Excluding Audiences on Facebook - OB/Pregnancy-Related

Posted by Angie Laxdal @alaxdal, Sep 3, 2019


I am working on an OB campaign, and we are trying to be sensitive to people who may be experiencing infertility or loss. Our ads have photos of babies and talk about "first heartbeat" and other feel-good stuff, for those who are expecting. However, we don't want these messages served in an Instagram story to someone struggling to get pregnant. Do you have hints for excluding certain audiences/demographics in order to serve the ad in an appropriate/sensitive way? (At the same time, we do have billboards that carry out this same message, but social media feels more intimate to me.)

Thank you for any insights on this!

This is a question I don't think we've addressed here before, @alaxdal. I'm tagging a few members who have participated in Instagram discussions in the past for possible insights @MeganRowe @blpope @kristenschneider @lucybordewick @denabrannen @audreylaine

Liked by Angie Laxdal


During the ad creation process on Facebook, you can create an audience, there's an option to exclude people with certain interests. That might require some creative thinking, to look for pages/groups that someone who has gone through a loss might be interested in. Or maybe just excluding certain key words?

Not a solution to your problem, but I also found this very interesting article from a mom: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2018/12/12/dear-tech-companies-i-dont-want-see-pregnancy-ads-after-my-child-was-stillborn/?noredirect=on

Good luck!


Great question, and definitely following along. I don't have any similar experience, but I can see other applications for any creative solutions folks have. Cancer Center immediately comes to mind as well. Interested to see what the MCSMN can come up with on this!


I am not sure you can.

Just considering “miscarriages”, These occur in 10% of pregnancies with 80% of these in the first trimester. Perhaps it’s better to spend your marketing and digital energy optimizing your digital resources to directly help this 10%? Put another way, assume a woman has just had a miscarriage and is looking for information. What does your digital platform look and feel like to them?

As a starting point, take a look at the Mayo Clinic’s information page https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/symptoms-causes/syc-20354298

I would also point out that even the term “miscarriage” is a loaded term and need your very best people thinking about this word ( but of note – even asking the question that you did shows you and your organization had a very high level of sensitivity! Great question!)

Also get one of the OBs involved to review diagnosis code terms with you to know what the patient is seeing in their paperwork.

For example a diagnosis code of 003.9 used for billing may yield to an EHR handout which says “Complete or unspecified spontaneous abortion without complication” . Another example – the workup for early bleeding in pregnancy often requires a diagnosis code of 020.0 = “Threatened abortion, Bleeding in pregnancy; Threatened miscarriage; Hemorrhage specified as due to threatened abortion” .

Anything you can do to help patients navigate this terminology can be very helpful – but will require your very, very best people (people a lot more skilled than people like me 😉).

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