Why you don’t need ice or Padsicles Postpartum
Ice is often recommended in the postpartum period to help heal women’s perineal area after delivery. In fact, it’s totally normal after birth for women to wear a giant ice pad before moving from Labor & Delivery to the Postpartum unit.
Despite the dozens of articles for DIY padsicles on Pinterest – research actually shows that ice is NOT good for healing down there. The ice slows down the circulation to the area it’s applied to which doesn’t help the healing process. And heat increases the circulation too much so that’s not the right solution, either. According to the BE CALM Protocol we should allow “the inflammatory process to proceed at the rate appropriate to the level of injury.”
What to do instead of Padsicles
In my hospital, we do ice packs for the first 24 hours, after that we recommend a sitz bath along with either or both Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen for managing pain and excessive swelling. This, accompanied by rest and adequate hydration is likely all women need for normal postpartum healing. So there’s no need to make padsicles when you go home.
What are your thoughts? Did you make or wear frozen pads and packs after birth?