Cold packs are an absolute must-have in my postpartum care kit because cold therapy helps soothe the pain and irritation you experience after birth. When I had my first baby, I grabbed as many of the perineum cold packs as I could from the hospital and I plan to do the same again this time with baby #2! But, the hospital cold packs are quite bulky and you won’t really need them for more than 2-3 days after giving birth. After that point, you’ll still benefit from some cold therapy and I suggest that you make your own DIY Padsicles! It’s easy to make your own postpartum cold packs by following these easy instructions, and you can probably make 30 of these in about 15 minutes.
Here’s what you need to make your own DIY postpartum padsicles:
- Maxi pads: For the first couple of weeks after birth – or at least while you experience heavier bleeding – I recommend using chlorine-free unscented overnight pads by Seventh Generation.
- Witch Hazel: Witch Hazel (an extract from the witch hazel shrub) is a natural, soothing skin remedy that helps reduce inflammation and heal wounds. The most important thing to note when choosing your brand of witch hazel for your DIY padsicles is that you want to avoid any brands which have alcohol, which would further cause irritation. It was a little tough to find an alcohol-free version, but Thayers makes alcohol-free unscented witch hazel that is free of fragrances and parabens, and is made with organic witch hazel.
- Organic Aloe Vera Gel: Another wonderful, natural soothing treatment for skin, you’ll want to use organic aloe vera gel, such as the Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Gel, that contains only pure ingredients.
- Small mist spray bottle: Any spray bottle will do, and you’ll just use this to spray the witch hazel onto the pads. Instead of spending $5 on a spray bottle, I just grabbed the one that came with my travel bottles.
- Plastic wrap or plastic baggie: You’ll want to use freezer bags or plastic wrap to store the padsicles in your freezer.
- Lavender essential oil (optional): While it’s optional, you can add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to the spray bottle of witch hazel. (Learn more about essential oils.)
How to make your own DIY padsicles for postpartum healing:
Step 1: Open each maxi pad you’ll be using, but leave the adhesive backing in place and be sure to leave the pad attached to its wrapper.
Step 2: Add aloe vera gel to the entire length of the pad. Trust me – you’ll appreciate this! No need to add any to the wings, though.
Step 3: Spray the maxi pad with the witch hazel spray bottle.
Step 4: Close up the pad and either insert it into a plastic freezer bag or wrap it with plastic wrap. You don’t have to use small baggies for each individual padsicle; you can fit several of these into a gallon-size freezer bag.
And that’s all! There you have your own padsicles. Use them as needed for cooling, soothing relief after birth. I wish you a wonderful, positive birth experience, and a quick recovery postpartum.