Let’s be real. Pushing a baby out of your vagina is one of the most physically demanding things you can do. You’ll come out the other side with a bundle of joy but also feeling fairly bruised and battered. It’s easy to get swept up caring for your new tiny housemate but your body needs a little TLC during those first few weeks too, mama. Especially your lady bits, if you have given birth vaginally. Enter padsicles (AKA postpartum padsicles) – they’re part sanitary pad, part popsicle and a whole lot of postpartum pain relief.
Read on for all you need to know about your vagina’s new BFF.
A quick rundown on padsicles
What are padsicles, exactly?
Postpartum padsicles are jumbo pads topped with added natural (and kinda magical) ingredients like aloe vera and witch hazel to help reduce pain and inflammation. The best part? They’re frozen for an extra soothing and numbing effect. They are, quite literally, very f*cking cool.
Padsicles hold the promise of a more normal feeling vagina and bum in the weeks after delivering your baby. The killer combo of soothing ingredients and ice provides relief from swelling, stitches, tearing, bruising, grazes and even haemorrhoids caused by a vaginal birth.
“But are padsicles safe?!”
We get it, your lady bits have been through enough. Put your mind at ease mama, they are totally safe – as long as you prepare them in a clean environment using pure ingredients and change them at least once every four hours. As always, keep an eye out for signs of infection.
Where to buy padsicles
If you’re not a DIY kind of gal, and your freezer is already overflowing with your postpartum meal prep efforts, you can actually buy pre-made padsicles online from some retailers that don’t need to be stored in the freezer.
If you’re up to the challenge though, they’re easy (and much cheaper) to make with just a handful of supplies.
How to make padsicles
You’ll need the following supplies:
- Ziplock bags (to house your padsicles when storing in the freezer)
- Maternity, overnight or maxi pads
- Witch hazel without alcohol (witch hazel is great for padsicles because it helps relieve itching, bruising, inflammation, swelling and pain. It soothes haemorrhoids, too.)
- Unscented aloe vera gel (the best aloe vera gel for padsicles is one that’s 100% pure, so check the ingredients list.)
- 100% pure lavender essential oil (optional, but lavender oil does wonders for soothing inflammation and conjuring calm.)
- Spray bottle (optional, but great if you’re a Get Sh*t Done kinda gal and want to create efficiencies in your production line. If this is you, just add all your liquid ingredients to the bottle, shake and spray on each pad as you go).
How to DIY padsicles: step by step
Step 1: Carefully unwrap a few pads, without removing the adhesive peels from the wrapper (it’s like opening a Birth-Day gift for your vag, fun!).
Step 2: Squeeze a teaspoon of aloe vera gel on each pad and spread it thinly and evenly over the pad with your finger. Remember, you don’t want to diminish the pad’s absorbing abilities, so don’t overload it.
Step 3: Spray or pour a teaspoon of witch hazel on each pad.
Step 4: Dot a few drops of lavender oil at different points on each pad.
Step 5: Fold the pads back up in their wrappers and then place them in a ziplock bag. Then pop your padsicles in the freezer for at least an hour before use. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for as many padsicles as you want to make.
How to use: Padsicles can be used just like a regular pad (although TBH maternity pads feel more like a surfboard than the pads you’re used to wearing).
When you need a padsicle, remove one from the freezer, let it thaw for a few minutes until it’s no longer icy, peel it gently away from the wrap and pop it in your underwear. Ahhh, sweet relief.
Source: Pretty Providence
When to make padsicles
We highly recommend making a big batch in the weeks leading up to birth, so you’re not making them on the fly during that dazed-and-confused- first week of motherhood. If you’re wondering how many padsicles to make, the answer is… a lot. If you plan on using them continuously in the first few weeks you can expect to go through 25 of these bad boys at a minimum in the first week alone. Ooft!
Real talk: Do padsicles really work?
Every birth experience and recovery is unique, and whether or not you find your homemade padsicles (or purchased ones) helpful in said recovery will depend on the level of swelling, whether you have any tearing and essentially just how sore you are down there. In our opinion, padsicles are worth making even if they only provide a teenie bit of relief. Your vagina deserves it, mama.