Women's Health

Postpartum padsicles: How, when, and why you should use them after birth

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There’s no denying that childbirth is a helluva ride for your body. Whether you’ve given birth vaginally or had a C-section, many parts of your body are likely to be experiencing all manner of aches, pains, and other curious sensations as you recover – some of which can linger for days, weeks, or even months.

While you obviously need to focus much of your attention on your new bub, don’t forget that looking after yourself is a necessity, too.

That means delivering a bit of TLC to your body – particularly your lady bits or incision area – to encourage healing and postpartum recovery.

This is where postpartum Padsicles can come in. Heard of Padsicles but not exactly sure what they are, where they go, and how to use them?

These magnificent little tools might sound like edible ice blocks, but they’re actually total lifesavers when it comes to postpartum care.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is a postpartum padsicle?

As you might’ve already guessed, a padsicle is a mashup of ‘pad’ and ‘popsicle’. It’s effectively a cold (but not quite frozen) sanitary pad that sits in your underwear to provide some much-needed pain relief to your nether regions.

If you’ve had a C-section, you can most certainly use padsicles, too – they can also sit on top of your incision area to help ease the pain.

Many women opt to make postpartum padsicles using sanitary pads and a bunch of soothing, healing properties like Witch Hazel and aloe vera. If you’re keen to go the DIY route, we provide some easy instructions for making padsicles a little further down.

However, if you’d prefer a more convenient option – and, let’s be honest, which mum doesn’t? – you can also purchase Kin's Postpartum Padsicles in a pack of 14.

The advantage of these is that they don’t require a freezer and instead only need to be snapped or shaken to activate. This means you can easily slip them into your hospital bag ahead of labour and whip them out as soon as you need them.

For added healing power, many pre-made padsicles can be combined with a therapeutic postpartum foam or spray to relieve pain and discomfort, and promote recovery.

Kin's Postpartum Healing Foam
Kin's Postpartum Foam contains Witch Hazel, for proven healing properties.

Do padsicles really work?

Heck yeah, they do!

Following a vaginal childbirth, many mums – especially first-time ones – experience tearing down there, which usually requires stitches and can be downright painful as it heals. Even if you don’t tear, your vaginal and perineal areas are still likely to be sore from all that pushing.

Postpartum padsicles are absolute lifesavers when it comes to relieving postpartum pain and itching, and can help reduce swelling, inflammation, and bruising after a vaginal birth.

They can also assist in absorbing any postpartum bleeding. Homemade padsicles usually incorporate healing ingredients like aloe vera, Witch Hazel, and lavender essential oil, which boast lots of healing properties.

Many women also get haemorrhoids after childbirth, which may result in pain, itchiness, swelling, or bleeding. These are swollen veins in the rectal area. Luckily, padsicles can work a treat to soothe those, too.

If you’ve had a C-section, the incision area can be painful for several weeks as it heals. You may also experience swelling or redness around the incision area.

As with a vaginal birth, a postpartum padsicle can deliver some very welcome comfort.

Does the hospital give you Padsicles?

Following the birth of your baby, your hospital may provide a bunch of items designed for postpartum care and postpartum pain relief, including mesh underwear, postpartum cold packs and perineal ice packs.

These can be hugely beneficial when recovering from labour – but they may not necessarily include the right healing ingredients, or be a little impractical.

If you’re not sure whether your hospital offers these items, chat to your midwife or care provider to find out. Knowing ahead of childbirth is pretty advantageous, as it’ll give you ample time to make or purchase padsicles if you need to.

How to make postpartum padsicles

Keen to get crafty and make some DIY frozen postpartum pads of your own? You’ll be chuffed to hear they’re super easy to put together. The best time to make padsicles is about a month or two before your due date.

