How to Make DIY Postpartum Padsicles
Birthing your baby takes a lot of work (really relaxation and stretching) of your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles stretch to allow the baby to exit through them. This is why the pelvic floor needs some recovery time and a little love postpartum!
Your perineum (the area around your vagina and anus) can be very sore after a vaginal delivery. With other injuries (like an ankle sprain or pulled muscle), we use cold packs to sooth and decrease pain and swelling—we can do the same for the vagina and pelvic floor muscles!
You can buy ice packs or pads specially made to use on your perineum postpartum. If you’ve already spent lots of money on your new bundle of joy, making them at home can be a good alternative. The great thing about pads is they are designed to stick into your underwear so they might stay in place better than a traditional cold pack. Note if you are using a traditional cold pack, follow the manufacturers guidelines to avoid damaging your skin.
How to Make Postpartum Pads
Thanks to our friend, Liesel, at Mommy Labor Nurse for the excellent graphic!
Grab some extra absorbent pads
Pour witch hazel and clear, aloe vera onto the pad liberally (if you put too much, the pads will drip)
Place the pad into a sandwich bag and place it in the freezer (you can either fold the pad back up or freeze it laid out flat)
When you’re ready, take the pad out of the freezer and apply to your perineum and relax!
*If you had an episiotomy or perineal tearing, be sure to follow any instructions given by your provider for incision care.
Some other helpful postpartum tips:
When wiping after using the bathroom, try a bottle filled with warm water instead of toilet paper
If you do use toilet paper, pat don’t wipe
Practice breathing and gently squeezing then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles
Once cleared by your provider, sex should not be painful (if it is, ask for a referral to see a pelvic floor physical therapist or take our Sex After Baby course with Jeanice Mitchell PT, MPT, WCS, BCB-PMD)
Leaking pee, poop, or gas is a sign that your pelvic floor muscles aren’t working properly (Individuals who are still having leakage 3 months postpartum have a 76% chance to still have leakage 12 years later!)
If you are excited to get back to exercising postpartum, check out our Return to Exercise After Baby course with Melissa Dessaulles, PT
Here are some great resources to help you take good care of your pelvic floor postpartum:
Ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a pelvic therapist.
Find a pelvic therapist on your own at myPFM.com. We have links to 4 free searchable databases under Find a PT.
Watch the our YouTube playlist on Postpartum and Your Pelvic Floor
Read Sex After Baby: How to Resume Intimacy with Confidence and Ease by Jeanice Mitchell
Sign up for our email newsletter!
Visit our Amazon store for some of our favorite pelvic health products.
A Problem-Solving Approach to Diastasis Rectus Abdominis with Grainne Donnelly BSC Hons, MCSP, HCPC
Prep H: Hemorrhoids in the Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period with Lacey Forsyth BA (Hons), MA, MPT
Breastfeeding and Physical Therapy: Supporting Women to Meet Their Breastfeeding Goals with Dr. Ann Croghan PT, DPT, CLC
Postpartum Return to CrossFit with Dr. Reg VanVelzen PT, DPT, OCS and Dr. Emily Reul, PT, DPT
Early Cesarean Rehabilitation with Dr. Ann Croghan PT, DPT, CLC
Postpartum, Hormones, and the Pelvic Floor with Dr. Jill Krapf MD, Med, FACOG
Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT