Grandparents inspired to take action after daughter-in-law’s traumatic pregnanc

This article was first published in January 2014 in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald.

Grandparents Bruce and Bev Bodio are on a mission to help expectant mums deal with difficult pregnancies.

The couple, who live in Stockwood Road, Devizes, were so inspired by an invention which helped their daughter-in-law Carrie, that they’ve turned her story into a business venture.

Carrie, who’s 43, gave birth last year to her daughter Evie after going through a pregnancy which almost crippled her.

“When I had my older daughter Millie ten years ago, I developed a hernia. These can cause problems for pregnant women in varying degrees. Basically it causes aching, a dragging sensation, stinging and can be agony when you are on your feet for any period of time.

“With Millie, it was there and it was achy but it was manageable. However, when I became pregnant with Evie the weakness was already established and things became much, much worse.”

During the second trimester of the pregnancy, the hernia in Carrie’s abdomen got bigger and caused constant pain which restricted her movements.

“Very quickly, I was so debilitated I couldn’t even stand to make a cup of tea. I couldn’t go shopping or do anything without holding my abdomen to relieve the pressure. The only relief was to sit down all of the time.

“I ended up going to the hospital and was told that I would need surgery once the baby was born and I just had to put up with it. They wouldn’t do anything during the pregnancy because of the risk to the baby.”

Various aids exist in the UK to help women with pelvic, hernia or back pain during pregnancy but for Carrie, they didn’t work.

“I looked and tried the belts on the market and found they were expensive, ugly, huge bands which were uncomfortable, unsightly and they didn’t work for me. I wouldn’t have been able to wear them with leggings or nice clothes.”

Carrie tried several do-it-yourself attempts to support the hernia, including wrapping a coat belt around her abdomen so she could go out. Nothing worked for any length of time.

“Eventually,  I gave up and did some research online to try to find something which was more suitable.”

That research led her to contact an American mum, Caroline Christensen, who also suffered hernia problems during her pregnancy. Like Carrie, she couldn’t find any product on the market which worked – so she designed her own.

Carrie said: “She told me she’d love to sell in the UK but didn’t have any idea how to do it and the cost of buying a single item and having it delivered here  pushed up the cost.

“I was so desperate to get something which worked – but there was always the risk that it would be a waste of money. For most people when they are having a baby, they don’t have money to throw away.”

Carrie took a chance and received the product known as the Baby Belly Band. She also told her family about it.

“Within minutes of putting it on, I felt like a different person. I felt secure, it’s flexible and I knew it couldn’t hurt the baby as it’s soft and stretchy. Overnight my life was transformed. I could wear leggings and nice clothes without worrying that everyone could see I was wearing a ‘hernia aid’.

“I’m not one to bang on about this or that wonder product but this simple invention gave me such freedom.”

Unbeknown to Carrie, her finding the Baby Belly Band was only the start of this story.

Mother-in-law Bev said: “I decided to look into the product and do some research. To see the transformation in Carrie who was finding it difficult to stand or walk, made me realize that we had to do something to get this out to other women affected by hernias.

“Women with these problems can face months of discomfort, worry and stress which is just not healthy for them or their babies.”

Bruce said: “I’ve been self-employed for 20 years and am a specialist in helping companies sell their products internationally. This is my area of expertise. Carrie knew I did something to do with distribution and mentioned the belly band to me, but that was it.

“I just couldn’t believe that one day she couldn’t even make herself a cup of tea and the next day she was able to go shopping in Bristol.”

For information on the Baby Belly Band, which is licensed as a medical product, visit www.babybellyband.tel

Or e-mail bev@tricorn4.com




Having a baby – BBC talk of the day

What was hospital care like when you had your little one?

Midwife care is the talk on the BBC today – which just throws up the whole issue of having a baby and the medical care that surrounds those nine months.

I’ve got three children and there’s six years between child 2 and 3 – and I found it amazing how much care had changed in those few years.



I have a medical condition which means that during the latter stages of pregnancy, I needed to be monitored constantly at the local hospital in Swindon so moved out of the GP’s care from about week 28.
Up to then I found the care to be fine, no worries at all and things went on well. In fact when I came under the care of the hospital, it just got to be a bit boring to continually be traipsing up and down to the hospital and spending three weeks trying to find a parking space. But again the care was wonderful.


Having my son was fine, the labour ward was caring and provided the one-to-one care I needed – in fact I’d go further. I had a big bleed after his birth and the team saved my life by acting instantly to sort me out. (no more babies for me then)

What was interesting was the after care this time.


I was put in a ward with one other mum, and we were told we’d been put there because we had multiple children so we could get on with it.


This was fine for most of the time but not at meal-times.
Meals were not brought around to your bed any more – you had to go into the corridor and queue up near a hot food dispenser to collect your meal.


This is fine if you can walk easily (often not the case if you’ve just had a baby) and if you are not breast-feeding.

On one occasion, as I was doing the latter, I asked the nurse to bring me my food. She agreed and turned up with my meal two hours later. It was completely inedible and that’s not funny when you’ve just had a baby. Luckily my lovely hubby, who spent every available minute with me, went out and bought me food.

Apart from that I saw no staff at all unless I went out and found them, we were left completely alone. In the end we developed a rota where we’d look after each other’s baby while the other went to the toilet, had a bath etc.

I also asked once if someone could come and remind me how to bath a new baby (it had been six years). That did happen but it took hours.


Bizarrely alongside this do-it-yourself care, the doctor who had deal with me after a traumatic bleed, came to see me each day of the four days I was in hospital to see how I was – I kept thinking that it must have been worse than I’d realised.

So for me, it wasn’t the mid-wife or the emergency care – it was the basic needs in the post-natal ward that were sadly lacking.
That was four years ago, I hope women in Swindon are receiving a more rounded care package now – especially if it’s your first baby when you just feel all at sea.

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