Following childbirth, you likely won’t want to sit down for a bit of DIY – nor will you have the time.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Maternity, overnight or maxi pads
  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Lavender essential oil (optional)
  • Aluminium foil or plastic wrap (optional)

Step-by-step instructions on how to make your own DIY Padsicles:

  1. Carefully unwrap maxi pads, taking care not to completely remove the wrapper. Don’t stress if you do, though; while the wrapper is ideal for protecting your DIY padsicles in the freezer, you can just as easily use al-foil or plastic wrap
  2. Fully open the pad and lay it flat. Squeeze or spoon an ample amount of aloe vera gel all over the pad, making sure it’s fully covered. Don’t go overboard with the gel, though, as too much of the stuff can affect the padsicle’s ability to absorb postpartum bleeding
  3. Pour or spray about a teaspoonful of witch hazel across the pad, along with a few drops of lavender oil if you’d like to use it
  4. Fold the pad back up, wrapping it either in the wrapper, aluminium foil, or plastic wrap. Then, repeat with remaining pads
  5. Place your padsicles in a giant ziplock bag, then pop in the freezer for at least an hour before using
  6. Enjoy the sweet, sweet relief and healing benefits!

How many Padsicles do you need after birth?

Everyone is different, and the number of padsicles you’ll need will really come down to how much discomfort you’re experiencing and how long it lasts.

Generally speaking, though, many mums choose to use padsicles for the first six weeks after giving birth to help relieve postpartum pain. You can definitely keep using them after this point if you’d like to – they are perfectly safe.

Like using pads for your period, you’ll need to change your padsicle about every four hours to deal with postpartum bleeding. This means you’ll probably be using upwards of six padsicles each day.

To get started, you could aim for 15-20 padsicles to carry you through the first few days after giving birth.

Do you need essential oil for Padsicles?

When you make padsicles at home, essential oils aren’t, well, essential (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). Having said that, they may provide extra relief and healing properties.

Lavender oil (which is one of the most popular essential oils for homemade padsicles) and tea tree are popular antiseptics, while frankincense and chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties and may help with wound-healing. Geranium essential oil can soothe the skin.

Whether or not you add essential oils to your DIY padsicles is totally up to you, but a bit of extra healing power may be very welcome during the postpartum recovery period!

How to store postpartum padsicles

The way you store your padsicles comes down to whether you’ve got homemade or premade ones.

DIY padsicles can simply be stored in the freezer until you need them. For ease of use, they should be wrapped individually then grouped in a giant freezer-safe bag (to keep them away from produce).

Depending on whether you’ve bought ice packs or ‘crack and cool’ postpartum padsicles, you’ll either store these in the freezer or in their box until you need them.

The latter are especially handy additions to your hospital bag, as there’s no freezer required!

How to use postpartum padsicles

Padsicles are super easy to use. If you’ve made your own, you simply need to follow the below steps:

  1. Remove your padsicle from the freezer and let it thaw for a few minutes. This ensures it’s not ice-cold when applying it to your lady parts or incision area
  2. If you’re placing it in your usual or mesh underwear, you just need to stick it to your undies like a regular pad. If you’re experiencing very heavy bleeding after birth, you can also fasten the pad to an adult diaper – these are great for absorbing extra blood
  3. For C-section recovery, all you need to do is place the pad over your incision area
  4. Keep your padsicle inside your undies or on your incision area for a maximum of four hours, then switch to a fresh one

If you’ve bought postpartum padsicles, you’ll receive a set of instructions for use. Generally the steps are much the same, except some products simply need to be folded and/or shaken to activate their cooling power.

At Kin, our Soothing Padsicles have a built-in ice pack to soothe your most vulnerable bits whilst preventing leaks so you can keep your cool and focus on bub.

Kin's Soothing Padsicles
Kin's Soothing Padsicles come in a pack of 14.

Simply snap, shake and stick. No freezer needed.

Happy healing!

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/padsicles#what-they-are

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/ob-gyn/obstetrics/after-delivery/common-conditions.aspx

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/c-section-tips-for-fast-recovery#pain-relief

https://www.mamanatural.com/padsicles/

https://prettyprovidence.com/diy-padsicles-postpartum/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10884#essential_oils

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314366#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

https://www.healthline.com/health/chamomile-oil#benefits