Padsicles for Postpartum Mamas

Padsicles (frozen pads) are great for postpartum mamas that are healing from tears, episiotomies or just general inflammation from the work of pushing their baby out. I found a couple instructions online that are great, and kind of made up my own as well.

For all padsicle instructions, start out with super-absorbent extra-long overnight pads. You want the pads to be long enough to provide relief from front to back. Padsicles need about 12 hours to freeze completely, so this is something your doula clients can do while they are waiting for birth to start, something for the doula to do if there’s downtime during birth, or even after baby comes.

1) Basic Padsicles: Pour filtered water from a squeezy bottle onto the pad. Fold back into plastic wrapping then wrap in aluminum foil and put in the freezer. Basic padsicles may be a good choice for mamas with allergies or sensitive skin.

2) Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel and Lavender Padsicles: This is a great recipe from

Aloe vera is a soothing topical remedy for minor wounds, and can help with healing after birth. Witch hazel is a plant-derived astringent that helps to heal sores and inflammation. Lavender essential oil is sometimes used as an anti-septic. All three of these ingredients together make a soothing, anti-inflammatory padsicle that helps to prevent infection.

witch hazel lavender padsicleI tweaked this recipe slightly for my doula client and only used witch hazel and lavender.
I soaked six pads with witch hazel and put a few drops of lavender around the pad,
folded it in its plastic wrapping and aluminum foil and put them in the freezer.

3) Sitz Bath Padsicles: The recipe for this type of padsicle can be found here:

Sitz bath herbs are put in shallow baths for postpartum mamas, to sooth tearing and inflammation. Depending on the brand, sitz bath herbs can include lavender, comfrey, calendula, shepherd’s purse, uva ursi, yarrow and more. I like the Motherlove brand, which costs about $15 per jar. To prepare a sitz bath, bring water to a boil, take a handful of the herbs and steep them in the water for 30 minutes. I would recommend putting the herbs in a large tea ball or non-toxic nylon pouch so you don’t have to strain it afterwards. Add the sitz bath tea into a shallow bath for mamas to sit in for a while.

For sitz bath padsicles, brew the herbs like you would for a bath, but then put it in a squeezy bottle and soak some pads with the tea. You can add lavender oil if you’d like, then wrap them up in their plastic wrapping and aluminum foil, and freeze.

1)   Have mamas thaw the padsicles for 5-10 minutes before using them or the frozen liquid on the pad may stick to their skin – ouchie!
2)   As the pads thaw, they may leak – the pad is usually so full of liquid that it starts to drip down mama’s legs. I tell mamas to wear an adult diaper over the pad, or wrap themselves in a towel to absorb the liquid.

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