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Destigmatizing Women's Health: Q&A with Bodily Founder

Launched in November, postnatal brand Bodily is looking to destigmatize how women’s health is viewed. In this Q&A we speak to Tovah Haim (pictured below), the company’s founder and CEO, t0 discuss why she launched the company, the issues she is looking to address, and why brand is prioritising content as well as product.

 

Can you explain what Bodily is and why you launched the company? 

 

Bodily is an online destination that provides educational content and modern products backed by clinical research, designed to support new parents during birth recovery and breastfeeding.

I launched Bodily after the birth of my first child. I could not believe how completely blindsided I was by experiences in recovery that I found out later were not only normal, but entirely predictable. In this day and age, with the internet at our fingertips and information abound, I was just shocked that the common experience for women in the recovery from birth and pregnancy (which is literally as old as humanity itself) could find anyone unprepared — let alone so unprepared that you’d be rocked by it.

In the US, 25% of women return to work less than 14 days after childbirth, more than 80% of women breastfeed and only 16% of women have 12 weeks of paid leave. Once I understood these experiences were so widespread, I decided I needed to do something about it. We deserve better. I couldn’t see this problem and just walk away. That’s when Bodily started!

 

How does Bodily differ from the information and products that are currently available to new parents?

 

As of now, there isn’t a single website dedicated to, or even comprehensively addressing, the recovery from birth and pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Bodily fills this massive gap. We provide high quality information, grounded in clinical research and medically validated, tailored for you, wherever you are in your understanding of the body during these times.

Tovah Haim, founder & CEO, Bodily

We then created a line of research-backed products that look and feel great on your body. It is a core Bodily value that our products provide benefits including health, function and comfort — our Bodily Balms are made with all-natural ingredients (no preservatives, no stabilisers, no dyes, etc.), our mesh underwear look like actual boyshorts (as opposed to the I-don’t-know-what-those-are that the hospital provides), and people have asked us whether they can wear our bras even if they’re not nursing. (The answer is yes! You can!) We think women deserve better, should be able to make informed decisions, and be fluent in their bodies.

Lastly, it was important to us that Bodily not feel like a girls only club.  If you are interested in this information, no matter who you are, what flavour of parent you are – we are speaking to you.  If you are a caring co-worker, a thoughtful brother-in-law, or a supporter interested in participating in your partner’s recovery, we want you to feel included and welcome.  Bodily isn’t exclusionary – we are here for anyone who is interested.

 

Why did you think it was so important to combine content and products on your website, rather than just offering products (like so many brands do)?

 

We believe that it is critical for people to have access to this information to ultimately be equipped to make informed decisions about what is right for them and their bodies — then they can choose whether Bodily products are right for them or not. It is unfortunate that quality information on these topics wasn’t easily available, until now.

In our effort to serve as a comprehensive resource for inadequately addressed areas of women’s health, Bodily offers curated products that are solutions to the issues at hand. If products are already available on the market that are rooted in research and that are meeting consumers’ modern expectations, we’ll make them available to our customers. Wherever the market doesn’t meet those   expectations, Bodily steps in to design and produce products that do. Our products are grounded in clinical research, formulated and designed with medical professionals, and most importantly, designed to be products you can love. We want people to make informed decisions and be able to action on them in one fell swoop (saving time on online “scavenger hunts”). By offering only the best products on the market, we enable you to do so with ease and confidence.

 

How do you plan to bring customers to the Bodily brand?

 

There hasn’t been an industry dedicated to birth recovery therefore we knew there was a need for a company like Bodily in the market. Our goal is to get our mission and passion out there for both women and men to visit our site and utilise Bodily as a trusted resource.

Awareness for our offering is being driven through social media and word of mouth. Since launch we are seeing that parents, who have experienced the lack of support during their own birth recovery and breastfeeding, are tagging their friends and family on social media, introducing them to Bodily.

 

Now you’ve launched, what does the future hold for Bodily?

 

Ultimately I want to destigmatize women’s health and drive awareness about postpartum care for new moms. How can we help people going through this, or even empathise, if we don’t even know that it’s going on?  Bodily enables people to be fluent in their bodies, know that they’re not alone, helps them to find the resources they need to navigate their entirely human experience, and feel good about it and themselves along the way.

We want to create (long-overdue) comprehensive first-line-of-defence resources for inadequately addressed areas of women’s health. There are so many areas that fit that bill. Basically, if there is a common physiological experience that is culturally taboo, leaving women in the dark about what’s happening to their bodies and feeling isolated, then I want to shine a light on it and change it. That’s where Bodily is going from here.