One of my absolute favorite postpartum home remedies is the padsicle. I would love to meet the women who coined the term because it’s absolutely genius!
A padsicle is essentially a pad turned popsicle, which you should use after a vaginal delivery to soothe your lady bits while keeping yourself so fresh and so clean!
I am a lover of home remedies and using natural things to get me through the tougher parts of human experience. Padsicles are by far the easiest way to ease pain after birth. They also do a fine job supporting your body in the healing process!
In this post I will explain how to make a DIY padsicle that will decrease swelling, soothe inflammed skin, and promote quick healing.
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How to prevent tearing during birth
Before we get into it about padsicles, I first wanted to give a few tips to prevent excess trauma and tearing during birth.
Although this isn’t completely under your control, (you could have a larger baby) there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of trauma during the birthing process.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Start doing perineal massage 4-6 weeks before birth with coconut oil
- Try to birth without an epidural so you can have better control
- Give birth on your hands and knees
- Push your baby out slowly as you exhale
- Use a warm compress around the vulva during birth
Why Padsicles are a perfect postpartum remedy
After giving birth there are some undesirable experiences that your body will go through during the healing process.
You will likely have pain, swelling, and inflammation of the labia. If you tear you will have an open wound that needs to heal.
If you give birth in the hospital, you will likely receive a lot of IV fluids. They like to do this to support the placenta with extra volume in your bloodstream which is accomplished by filling it up with IV fluids.
I had BAGS of IV fluids given to me during my labor induction and I swelled up like a person in stage 4 heart failure.
This whole body swelling can make perineal healing even slower, as all the fluid follows gravity and settles in the dependent parts. (You will spend a lot of time sitting and breastfeeding in the immediate postpartum period.)
Padsicles are so soothing because they are cold, but they also contain healing remedies to speed up recovery time.
As a side note: I advise waiting at least a week to assess the damage. My situation looked like there was an alien protruding out of my inners and it scared me half to death. I have seen some pretty disturbing things in my nursing years but this one seriously had me speechless! I am happy to report that I am fully healed and everything looks normal down there! So don’t worry too much.
About the ingredients in these padsicles
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is used due it its high antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healing properties. You may think about aloe vera to soothe a sunburn but studies show that it is very effective for healing wounds.
When choosing an aloe vera for your DIY padsicles, make sure it is grown organically, and free from preservative additives.
You don’t want any harmful chemicals anywhere near your lady parts, especially when you are trying to heal!
Witch hazel is used in padsicles due to its natural and powerful antioxidant and astringent properties. Witch hazel can help kill harmful bacteria and let’s face it, the hospital is full of them.
With our society’s disgraceful overuse of antibiotics, the hospital is home to the worst superbugs in the world. It’s important to have a powerful remedy like witch hazel working for us when we get discharged from our hospital stay.
Related: Our labor induction story
Related: What to pack in dad’s hospital bag
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is used in padsicles because it promotes healing, but is gentle enough to come in contact with open wounds. One study showed that applying lavender essential oil to wounds in the early stages of healing increased collagen synthesis and accelerated wound healing.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil has many healing properties that make it perfect to add to this DIY padsicle recipe. The main benefit we get from using this oil is pain control. (source)
Rosemary essential oil also helps to increase circulation to the applied area which will brings life-giving oxygen and nutrients. This is how rosemary essential oil helps to reduce inflammation and speed tissue healing.
Step 1: pour 1 tbs of witch hazel per pad
Step 2: Add 1 drop of each essential oil to the witch hazel
Step 3: Pour mixture on open maxi pad
Step 4: Squirt aloe evenly across maxi pad
Step 5: Spread evenly with finger
Step 6: Fold maxi pad in its originally packaging.
DIY Padsicle Recipe
1 bottle of organic aloe vera spray (you won’t use the whole thing)
1 tbs witch hazel per pad
1 drops lavender essential oil per pad
1 drops rosemary essential oil per pad
1) Open the maxi pads but do not completely remove them from their packaging.
2) Combine the witch hazel and essential oils in a tablespoon.
3) Use a spoon to coat the absorbent side of the pad. They should be wet but not totally saturated as you want to keep the absorbent ability intact.
4) Spray each pad with enough aloe vera to provide a thin layer and spread it around with your finger. Usually about 8 pumps.
5) Fold the pads back in the original packaging and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
How to use your padsicles
You should make your padsicles ahead of time so when you are done giving birth they are ready for you.
I recommend doing this around the 36 week mark. This gives you something to do to take your mind off of how miserably pregnant you are. If you end up delivering early then you will have your padsicles fully frozen and that’s one less thing to worry about once your baby is here.
Immediately after birth you will likely need to change your pad every 2 hours. You can use a new padsicle every time if you like or you can rotate a dry pad with a padsicle every other time.
I used my padsicles for the first 4 days postpartum almost every 3 hours during the day.
It’s also a good idea for the first week to take a postpartum sitz bath at least once a day.
This simply involves filling a tub with warm water and adding 1 cup of epsom salt and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Soak for about 10 minutes. This will also help prevent infection and relieve hemorrhoids. (I’m so sorry if you get those, they are so miserable)
By the time I hit a week postpartum I didn’t need to use pasicles anymore because the pain and swelling had greatly subsided.
I wish you an uneventful postpartum period!
Let me know if you used padsicles and what your experience was!
Here are few more helpful articles to get you through the fourth trimester: