WINDHAM — Kate Westervelt is thinking outside the box.
But it’s what’s inside the box that matters most when it comes to the Windham mother’s hopes of bringing support and care to new parents.
Westervelt is the founder of Mombox, an online business that not only fills a creative box full of birth recovery products and personal care items but also fills a need that many new parents may be losing out on — taking good care of themselves and baby.
The Mombox idea started when Westervelt became a mother.
After the birth of her first son in 2016, she found that it was not always easy to know what to do, how to handle a tiny infant or even how to care for herself.
“Nobody talks about it, at least not six or seven years ago,” the 36-year-old says.
The list was long of things that could have made a difference at that time, Westervelt says, including more information and education on ways to care for things like a new mother’s skin and moods and ways to relax and take a break.
While visiting a store shortly after giving birth, Westervelt says that she found plenty of products needed for a new baby but hardly a mention on store shelves about what a new mother may be experiencing during the postnatal time frame.
“There was no postpartum, labor or delivery area,” she says.
She thought: “I can do this way better,” she said.
Westervelt started by reaching out to brands with products geared toward the time after pregnancy, while wishing she had had some of those options during her own post-childbirth recovery.
Her idea soon took off, leading her to build a website and business in 2017.
Mombox now operates from the Cobbett’s Professional Office Park on Lowell Road in Windham, shipping thousands of unique and carefully packed boxes nationwide.
The company’s mission statement states that Mombox makes it a priority to make new mothers feel pampered and supported, while also being rooted in the science of matrescence, the physical, physiological and emotional shift that occurs in women after the birth of a baby.
Simply put, becoming a mother.
“Everything we do is centered around this science,” the statement reads on the company website. “In each Mombox, we offer the latest information and research, in a bite-sized booklet that offers insight and language around what a new mom may be experiencing. This allows new moms to feel seen, heard, related to and empowered to speak up to their own care provider if something feels off.”
On any given day, Westervelt is filling boxes with everything from beauty and wellness items to candles to exercise equipment to teas and other soothing products to help women feel good about themselves.
Westervelt has forged relationships with close to 200 product partners who are now part of her list of items that she offers in a line that has grown to 15 different boxes.
Many of the products are geared to things that people often don’t think about or share with others.
How to care for a breastfeeding mother is an important topic, Westervelt says, as is how to handle those emotional times when life seems overwhelming as a new parent.
There are also products for new mothers and fathers together as they move forward with their own relationship and that bond that now includes a baby.
Each Mombox sports a specific theme — including C-section recovery; breastfeeding support; and one-word concepts like body, brain and identity. Customized orders are also available.
Now the mother of two boys, Westervelt calls Mombox her “third baby,” saying she wants her company to exist not only as a vehicle to send valuable products to new parents, but also to include personal touches and messages of support to make sure every mom is being cared for.
“It’s everything you need to rest, restore and recover after giving birth,” Westervelt says. “No one gives you an instruction manual. You’re often left to figure it out alone.”
For Westervelt, her vision and her company are now in place to offer that guidance.
“We exist solely for the mom,” she says. “Moms deserve more care.”
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