A Word of Caution Before We Begin
Boys. Men. Guys…. You should probably stop reading now. The rest of this post is dedicated to women and to women only. Read on if your curious eyes must (or if you’re super sweet and want to make some of these for your lady)… but I’m warning you, it might not be pleasant 🙂
What is a Padsicle Anyways? Padsicle:
A Cross between a feminine pad and an ice pack AKA the best thing since sliced bread and your very best friend after giving birth! I don’t care if you had a 48 hour all-natural, no meds labor, or a 2 hour ordeal with an epidural… if you have squeezed a baby out of your vagina in any form or fashion recently, your lady bits are going to be swollen and sore. Some more so than others, of course, but uncomfortable nonetheless! Some women with cesarean sections even have quite a bit of perineal swelling after birth, so these little puppies are good for all new Moms!
When I was in the hospital with Little Man, my postpartum nurse kept making me ice packs out of newborn diapers with the hospital’s crushed ice, which felt heavenly. The poor thing had to go make me a new one every couple of hours the whole time we were there (and we were there for 5 freaking days! I was so ready to go home!) I thought THOSE were a God-send until the next nurse showed me how to make a “sandwich” of goodness in my pad… Stretchy, mesh undies (sexy, right?) followed by an enormous maxi pad, then the newborn diaper ice pack topped with Tucks pads. That combined with a peribottle of warm water and a quick blast of Dermoplast, and I felt like a new woman… but when I got home, there was no one there to make little ice packs for me, and I quickly ran out of the rest of my Tucks pads and Dermoplast. Searching for a solution, I stumbled upon the “Padsicle” and my life was changed once again 🙂 I didn’t have time to make them with Little Man, nor did I really need them after about a week or so, but I made some this time around, and I’m excited to try them out!
What You’ll Need
- Overnight, or over sized feminine pads- My birth kit that I talked about HERE comes with this kind, so I used all of those, and then made a few more extra ones out of these, but really any pad that you choose will work.
- Witch Hazel (Alcohol free)- Cleans and moisturizes without irritating the skin
- Aloe Vera Gel– Soothes and promotes healing
- Essential Oil of your choice (optional)- I used Lavender because lavender is a fantastic oil for bruising and scrapes. It helps the tissue heal AND has a light, pleasant scent
How to Make Them
Make sure to wash your hands first, and try not touch the actual pad as little as possible! While the pads aren’t sterile, you want to keep the surface as clean as you can to minimize the risk of infection in such a delicate area.
(Sorry, no pictures of these steps as I was having technical difficulties with my camera, but it’s a pretty easy process… I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out) 🙂
Simply open each pad up and lay them out on your work surface. I attempted to keep the outside packaging intact so the sticky part on the back didn’t get stuck to anything, and so I could wrap them back up later, but if you’re unable to do that with the pads you chose, you can always just wrap them in foil or saran wrap when you’re done. Either way works!
Next, take a large (heaping) Tablespoon of aloe vera gel and spread it all over the surface of each pad, letting the gel soak in, and spreading over as much of the pad as you can cover.
After that, you’ll do the same with the witch hazel. After a few, I started getting impatient and was just squirting it on each pad straight from the bottle instead of using the tablespoon and carefully applying it. 🙂
Sprinkle 2-3 drops of lavender oil on each pad (optional). I chose to be pretty scarce with the oil, but you can use more or less as you see fit.
Last, you’ll fold up each pad (I used the original packaging), and place them all in a gallon size freezer zippered bag, and freeze! Voila! Frozen perfection at your disposal. 🙂
How to Use Them
As a Labor and Delivery/Postpartum nurse, this is my newest favorite thing to recommend to my patients. When I teach women how to care for their feminine parts after birth, I always mention making these, and give them alternatives (such as the ones I mentioned above when I was in the hospital) in case they aren’t able to make these once they get home.
Simply place a padsicle inside your Depends (which I highly recommend!) or on top of a clean, dry, over sized pad after using the restroom. (The depends or clean pad will catch all of the melted padsicle/ice pack AND your bleeding.) Clean yourself with a spray of warm water from your peribottle, dab dry with a bit of toilet paper (no WIPING…just dab!), spray yourself with a quick blast of Dermoplast (optional, but highly recommended), and then enjoy the soothing nature of the padsicle as you go about your day and take care of your new baby! You can change your padsicle as often or as little as you would like. The first few days, you’ll most likely want a new one every few hours, and as your bleeding slows and the soreness starts going away you can decrease they amount of time you wear them, and how often you use a new one. I made about 20 padsicles for now, and have supplies to make more if necessary.
Why Do They Work?
The size and shape of the maxi pad makes for a snug, comfortable fit, while the ice, aloe, and witch hazel help promote healing and decrease swelling. The ice also helps control bleeding so you’re less likely to have prolonged bleeding after birth. Heavenly, I tell you!
What About You?
What are your favorite post-birth tips and tricks? If you’ve made or used padsicles before, were they helpful? Did you notice quicker healing and less bleeding after using them?