My Wumblekin Review
Unboxing The Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack
Wumblekin is on a mission to demystify pregnancy by curating subscription boxes packed with both essential mama and baby products, and evidence-based information. Each box comes with an easy-to-read booklet containing relevant science-based info on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. The physical items are tested by parents and selected by experts as must-haves that are quality, convenient, and effective.
While I myself am not awaiting the start of labor, I am a birth doula, so I'm no stranger to heading to a birth in a hurry. A top question from clients is what to have prepared in their birth bag, and while everyone's will look a little different, Wumblekin's Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack is a great starting point.
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Updated 9/21/20 to reflect Wumblekin's new box prices.
Birth! What a crazy thing! We spend nine months of pregnancy preparing for this big, mysterious grand finale, then, whoosh, labor crescendos and sometimes it feels like all our careful planning goes out the window. If there's one thing I know for sure it's that birth has plans of its own. When I serve clients as a birth doula, I help them consider and communicate their preferences, which is so important, and then I hold their hand as they are confronted with the need to abandon their expectations. Even when things go exactly as hoped. It's a real surrender, and often just the anticipation of birth leaves expectant mothers feeling a little untethered (not to mention, pregnancy itself can be a lot to manage). I advise them to focus on small things they can control: cooking and freezing nourishing meals to heat up when they bring their little one home, washing and folding baby's new clothes, packing a birth bag. Ah yes, the birth bag. In the same way that it's challenging to pack for a trip when you don't know what the weather will do, it can be hard to know what to pack for this journey toward meeting your baby. I think Wumblekin's Ultimate Labor + Birth kit does a nice job of getting moms started with some basics they may not have thought of, and I love that they pair these new products with a list of personal items you'll want to consider packing.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Wumblekin Quick Facts
$59.99$49.99 for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Trimester Essentials boxes, as well as the Postpartum Essentials box. $79.99$69.99 for the Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack.
- Ships to the US only.
- Standard shipping is free. Expedited shipping (only offered on some orders) costs $9.90.
Wumblekin offers 5 curated boxes including one for each trimester of pregnancy, a pre-packed birth bag to bring with you to the hospital or birth center, and a one with postpartum goodies packed inside. Each is available for one-time purchase, or you can subscribe to receive all or some of the boxes on a schedule. I'll get into the details of how this works below.
- First Trimester Essentials
- Second Trimester Essentials
- Third Trimester Essentials
- Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack
- Postpartum Essentials
To start the process, you'll indicate whether you're preparing for your own baby or purchasing a gift. You have to choose one or the other in order to sign up, but you'll be given the option to switch your response if needed later. You're also required to include a due date for yourself or your gift recipient—an estimate is fine if you're not sure! I went through the checkout options twice so you could see how their subscription recommendation system works. For reference, I did this in early September of 2020.
First I chose September 25, 2020 as an arbitrary due date, and Wumblekin offered me three options relevant to that timeline: the 3rd Trimester Essentials box, the Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack, and the Postpartum Essentials box.
You get to decide if you'd like to pay now to have all the relevant boxes shipped to you, or if you'd like to subscribe to have them shipped on a suggested schedule. I chose Subscribe this time around.
Here's what checkout looks like for the subscription option. They outline all the boxes in your queue, clearly display the ship date, and show how much each box costs. You are charged when each shipment is processed.
When I adjusted the due date to May 25, 2021, Wumblekin suggested all of their boxes: the 1st Trimester Essentials box, the 2nd Trimester Essentials box, and the 3rd tri, labor, and postpartum boxes listed above (not all of them fit in the screenshot). This time around I selected the "Pay now" option.
When you choose to "Pay now," your cart will look a bit different. The view is more like a traditional online shopping cart where you can easily add to the quantity, remove a box, and see your total. Taxes and shipping options are calculated after you enter your address in on the next step.
My Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack Review
This review is of the Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack only. Here's what you can expect to receive!
