Padsicles are frozen sanitary napkins that help relieve postpartum pain and swelling. With a few simple steps, you can make your own padsicles at home.
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Pregnancy may be a beautiful thing, but childbirth is messy and painful. Postpartum recovery can be serious, too. If you've delivered vaginally, for example, your nethers are probably sore and swollen, and you may be in too much pain to move.

To relieve postpartum pain, some seasoned parents turn to "padsicles" for relief and and support. But what is a padsicle, really? And, more importantly, how can you make your own? Here's everything you need to know about this handy postpartum tool.

What Is a Padsicle?

A padsicle is a frozen sanitary napkin—or maxi pad—that can alleviate soreness and pain after childbirth. Typically used after vaginal delivery, padsicles encourage healing, reduce swelling, and help soothe both the perineum and the vulva. Some parents make their own padsicles with a few simple items, while others choose to buy them at the store.

What Ingredients Do You Need for a Padiscle?

You'll only need a few ingredients to make a padsicle, including:

  • Maxi pads
  • Liquid witch hazel
  • 100% Aloe vera

Some people chose to incorporate herbs like thyme, rosemary, and lavender because they have antimicrobial properties. However, these ingredients are optional for a DIY padiscle.

How To Make Your Own Padsicle

Making your own padsicle is easy. With a few minutes—and the ingredients listed above—you can prepare them en mass. Just be sure to wash you hands thoroughly before beginning and to keep your preparation surface clean.

Follow these steps to make your own padsicle:

  1. Unwrap several sanitary napkins, or maxi pads.
  2. Place said pads on a flat surface, like a kitchen counter. To prevent stains, you may want to put a towel down first.
  3. Cover each in a generous amount of Aloe vera, using your finger or the backside of a spoon to spread the gel across the length of the pad. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can relieve inflammation and soothe pain. 
  4. Pour—or spray—alcohol-free witch hazel over the pad, as witch hazel can reduce swelling as well. The sanitary napkin should be saturated but not soaked.
  5. Wrap each pad individually in aluminum foil and freeze, using as needed.

Store-Bought Padsicle Options

While most people prepare their own padsicles, either before or after birth, there are a few store-bought options to try.

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How Do You Use a Padsicle?

Once you've made—or bought—your padsicles you'll want to use them. These puppies are great for postpartum care. To start, simply remove the sanitary napkin from the freezer. Let it thaw for a few minutes (so it's not too cold) and then place it in your underwear just like you would a regular pad. Some store-bought options are even easier. You just need to open the package and "crack" the pad.

With the exception of reusable—and washable—cooling pads, padsicles are single-use. Where them as long as you would like and then dispose of your padsicle as you would any sanitary napkin, i.e. in the trash.

If you're worried about leakage, you can also wear your padsicle inside an adult diaper. This will help to absorb water as the padsicle melts.