If you’re an expecting, first-time mom, you’ve probably heard about the dreaded postpartum recovery. I hope there weren’t too many stories that scared you because each women’s experience (from labor to delivery to healing) is unique.
Therefore there’s still a good chance that you may have an easier time than most, but it’s always good to be prepared.
Hopefully you’ve already started packing your hospital delivery bag and getting your postpartum recovery kit ready. Next up is to make and freeze some healing padsicles for soothing relief while you’re healing.
I’ll teach you exactly how to make these super easy padsicles below so you can hopefully find some relief during the recovery process.
What is a Padsicle?
Ok you might be thinking, what on Earth is a padsicle? It sounds delicious. Sorry, but this isn’t a tasty treat. However, it will soothe your lady parts that have been torn apart during delivery.
A padsicle is simply a maxi pad covered with witch hazel, Aloe Vera gel, and some essential oil (optional), and then frozen. During your recovery, as your vaginal region heals, you can take one out of the freezer, put it in your panties like a regular maxi pad, and it provides immediate, cooling relief.
This process doesn’t necessarily speed up recovery, but it soothes the pain you may be feeling from stitches, hemorrhoids, and stretching of the tissue that occurred during childbirth.
What’s so great about these padsicles?
A vaginal childbirth takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks to heal and recover. In that time, you will have mild to heavy bleeding from your vagina similar to a period.
Since you still can’t insert anything up there, you’ll need to wear a maxi pad in your underwear to contain the bleeding. The more absorbent pad, the better!
While using the pad to soak up the blood, it can also act as a way to provide you with cool, soothing, relief while you recover. These padsicles do exactly that while also using ingredients that can help facilitate the healing process.
Adding witch hazel and aloe vera can help to soothe swollen tissue, reduce inflammation, and provide pain relief. There has also been evidence that it can prevent infection during healing.
There is always a very small risk of infection when dealing with an open wound or incision. In one study, it is shown that aloe vera and herbs including tea tree and eucalyptus could prevent infection during wound healing.
What you need to make padsicles
Padsicles only require 4 items and they may even be things that you have around the house.
1. Heavy Maxi Pads with Wings
Most health care providers or experienced moms will advise you to get the super heavy duty, overnight maxi pads because you will bleed a lot. However, every woman’s body is different and you may not have the same blood flow as another mom.
For example, I didn’t bleed a lot during recovery, so I didn’t need the heavy duty maxi pads. I actually found them to be quite bothersome while moving around, like I was wearing a diaper. However, since you never know how your recovery is going to turn out, it’s best to be prepared.
I opted for a medium flow pack of maxi pads that I used the second week, but for the first week while using my padsicles, I needed the heavy duty overnight pads. This is also because you will be adding extra fluid into the pad so it will need to have max absorbency.
You may want to opt for organic maxi pads for this time period due to the open wound. It’s best only use natural products near your vagina at this time so prevent any infection or irritation.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
You’ll want to steer clear of the big bottles of green aloe gel that you’ll see flooding the pharmacies during summer time. These are typically filled with harsh chemicals and dyes that won’t have the same healing effect.
Instead, opt for the clear Aloe vera gel which is the natural, organic aloe, as close as you can get to being right from the plant. Aloe not only has powerful healing and regenerative properties, it acts as a protective layer on the skin to replenish moisture.
Aloe Vera also contains many antioxidants, such as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. This Aloe in particular has been infused with Apple & Orchid stem cells, which have a very potent effect of preserving, rejuvenating and promoting new cell growth.
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has long been used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties in treating wounds and other skin issues, including acne, eczema, and sores. Witch hazel can be used topically to decrease inflammation and to stop bleeding.
As an astringent and anti-inflammatory solution, witch hazel is soothing and cooling to the skin. It is safe to be applied directly to the perineum or soaking it in a padsicle.
Witch hazel is also great for treating varicosities and vulvular bruising and for slowing bleeding. You can use the remainder of the witch hazel for a sitz bath, as well.
Be sure to use an alcohol-free witch hazel so it doesn’t burn any open wounds.
4. Healing herbs or essential oils
Herbs and essential oils have long been known for their healing properties in alternative medicine. They have now been studied and there’s evidence that they can have a positive impact on postpartum recovery and healing, as well.
Depending on the herbal blend, there are many medicinal qualities that can increase your comfort and speed up the healing process. Some herbs are anti-bacterial or have anti-inflammatory properties which can help heal any trauma in the pelvic region, soothe hemorrhoids, and discomfort while offering relaxation and rest.
Here are some of the most common herbs and essential oils that you can use on your padsicle:
- Frankincense Essential Oil – helps to heal any tears, broken skin and irritation; it also prevents scarring)
- Clary Sage Essential Oil – an effective anti-fungal, helps to re-tone the area and also relieves pain and cramping)
- Lavender Essential Oil – calms swelling or inflammation of the skin, supports regeneration)
- Geranium Essential Oil – helps heal broken capillaries, conditions skin)
How to make your padsicle
These are super easy to make once you’ve gathered the items that you’ll need.
- Partially unwrap a few maxi pads at a time, but don’t detach the wrapper. Spread aloe vera generously up and down the whole pad. Don’t just do the middle part, but make sure to spread it further up and down the pad.
- Pour about a tablespoon of witch hazel down the middle.
- Add a few drops of lavender oil or whichever essential oil you prefer.
- Fold the maxi pads back up to how they were and stick them in a gallon sized plastic bag. Write the date that they were made and then freeze.
- Pull them out of the freezer, one by one, as needed. You can let them thaw for two or three minutes before use if they feel too cold initially.
- Enjoy.. and thank me later!
How to store your padsicles
Wrap the maxi pad back up in it’s original wrapper and place them all in a gallon freezer, Ziploc bag. Store them in the freezer until it’s time for use! They can stay in there for 4-6 weeks for maximum potency.
You may wish to write the date on them so you don’t end up keeping them longer that they’re good for. Therefore you don’t want to make too many before delivery if you don’t know when you’ll be using them.
How to use a padsicle
Once you come home from the hospital, you’ll most likely be experiencing bleeding, pain, irritation, and swelling in your perineal region. You”ll need to wear a maxi pad day and night.
Take a padsicle out of the freezer one at a time and place them in your underwear as a replacement for your regular maxi pad. This will both soak up the fluids as well as provide you with soothing relief while you heal.
Be sure to change your padsicle at least every 4 hours. You may need to change them more frequently if you are a heavy bleeder, but try not to leave the same one in for longer than that.
You can use padsicles until you’re pain-free or until the bleeding has stopped.
When should you make padsicles
You can begin making padsicles in your third trimester, whenever you get the chance to do it. My motto is to always have everything prepared by 36-38 weeks in case you end up going early.
Although you can still make these after you come home from the hospital, it’s one less thing you’ll have to do during postpartum recovery. They will stay freshly stored for a 4-6 weeks so it’s never too early!
I hope you try out and love these padsicles as much as myself and most new moms do. Women who undergo childbirth and simply super heroes and we deserve a little relief where we can get it!
If you don’t have the time or resources to make these padsicles, you can use Tucks Pads instead. These already contain witch hazel and are cooling if you stick them in the freezer or refrigerator. Line them on the inside of your maxi pad and you’re good to go!