Everything arrived neatly packed inside a diaper bag, with an information booklet on top. Knowledge of what to expect is arguably the #1 most important thing to be equipped with going into giving birth so I'm extremely happy that Wumblekin is committed to sharing information, and that it's the first thing you encounter when opening your box. I'll show you the details of what's inside in a moment.
This little welcome card gives the recipient a cheerful intro to the box. They also offer a 10% discount code on your next Wumblekin purchase, saying that "No one understands pregnancy and postpartum better than other moms. Let's take care of one another. Know someone else having a baby?" with the suggestion to use your discount code on a friend. Cute idea! Of course many new parents are looking for ways to save money, so for some this may feel like an expensive gift even with the discount code. As a parent myself, I have cherished recommendations and hand-me-downs so incredibly much—so while most of the products in this box are personal and don't necessarily lend themselves to sharing, some would make great small gifts if purchased individually. I can't even tell you how much time and money it would've saved me if someone had sent me maxi pads they found comfortable in the weeks following giving birth. Or even just a link to them so I could buy them myself!
When you open the cover to the booklet, you'll find a list of all the items included in the Labor + Birth Pack. Each has a short description in case you're not sure of its intended use. On the next spread is an intro to Wumblekin and their intention to make pregnancy and birth a little less intimidating, while at the same time sharing honest facts to prepare you for what's ahead. Finally, a hint of encouragement (there's a lot of that throughout)!
Now we jump into the good stuff. The blue pages go over some tips about labor. They share that anxiety about labor and birth is normal and offer some solutions for how to keep it at bay; that movement can move labor along and some suggestions of how to incorporate it; finally, that birth is not exactly a walk in the park, but there are pain management tools (both medical and non-medical) that you can consider. A note on this last one. I am through-the-roof thrilled that Wumblekin addresses the pain management options as "medicinal" and "non-medicinal," with no mention of natural birth. Mama, know this: all birth is natural. It's okay if you want to birth without medication. It's okay if you know your limits and would prefer to plan to use pain medication. It's also totally okay if you give non-medical coping techniques a try at first and then change your mind. You are still giving birth!
The pink pages go over some highlights of the period just after your bundle of joy arrives. In the first spread they explain what you can expect from the first hour. Next, they walk you through the different checks and tests the nursing staff will do (and these things are true of hospital births and birth center births alike) in the 4-6 hours after baby is born, and over the next day or two. The final two pink pages touch on things to expect from your own body as it begins to heal from this incredible feat! Again I give major kudos to Wumblekin for emphasizing giving oneself time to heal and giving oneself grace and patience. They also briefly outline—and offer tips for—common occurrences of the newly postpartum body, things that many new moms are bewildered by, wondering why nobody told her to expect them. Really useful stuff!
These navy pages start by giving an overview of what to expect when it's time to go home. They provide a checklist of things to be sure you understand prior to leaving the hospital or birth center, some best practices for the first night at home, and a list of symptoms that mean you should call the doctor. They aren't meant to scare you, but it's a good list to read through for familiarization and revisit if something feels off & you need a quick reference. After that, you'll find some facts and tips for breastfeeding, as well as a spread dedicated to support for those who don't plan to breastfeed. Again, I'm so pleased by this—everyone's journey is their own and no mother should be shamed for doing what is best for her child and herself. The final navy spread is really important: it discusses the very normal melancholy feeling people often experience after giving birth (often referred to as "the baby blues") and how to identify what you're experiencing is actually postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is also to be taken very seriously from the moment signs are detected. Calling your doctor is the exact right thing to do to be set on a course of gentle treatment.
Finally, Wumblekin provides a checklist of your own items to pack in your birth bag! It includes practical things like snacks and a phone charger, as well as nice-to-have things like a pre-made playlist and toiletries if you want to freshen up before going home. These are all great items to consider bringing! You won't know until you're in the moment whether you'll want or need them, but sometimes they can make for nice comforts.
