After having a vaginal birth everything in your nether regions hurts. Even if you have a fairly smooth labor that area will be unrecognizable for several weeks. Two of my most coveted postpartum recovery items are witch hazel pads and my perineal ice packs. Postpartum frozen pads aka “padsicles” are the those two two magical item combined. Every postpartum mom should have some on hand before she goes into labor.
What is a Padsicle?
Postpartum frozen pads simply a therapeutic herbal concoction on a menstrual pad that is frozen. Padsicles provide healing and soothing elements along with a cooling factor to relieve pain and inflammation. You can easily place them in your underwear postpartum to provide some much needed relief. Padsicles can relief itching and pain related to hemorrhoids as well.
What You Need to DIY Padsicles
It’s really quite simple. You just need a few simple ingredients. However, when choosing the products you will use please be aware of what ingredients they contain. Your perineal area has just been through a war. That area is going to be very tender and sore whether you needed stitches or not. You will want to avoid using anything that has chlorine, plastics, perfumes, dyes, or other toxic ingredients. These can irritate the already sensitive skin or chemicals can absorb into your bloodstream. Just because a product says “all natural” or “clean” doesn’t mean it actually is. Take a look at the ingredient list.
Organic Cotton Menstrual Pads
Witch hazel is a plant that contains tannins that can be distilled into a liquid from the dried leaves, bark, and twigs of the plant. It helps with pain, itching, swelling, skin injury, vaginal dryness, hemorrhoids, and helps minimize pain levels. Make sure you avoid any witch hazel products that contain alcohol as it has a drying effect and can be irritating to your skin.
Aloe vera has soothing and healing properties that improves skin healing and can provide some pain relief.
This step is not essential but can add some additional benefit if you desire. Lavender oil has some antiseptic and healing properties and has been shown to provide some relief from perineal discomfort.
Freezer bags provide a sanitary way to store your pads until use.
How to Make them Step by Step
- Find a clean surface and unwrap your menstrual pad face up with the wrapper still on. Ensure that you don’t expose the adhesive as it will limit how well your postpartum frozen pads will stay secured when in use.
- Generously add the Aloe Vera Gel. Smear it across the length of the pad. I like to use a clean metal spoon or knife to spread it evenly across the pad. If you use your hand please wash your hands with soap and water prior to application to avoid contamination.
- Apply one tablespoon of witch hazel along the length of the pad and a few drops of lavender if you choose.
- Refold the pad back into the wrapper and put into a freezer bag. You should be able to fit several in one bag.
- Once bag is full put the freezer bag in the freezer until you are ready to use.
How Many Do I Make & How to Use Them
Everyone is different during their recovery period. How long you need a padsicle really depends on your particular situation. I would recommend having about 15-20 on hand to start with. If you need more you can easily make more now that you know how. That amount should get you through the first few days.
You will want to take them out of the freezer and allow it to thaw for a few minutes prior to application. Then place the postpartum frozen pads in your underwear as you would a typical menstrual pad. They should be changed at least every 4 hours and you can replace it with a regular pad in-between as needed.
It is not recommended to use cold therapy on a wound 24 hours a day as it can actually slow perineal healing by limiting blood flow to the wounded area. You can use these witch hazel pad (line them in a regular pad) and perineal spray when not using your postpartum frozen pads.
Store Bought Options
If DIY is not your thing there are other options out there.
Recovering from a vaginal delivery is no walk in the park. If you had tearing and needed stitches you may be extra sore. These DIY and store bought postpartum frozen pads can make your postpartum experience go a little more smoothly and speed up your recovery time. They are one of my number one items during the postpartum period. Make sure you are prepared before you go into labor so you don’t have to go without.
Jess is a registered nurse with over 6+ years of critical care experience for patients young and old and is the mother of two small children. After having her own children she felt inspired to provide mothers with real actionable guidance and education to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.