and baby then, yes? It's who those items are for, not who is allowed to buy them

  • Nikki M.

    brilliant comment :joy::clap::clap:

  • Carol K.

    I'm gonna be really bad and say it - any wonder he is single - (if it's in your head it doesn't mean you should verbalise it, move on and find something worth while to get you knickers in twist about)

  • Rosa T.

    I think fair play to him for speaking up, yes absolutely Dads don't need nipple cream or massive maternity pads etc but they can be in a section of their own... oh I dunno, maybe called 'maternity'. Our use of language is important, it wasn't so long ago that Parenting Rooms were called Mother and Baby rooms, if small changes help to confirm and support fathers playing a more active role in their children's lives then let's do them. As a feminist I support this man, and I would hope he'd support me in the obstacles I face as a lone mum.

  • Nikki M.

    this is what happens when you try to be your child’s friend to much, they get offended by flipping everything.

  • Sarah Q.

    Yeah, because Dad's need nipple cream and maternity pads too! Is it possible it was just a product category and not a modern day faux pas?

  • Ben R.

    Ok, could all the blokes agreeing with this stop acting like you speak for all men. You really, really don't. If you think the line "dad's can buy that stuff too..." works, then let me ask you this - you have to buy a set of pyjamas for a seven year old girl. Do you think it makes sense for the section of the shop that sells them to be called "children's pyjamas - girls" ? Or how about buying a copy of The Gruffalo? Wouldn't it make sense for that section to be called "children's non-fiction"? Exactly, so fucking stop it.

  • Scotty B.

    I’ve never walked in to Mother Care and felt I shouldn’t be there!! Someone get this ‘Bloke’ a snowflake form/badge and lets all get on with our lives!!

  • Lynne B.

    The baby and fanny pad aisle does have a much better ring to it

  • Penny B.

    Not sure how many men need nipple cream and maternity pads...but hey, complain away mate, women would gladly share the hidden joys of child birth

  • Donna R.

    These people who say it should be changed to mums dads and babies! Wtf surly if they were to do that it would be mums babies and parents as there is NOTHING in the maternity section for dads specifically! Everyone has to be part of everything nowadays:rolling_eyes::rolling_eyes::rolling_eyes: Jesus mums do this while part alone, as in, carry a baby and any or all the complications that can come with that and birthing a baby and what comes with that! Dads maybe are there for their words of comfort/encouragement but that’s it, physically they have sweet FA to do with the process of pregnancy. Mother and baby sections are just that, items for mums and items for babies. If a guy wants to go use nipple cream etc, hey buy away but don’t take away the fact it’s for mums:rolling_eyes::rolling_eyes::rolling_eyes::rolling_eyes: when did men get so sensitive!!!

  • Nikki C.

    Condoms is what needs stocking in the male section along with the male pill

  • Hannah B.

    I don't see anything wrong in accurate signage. I look forward to walking into Superdrug soon and perusing the 'baby poo wee and vom, cracked nipples and bleeding vagjayjays and assorted shite that you don't really need' aisle in the near future

  • Naomi E.

    The mother and baby section tends to be aimed at pregnant mothers and their needs, so until a man goes through pregnancy and gives birth he can get to fuck!!!!

  • CJ C.

    I hate that baby change units are usually in the women's loos. What if my husband wants to change our son?! But a shop isle that sells things for women should t need to change its name! Lol

    • Katrina J.

      I hate that too! My husband has sat my friends daughter on the toilet, disabled toilets too and placed our daughter on her lap to change her!

    • CJ C.

      my husband just goes in the women's toilet and uses the change unit. He doesn't even feel embarrassed anymore

  • Lauren M.

    Will mothercare be slammed next then? :rolling_eyes:

  • Lorz L.

    To be fair, most shops I go in have this sectioned simply labelled "baby" and as a mother I knew I could get what I personally needed from there. I never even noticed superdrug was mother and baby xD really dont see an issue

  • Julie-Anne E.

    Parent and child instead of mother and baby.

  • Melissa A.

    I kind of get it but do Dads need maternity pads? Breast pads? Nipple cream? Pregnancy/breastfeeding supplements?

  • Zoé F.

    Politically correct :rolling_eyes: ridiculous! It’s clearly called Mother because it’s where you find all the things you need after giving birth, good on him for being a single Dad.. but when was the last time he needed nipple cream and maternity pads :see_no_evil:

  • Karen G.

    It’s an outdated name for a section. Parent & baby, what’s wrong with that? There might be some items in the parent & baby section that not all patents need, such as maternity pads, but how many times do you buy everything in a section or aisle of any store?

  • Leeann G.

    Let us have a bloody mother and baby isle for god sakes. Pregnancy and giving birth, we deserve a whole supermarket, not just one little bit.

  • Matt M.

    If the weirdo wants to buy breast pumps and nipple cream, crack on pal

  • Rebecca W.

    The mother part is the items for mothers who have just given birth (maternity pads, breast pads etc) the baby part takes care of all the babies needs... so not sure what products the father is unable to get as they are only for mothers that a single father would need.

  • Alice H.

    Us women have to do the dirty, painful and uncomfortable work. There's no huge sanitary pads for men's periods but by the sound of it that bloke needs one! :joy:

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