Bananafish Backpack Diaper Bag — Retail Value $39.99
I see this style of diaper bag gaining in popularity, and for good reason. It can be really hard to maintain your balance hauling a single-shoulder bag around while also safely carrying your baby. There are all sorts of pockets so you can fill it up without losing things, including two in the front compartment for bottles. The removable changing pad is a great addition—it's the right size for a tiny newborn to fit on top of, and as your baby grows older and bigger, you can still use it to slide under their bum. Finally, I love that it has 2 clasps so you can attach it to your stroller handle—that's genius! I use a similar diaper bag for my 2-year-old daughter, and it has served us well since she was born. It's clever of Wumblekin to include it in the Labor + Birth kit as a bag you can bring to your birth.
Personal Care Items
Gentlepak Postpartum Gel Bead Pack — Buy 2 for $49.99
Oh how wonderful this item is! It's an ice & heat pack meant to soothe your perineum, which endures a lot of stress during birth. Some mamas experience tearing of their perineum while giving birth; others may receive an episiotomy (which is an incision made in the perineum to create more space for baby to be born). It is common for hospitals and birth centers to provide disposable ice packs similar to this one in the hours after giving birth, but this reusable, washable pack is an awesome at-home option. I personally would keep this waiting in one's freezer at home, rather than bringing it to the hospital where there may not be a good place to keep it chilled or heat it up. A quick note for anyone who may be hearing of perineal tearing or episiotomies for the first time—a good exercise to reduce the chances of tearing or the need for an episiotomy is perineal massage during pregnancy. It's helpful if you can get your partner involved, though you can absolutely do it alone. The goal is to help create muscle elasticity in your perineum. Google "perineal massage" and some illustrated how-tos will come up!
Itzy Ritzy Mom Boxx Multi-Use Cover — Retail Value $29.99
This multi-use cover can really come in handy! It can be used as a car seat cover to darken the "room" a bit while your baby is sleeping, organized in the child seat of a shopping cart (for older babies and toddlers only), as a nursing cover, or as an infinity scarf for mom. It's light, stretchy, and machine washable, and Wumblekin sends a gender-neutral colorway. I wouldn't say this is a crucial item to have on hand for bringing your newborn baby home, but for some parents it might offer peace of mind knowing that their teeny-tiny little thing is lightly protected from the wind or sun, or just a hint less vulnerable in general.
The Honey Pot Company Postpartum Feminine Pads, 12 ct — Retail Value $7.99
Every new mom will need to stock up on heavy-duty pads, no matter how she gave birth—she will encounter postpartum bleeding, called "lochia," even if she's just given birth via a Cesarean section, because her body is shedding the leftover blood and tissue that built up in her uterus from growing her baby. So, finding some good sanitary pads that are large but comfortable is key. And, believe me, spending some time to figure out what you like before you give birth will pay off. I remember sending my husband out to the pharmacy about 5 times because the ones he was grabbing weren't right for me—some felt almost plastic-y and stuck to me when they got wet, it was really gross. The ones Wumblekin sends in this kit are fantastic! They're made from soft cotton, they're large (see the last image in the gallery above), and they're infused with natural, herbal ingredients like rose, lavender, and aloe so that they soothe while they're at it. Really nice. I think I might stock up on a bunch of these packs so that I can gift them to friends and clients after they've given birth!
By the way, have you heard of "padsicles?" This kit includes that awesome Gentlepak reusable perineal ice pack, but if it's being washed or needs to re-freeze, you can DIY more using regular pads. Just add water, and some people like to add Witch Hazel and/or some essential oils like lavender or aloe, and freeze them in a plastic bag for a few hours or overnight.
