Welcome to The Quality Makers, an interview series highlighting pioneers in the direct-to-consumer space. Join us as we get an inside look at the world of digital shopping through the eyes of the individuals shaping it…
No matter your birth experience, the postpartum period is a tough one. I spent most of my pregnancy focused on preparing for baby - eating the right things, getting the nursery ready, researching the right products… the list goes on. But, like many women, I was so excited about my baby’s impending arrival that I didn’t even think about preparing for my own recovery. When the postpartum period came around, I was totally unprepared. To be honest, I’ve blocked most of it out of memory, but a few things come to mind - ordering more mesh underwear at 2am, managing to find ten minutes to do a sitz bath, and waking up every morning with milk-stained pajamas (yup, so glam!).
Obviously this experience is not uniquely mine. And thankfully, DTC newcomer Bodily is totally changing the postpartum game by giving women the resources and products they need to get through this challenging time. We sat down with founder Tovah Haim to get the scoop on how evidence-based information is changing the postpartum game, what it was like to launch a brand in this space, and her dreams for Bodily’s future.
Let’s start with your story. What inspired you to create Bodily?
TH: While recovering from giving birth to my first, I kept having these “mini crises” - thinking something was wrong, panicking, then realizing it was actually totally normal. There was nothing about the recovery process that I could have guessed - my body had never done this before. And yet, information was so hard to find. Through this process, I realized that it didn’t have to be this way; there is so much about this that doesn’t have to be hard. So Bodily was born, with resources founded in research and medical facts, and products made by designers who knew what women would want to make them feel good in their skin (or just human again).
I love that you say there is so much about this experience that is hard, but doesn’t have to be. Why do you think that is?
TH: The truth is, nobody really thinks about the postpartum period. When I started Bodily, it just wasn’t acknowledged as something that mattered or needed to be solved. When you’re pregnant, you’re focused on buying onesies and checking on baby...nobody wants to burst your bubble and tell you that your first poop after giving birth will be a day of reckoning. It’s a hard conversation to have, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s where Bodily comes in. We want to help women with the things that nobody talks about, but need the most attention.
I can totally relate to this...actually I used Bodily a ton over the past few months after having my second baby (the breastfeeding timeline is basically my handbook). I’m sure you’ve heard many stories like this. What excites you about the community you’ve been able to build?
TH: I’m really focused on driving cultural change - that’s the reason I started all of this. It’s incredible to see our Instagram account and the things people share… watching women break down the wall of silence, talking about everything from cracked nipples, to that first postpartum poop, to how much caffeine you can drink while breastfeeding. You can see women starting to feel less isolated in these experiences. We’re just trying to create space for all of this to happen - to put information out there that’s rooted in evidence, but also to encourage people to share their own experiences and realize it’s all actually very normal.
[inserts clapping emoji here] YES!! It makes me so happy to hear this. Not to sound dramatic, but women are really left behind in the birth process. It’s all about the baby. Nobody really thinks about the mom.
TH: Exactly. We want to make sure new moms have all the information they need to get through all of those mini crisis moments. Using science and evidence-based research to let them know they’re going to be OK.
Let’s talk about your products. You said you worked with designers, moms, lactation consultants to develop a line of products that make women feel good. Can you tell us more about this process?
TH: We started our product line by looking at gaps, thinking about what was missing from the postpartum recovery experience and how we could make it better. I wanted every product to have a purpose, to be super functional, and to be something people felt good about buying. For example, our nursing bras are not only comfortable, but were designed with a certified lactation consultant to reduce the risk of complications like mastitis or clogged ducts. They actually stretch with you throughout increasing levels of milk production, engorgement, and daily size fluctuations.
Yeah, I’m obsessed with the Everything Bra. Literally haven’t taken it off since I gave birth.
TH: We also just redesigned our non-slip breast pads, which are one of my favorite things from our line. They’re made of ultra-soft bamboo to provide ultimate comfort for sore or sensitive nipples, and offer enough absorption to protect your clothes and sheets from milk spills.
I should probably get those...you mentioned bamboo. How do you go about sourcing materials for your products? What’s most important to you?
TH: Personally, I prefer to buy and use organic where I can, so we incorporate this wherever possible and relevant. I’m also hyper-focused on environmental impact. There’s so much packing involved with e-commerce, and we pay a lot of attention to this. One thing I’m really interested in is plant-based plastics. They’re really hard to find, hard to get your hands on. We use it everywhere we can, but this is a trend I hope to see more of.
OK last question! I want to hear about your hopes and dreams...what’s next for Bodily?
TH: Well I’m super excited about the Recovery Latte we just released that’s meant to restore your body after it has been depleted from birth. We’re also making some tweaks to our nursing tank to make it even better...
More long-term though, I want to address every area of women’s health that’s common, but taboo. We go through so many transitions that just aren’t talked about and the resources aren’t there, so I want to fill this gap. And we’re thinking about how we can involve men too. How to help create empathy even though they don’t go through the same physical experiences. So there is a big education component that will have an impact on gender equity.
Interested in shopping Tovah’s most used Bodily products? Check out the So Easy Bra, All-In Panty and Non-Slip Breast Pads. And for the pregnant women in your life, the Care for Birth Box makes the ultimate gift (trust us, she’ll thank you later!).
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