A mother mourning her stillborn baby has urged online companies to change the way they target pregnant women.

Gillian Brockell, a video editor for the Washington Post, tweeted the note on Tuesday, addressing it specifically to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and data company Experian.

“I know you knew I was pregnant,” she begins, retracing her online steps that would lead tech companies to that conclusion.

“It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags — #30weekspregnant, #babybump. And, stupid me! I even clicked once or twice on the maternity-wear ads Facebook served up.”

The Washington native goes on to mention her baby shower, which was heavily documented on social media, and her all-too-telling Google searches, such as “holiday dress maternity plaid” and “babysafe crib plant.”

“I bet Amazon even told you my due date, January 24th,” she wrote.

“Didn’t you see me Googling, ‘Is this Braxton Hicks?’ and ‘baby not moving’?,” she implored.

“Did you not see the three days of silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me?”

She referenced the many keywords that advertising algorithms could have picked up on to understand her condition had taken a tragic turn — terms like “heartbroken,” “problem,” and “stillborn,” as well as all the teardrop emoticons her friends used when she finally announced that her baby had died in utero.

“Is that not something you could track?” she asks.

“Let me tell you what social media is like when you finally come home from the hospital with the emptiest arms in the world, after you’ve spent days sobbing in bed,” she begins, before explaining that she’s still being served ads for maternity clothes, nursery “tchotchkes,” strollers that grow as the baby does (“mine will forever be 4 pounds, 1 ounce,” she says) and unsolicited parenting advice, like how to get a baby to sleep through the night (“I would give anything to hear him cry at all,” she writes).

“Please, Tech Companies, I implore you,” she writes. “If you’re smart enough to realise that I’m pregnant, that I’ve given birth, then surely you’re smart enough to realise that my baby died, and can advertise to me accordingly, or maybe just maybe, not at all.”

After her message went viral the next thing she knew, she was getting suggestions about adoption. WTF?!

<blockquoteclass=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”>

And here’s a look at how effective it is when you finally do find the corner of Facebook where you can turn off parenting ads. Just came up in my feed. (And no, I have not been googling about adoption. I am miles away from anything but grieving.) cc @robjective pic.twitter.com/bHxcPIoYfW

— Gillian Brockell(@gbrockell) December 12, 2018

The moving note has since been shared more than 23,000 times and has 2,100 comments from people sending their condolences to Gillian and commiserating with the mum’s frustration, shares Yahoo Lifestyle.

<blockquoteclass=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”>

Some sad personal news pic.twitter.com/ZkBOB7oqUq

— Gillian Brockell(@gbrockell) November 30, 2018

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  • I know technology is great but sometimes it crosses the line and to me tracking what you do and say and targeting advertising at you absolutely does cross a line. Sorry for her loss, very sad.


  • Poor thing, it is really horrible, I hope she can move on with the love of her family and friends


  • I do feel sorry for this lady in one way [I would hate to get these posts after a stillborn child] but in another way I say ‘why did you put it out there on facebook?
    I know how hurt she is, I had two stillborn babies, but I’m not on facebook so only my husband and I knew and a few very close friends, not even family. So it was easier for us to get on with our lives, even though we never forgot the two little boys that should have been with us.


  • So tactless and thoughtless at such a torrid and painful time.


  • That would be heart breaking all over again.


  • reliving your heartbreak would be absolutely devastating


  • That would be so hard to keep on seeing.


  • I feel so sorry for this lady ????????


  • How heartbreaking. She is 100% correct! But there is no money to be made in stopping adverts for babies etc. they r a huge money spinner to too many companies for around 18 yrs. I hope they take note of her message and get a heart! Stop advertising in situations like this.


  • That must be so painful


  • That would be traumatic to go through and I do feel for her. There should be something that can stop this from happening, she doesn’t need to see these types of adds after going through what she has gone through


  • Has the lady concerned notified / unsubscribed the companies concerned? If they still persist are repeated requests she may be able to report them to one of the Govt. authorities. I know of a business who got repeated emails and phone calls despite several requests to stop. He told them he was definitely going to report them and they stopped all contact immediately. He was told not to threaten them, he told them it wasn’t a threat, it was a promise. Surprising how quickly they acted. He even got an apology in the mail. That really shocked/surprised him.


  • I feel her pain, somewhat. I was pregnant with my 2nd last year and started all the standard baby item searches, and then I had a scan at 11w to tell me there was no heartbeat and I should have miscarried by now. Well it took a few more weeks, but I was devastated and had targeted marketing for months. I even contacted one company that I had registered I was pregnant with, to stop sending me stuff despite already having unregistered. Despite a few emails, I kept getting emails, even past my due date.


  • But the world is generally callous when it comes to stillbirth.


  • ITs so sad I really feel for her it’s a very painful experience


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