DIY padsicles are trending as an effective way to soothe postpartum soreness. This guide shows you their benefits and how to start making your own.
Giving birth is exciting, empowering and leaves you with a precious little bundle of joy in the end. However, the postpartum recovery process often leaves the most delicate part of your body feeling less than comfortable. Women have been using soothing cold packs for many years to ease the pain they feel after giving birth. Today, DIY padsicles are a popular way to ease vaginal soreness so that you can focus on your baby.
What to Expect After a Vaginal Birth
The process of giving birth requires the birth canal to stretch to accommodate the baby’s head and body. While there is plenty of room for the baby to come down the canal, all of that stretching can lead to some vaginal trauma. Bruising and swelling of the tissues in your perineal region are common symptoms. You might also have some small tears and abrasions. If you have an episiotomy, then you’ll also have a cut along with stitches that take time to heal. The severity of the pain and discomfort you feel will depend upon how much stretching occurs, and DIY padsicles are designed to address all of these symptoms.
How Padsicles Help Soothe Postpartum Symptoms
A padsicle is essentially a normal menstrual pad that has been frozen with water on it so that you have an easy way to use cold therapy as part of your postpartum wellness routine. You will need to wear a pad to address bleeding after you have your baby, and making the pad cold helps to soothe irritation and inflammation.
Use DIY Padsicles as an Herbal Poultice
Some women prefer to add herbs to their padsicle that provide further benefits for reducing postpartum discomfort. Witch hazel is a common additive that can safely be used on the vaginal area. It works to ease inflammation by drawing moisture from swollen tissues. Aloe vera is another common additive that can aid in healing while providing mild pain relief. As you choose your herbs, keep in mind that some can generate unwanted reactions. Stick to ones that you know your skin tolerates well already, or consult with your physician before trying something new.
How to Make Your Own Padsicles
Making DIY padsicles is easy, and you may even have everything you need at home already. Start by opening up a pad while being careful not to fully remove it from its wrapper. If the pad has wings, then you can remove the paper from the adhesive to cut it up or cut through the middle if it is one piece. If you remove this paper, you’ll replace it after you make your padsicle.
Next, you’ll add pure aloe vera to the pad by squeezing it from the bottle or using a clean spoon. You can spread the aloe from one end of the pad to the other for better coverage once you wear it. Once you’ve applied the aloe, you can then spray witch hazel onto the pad. Be careful not to overdo it because you want the pad to still be absorbent. You can also omit additives and just spray the pad with water if you prefer a completely natural approach.
When to Start Making Your Pads
Most women start making their pads when they are in their final weeks of pregnancy, but you can also make them after you get home from the hospital. You can figure out how many to make at first based upon the likelihood that you will need to change your pad every one to two hours for the first day or two. After that, your flow should require pad changes every three to four hours until it dwindles off.
Ways to Store Them at Home and for the Hospital
Storing the pads is also simple at home. Simply place the padsicles into a large clean plastic bag that you can keep in the freezer. If you prefer, you can use an opaque bag with a label to make sure that other people do not accidentally open it. If you want to take your pads to the hospital, then place the bag in a cooler with ice packs. They should last around one to two days with this storage method.
The answer to whether or not padsicles are worth the hype comes down to your own personal comfort and body’s response to this DIY postpartum treatment. As always, talk to your doctor about the benefits and potential side effects of using herbal poultices after delivery. Then, adjust your strategy according to what you find works best for you. At worst, you might make a few pads that you don’t use up, but you might also find a soothing treatment that becomes your go-to remedy for some of the most common symptoms during your postpartum recovery.
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