New Empowering Nike Ad Features Pregnant and Breastfeeding Athletes

It’s about time companies started to highlight the real pregnancy and postpartum experiences of women everywhere.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Mar 2021
Pregnant woman breathing deeply, part of Nike's motherhood campaign.
Image: Courtesy Nike

Nike has just released an amazing new ad—and this one features pregnant and breastfeeding athletes.

“Can you be an athlete? You, pregnant? You, a mother? That depends. What is an athlete? Someone who moves? Sounds like you,” the ad begins, continuing. “Someone who gets it done, no matter what? You do that. Someone who listens to her body. Also you. Someone who defies gravity. You. Someone who deals with the pain, hits her limit, and pushes past it. Pushing, pushing, pushing. Someone who earns every single win. You, you, you. So, can you be an athlete? If you aren’t, no one is."

The new ad was posted to Nike Women’s Instagram on March 14, with the caption, “Motherhood looks different for everyone. But no matter what you do or how you do it, you are the toughest athlete.” It includes athletes Serena Williams and her daughter Olympia, U.S. Women’s National Team soccer player Alex Morgan and British athlete Bianca Williams, as well as track and field athletes Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Perri Shakes-Drayton and Nia Ali. The ad also features Nike’s maternity line, Nike (M), which was released in September 2020.

The ad prompted several supportive comments and reactions, as well as challenges for the company to keep up their commitment to pregnant and postpartum athletes. “The most incredible acknowledgement there ever was,” one person wrote, while another commented, “I hope the maternity leave looks as empowering as this commercial!”

This is the second ad in recent weeks to show the journey moms take. On February 28, during the Golden Globes, Frida Mom also released a commercial highlighting the conflicting emotions breastfeeding can spark for many new moms. This is in stark contrast to the brand’s postpartum recovery ad, which was rejected by ABC in 2020. While these are only two commercials showing the pregnancy and postpartum journeys women take, hopefully the representation will continue.

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