A-E-R Flushable Witch Hazel Wipes, 40 ct — Retail Value $7.03
Speaking of Witch Hazel! Witch Hazel is a shrub, and when it's in extract or tonic form it's known for its soothing, cleansing, and healing properties. It's commonly used after giving birth to promote healing and soothe tenderness. First-time expectant mothers, are you starting to sense a pattern? Your entire vulva area will need lots of lovin' as it heals from childbirth (belly birth mamas, you are spared of some of this, but you'll be healing in other ways). You could stick a few of these pads directly in the freezer if you want to use them as padsicles, or you could use as one last cleansing wipe after you go to the bathroom. At first you probably won't be wiping at all—the nurses will give you a perineal spray bottle to clean yourself off with warm water—but within a few days you'll be back to wiping. These are a nice option! Again, something I may recommend keeping at home waiting for you.
Mother Loving Potions Boobie Butter Cream, 1 oz — Buy a 45 g (about 1.6 oz) jar for $11.99
Moms-to-be who plan to breastfeed: your nipples are about to undergo a whole transformation. As you and your new baby learn the ropes together, you may struggle with a good latch or other setbacks that you will be able to overcome with patience and persistence (and help from a postpartum doula or lactation consultant)—but in the meantime, your nipples will probably be extremely tender. Taking care of them is more than just self-care, it's really necessary. This nipple cream is a combination of coconut oil, mango butter, and shea butter, and is safe for consumption. So, after you've nursed, you'll gently rub it on, then the next time your baby's ready to breastfeed, you won't have to worry about wiping it back off. I like that this cream is whipped, so it's light to the touch and goes on easily without having to further irritate your nipples as you rub it in. Hospitals typically provide tiny tubes of lanolin cream for this use in the early days, but some people prefer a handmade alternative like this. So, it's up to you whether you want to pack this small tub or set it on your nightstand so it's handy right when you get home.
Kindred Bravely Non-Slip Socks — $9.95
Who doesn't love a non-slip sock? These are an awesome birth bag addition! It's not unheard of for mamas to birth in just a bra, or completely naked, except for socks. Definitely a great add to your birth bag. If I'm being picky, my only complaint is that the term "push on" might feel alienating to mamas who were hoping for vaginal birth but end up having to have a Cesarean, but I think these socks mean well. I've also heard it said that you should always give birth wearing black socks because lighter socks might end up getting stained by blood and other fluids, but that's no reason not to pack these cuties!
Scuni Hair Ties, 8 ct — Estimated Value $2.99
I'm on board with this idea! You're about to do some hard work, you might want to throw your hair up. Some birth centers have hair ties in a dish by the birthing beds, but hospitals usually don't. This is a good thing to pack.
Wumblekin Mint Lip Balm
Finally, a simple lip balm. This is something I recommend adding to a birth bag, for sure. Both due to exertion and the recycled air in hospitals, you may want a little lip refresh at some point. I love watching partners apply lip balm for birthing mamas—it's always a sweet moment!
The Ultimate Labor + Birth Pack costs
$79.99 $69.99 whether you're buying it one-time or as a subscription. The diaper bag and self-care contents are all extremely thoughtful, useful, and feel above and beyond the cost of this box in value, but add the information booklet in and this pack's value skyrockets. I can't say enough good things about the booklet filled with pregnancy tips and postpartum info. I always suggest that expectant parents take a childbirth class (they're often offered for free by hospitals, and you don't have to be giving birth there to attend; others cost varying fees), but regardless of whether that's in the plans for families, the info Wumblekin provided is immensely helpful. In fact, I'm going to save this booklet for my own reference as I meet with future doula clients.
By the numbers, the contents of this box add up to about $140.00, not including shipping costs from individual retailers. There is no price attached to the information booklet but a lot of what's inside is information you may not receive unless you hire a doula or take a childbirth class. I hesitate to attach an estimated price to it, so I will simply say that its value is immense.
As both a mom and a birth doula, I feel really positive about Wumblekin's Ultimate Birth + Labor Pack! I feel it equips expecting mothers with physical products that she likely wouldn't have known to stock up on her own, and it offers the gift of knowledge; an immeasurably helpful tool as one walks toward giving birth and adjusting to the postpartum period that follows. I would get this pack as a gift for a friend in a heartbeat.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $10 off your first subscription box
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