I got a package in the mail today. I’ve been waiting on this one anxiously. A new rebozo, teas for every need. It’s basically second Christmas. But the item I was most excited about has to be the witch hazel. It’s padsicle time!
When I first had a baby, I was really unprepared for after care. Everything hurt. I was sore, swollen, and covered in stitches. When a nurse finally brought me a latex glove filled with ice, it felt like heaven. I requested ice packs right away the second time around. The ice helps an awful lot with pain and swelling of the vulva after a birth. You just ‘set it and forget it’. It’ll provide relief, melt from your body heat, and be ready to replace when you notice pain returning.
Unfortunately, shoving a glove full of ice cubes in your underwear is a little uncomfortable, and messy. Who wants to sit on hard ice cubes, have latex against their sore skin, and end up sitting on a water balloon when it melts? There’s a better way, I promise. Meet the padsicle!
Padsicles are simply frozen menstrual pads. Comfortable, absorbent, and full of icy pain killing goodness. You can make them with simple water, or get creative with essential oils. But I personally like the classic witch hazel and aloe method.
What you’ll need
Some kind of wrapping (Ziploc, foil, etc)
Hand Sanitizer (optional)
Spray bottle (optional)
You can purchase aloe gel and witch hazel seperately, but I use Thayer’s blend. I use their plain aloe+witch hazel combo, but you can purchase versions with lavender or rose if you’d like. I like it because it’s alcohol and scent free. The last thing we want is skin dryness and irritation from alcohol and scents.
Witch hazel is a plant based astringent. It has natural antiinflammatory properties, and does a phenomenal job promoting wound healing and reducing swelling. Aloe vera functions in largely the same way. Hydrating skin, promoting wound healing, and fighting swelling and inflammation
The real step one here is excusing my chipped nail polish. I have two small children, it’s a wonder I managed to paint them at all.
The other step one is why I suggest hand sanitizer. This is more for birth professionals than postpartum moms. These pads are likely going to be touching broken skin. We don’t want to introduce any unwanted bacteria here. Pads themselves are not sterile, so no need for drastic measures, but cleanliness is still a must. I clean my workspace, lay down a surface barrier, wash hands thoroughly and sanitize. Which precautions you take is up to you, especially if you’re making them for yourself, but do try to be careful.
Get your tools out. I like using a spray bottle, but you might choose to pour your ingredients directly onto the pad, or spoon or brush them across the surface. Be sure to thoroughly wash any tools you use. I wash my spray bottle out with a gentle soap (so any residues don’t cause skin irritation) and hot water.
Open your pad wrapper, but don’t remove the pad. We want to keep the sticky side sticky. Try to minimize touching the pad itself with your hands. Again, we want to keep it clean. Start applying your witch hazel and aloe. You want to soak it enough that it’ll freeze properly, but not so drenched as to melt all over mom. We want to hold on to a bit of the absorbency, it’ll make padsicle wearing a no mess endeavor.
Carefully fold your pad back up, and place in a container. I like to use Ziploc bags to create an airtight seal. It’ll discourage leaks, and prevent frost build up.
Once you’ve made your batch, place them in the freezer immediately. A wet pad is a breeding ground for bacteria when left out at room temperature. I keep mine together with a large freezer bag, and am careful to label it with the date, name of recipient, and ingredients used.
And there you have it! A half dozen padsicles, ready to head to my client’s freezer and hopefully make her first days with a new baby a little more comfortable.
Like any product, if this is your first time using aloe or witch hazel, please do a skin test ahead of time.