I was in a lot of pain in the days after giving birth—one of many postpartum realities no one mentioned to me during my pregnancy. But one day as I scrolled one of my many Facebook mom groups during a middle-of-the-night nursing session, I stumbled upon the concept of a “postpartum padsicle” and decided to give it a try.
A postpartum padsicle is basically a frozen sanitary pad that helps relieve pain and swelling. These were a lifesaver for me after delivering both of my kids, because, as it turns out, pain and swelling is definitely something that can happen after pushing out a human down there.
Because moms are the type to help another mom out, here’s a little more on how to try a postpartum padsicle for yourself.
- Where to buy postpartum padsicles
- Best Instant Ice Pack: Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads
- Best Witch Hazel Pad: Frida Mom Perineal Medicated Witch Hazel Full-Length Cooling Pad Liners
- Best Countered Pad: Nyssa Fourth Care Perineal Ice/Heat Pack
- Best of Both Worlds: Lansinoh Hot and Cold Pads for Postpartum Essentials
- How to make postpartum padsicles
- A point about padsicles
What is a Postpartum Padsicle?
Put simply, a postpartum padsicle is a pad you wear in your underwear that has been chilled or frozen. Think of it as an ice pack for your lady parts.
Even after a smooth delivery and childbirth experience, you can expect some vaginal pain and swelling, which can be soothed by applying a cold compress. And if you experienced any tears or needed stitches, a postpartum padsicle can be especially helpful in your healing and recovery. Padsicles can also help relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids—another fairly common postpartum complication no one mentioned to me before I gave birth.
While an ordinary icepack may also do the trick, a padsicle is specifically designed to curve around your body, stay in place and rest comfortably in your underwear, especially the large mesh ones from the hospital.
Plus, it’s common to bleed for at least a couple weeks after giving birth. Padiscles are typically disposable and meant for a one-time use, so you don’t have to worry about “ruining” them.
“Think of it as an ice pack for your lady parts.”
Where to Buy Postpartum Padsicles
Postpartum padsicles are available from a few different (mostly online) retailers. Here’s a look at some of Truly Mama’s favorites.
Best Instant Ice Pack
Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads
These chilled sanitary pads not only offer immediate relief, but are also absorbent, providing you with comfort and protection. These pads can absorb up to 260 grams of liquid and provide full coverage over the entire perineal area from front to back. Plus, the adhesive back ensures this pad will stay in place, so you don’t have to worry about embarrassing leaks. Users claim these pads are like “sitting on a cloud” and don’t feel bulky, unlike other padsicles that can feel like wearing a giant adult diaper. The icy chill lasts for about half an hour and the super soft top layer can help cushion a swollen vagina.
Best Witch Hazel Pad
Frida Mom Perineal Medicated Witch Hazel Full-Length Cooling Pad Liners
This product is a bit different, but still offers cooling, soothing relief to the vaginal area. These full-coverage medicated pad liners are meant to sit in your underwear on top of a padsicle or an absorbent pad. These liners contain 50% witch hazel, which can help calm inflammation and soothe skin. These liners cover the full-length of most maternity pads, offering soothing relief to the entire perineal area. You can even keep these liners in the fridge for an even more cooling sensation.
Best Countered Pad
Nyssa Fourth Care Perineal Ice/Heat Pack
The Nyssa fourth care perineal ice/heat pack is another reusable option that offers both cold and warm sensations. This lightweight and contoured pack is designed to sit comfortably in your underwear and mold to your body without feeling bulky. This pack is recommended for use with Nyssa’s Fourthwear Postpartum Recovery Underwear, which have a pocket specifically designed for this pack to sit in, however, it can be used without them. It’s lightweight and measures less than one inch in thickness, so this soothing postpartum pack won’t make you feel like you’re walking around in an adult diaper.
Best of Both Worlds
Lansinoh Hot and Cold Pads for Postpartum Essentials
These soothing postpartum pads are made with beads of gel that offer a flexible cushion of comfort. Unlike other padsicles, these are re-usable, but they come with 12 disposable sleeves that you can use while you are still bleeding. You can freeze these pads and put them directly in your underwear for soothing relief. Plus, these pads can also be warmed in the microwave and used as a heating pad to soothe another common yet uncomfortable postpartum symptom — cramping as your uterus shrinks back to its normal size.
How to Make a Postpartum Padsicle
While buying a postpartum padsicle is super convenient, you can also make your own postpartum padsicles at home.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Pads (any kind of sanitary pad will do)
- Aloe vera
- Witch hazel
While these are all generally considered safe ingredients, always be sure to check with your doctor before applying to make sure they are safe to use.
Directions for postpartum padsicles
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own postpartum padsicles:
- Partially unwrap the pad, but do not detach from the adhesive wrapper.
- Spread aloe vera up and down to cover the pad.
- Add about a teaspoon of witch hazel down the middle.
- Fold the pad back up and store it in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.
- Let the pad thaw out for two to three minutes before using it.
A Point About Padsicles
Postpartum padsicles can offer soothing relief after childbirth, but it’s important to keep an eye on your symptoms and take it slow as you recover. If you experience worsening or sharp pain in the perineal or vaginal area, have trouble sitting or walking or bleed for more than four weeks, consult with your doctor.
It’s also important to point out that while padsicles do offer some relief and can help speed up your recovery, they’re definitely not a cure-all for some of the discomfort that follows childbirth.
For me, padsicles were a game changer and I found after using them for a few days, I felt much better and could more easily move around. No one told me about icing my genitals after having a baby, but if you’re a first-time parent reading this, trust me on this and get yourself some postpartum padsicles.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I start wearing postpartum padsicles?
In most cases, you can start applying ice in the first 24 hours after giving birth
Are postpartum padsicles safe?
Applying a cold compress to the vaginal area after giving birth is perfectly safe, just make sure to remove it every 10 to 20 minutes and reapply every hour as necessary with your bleeding.
How do you make a cooling pad for postpartum?
To make your own padsicle, apply aloe vera and witch hazel to a sanitary pad. Store these in a gallon-size bag in the freezer and pull them out when you need them. Give them a couple minutes to dethaw before using.
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