Sunday, August 12, 2012

Postpartum Care

Just a few weeks from delivery date and we are in full prep mode! That includes prep for my own care as well as baby's.

If you've had a baby or even if you haven't, you probably know, have read, or have had the life scared out of you by other moms about what things are like postpartum (aka after a wonderful baby the size of a melon pushes forth from a part of your body that went from being the width of a finger to being the width of a DVD). In a much understated word...OUCH!!

Now that that's been explained, it's time to talk about taking care of afore mentioned traumatized nether region. To avoid being to graphic let's just say that things are not so pretty. Lots of swelling, extreme tenderness, and let's face it the biggest period you will ever have. At the hospital they usually provide you with some stylish mesh panties courtesy of Victoria's Not-so Secret and a giant ice pack/mondo pad. Truth be told I greatly appreciated every bit of aid I got in the hospital. They may not have been pretty but the soothing relief was much desired. Sad to say they do not send you home with a month's supply of these ice pack pads, that's where the Pinterest-coined "padsicle" comes in. 

So for all you moms-to-be out there, enjoy this quick and worth while tutorial that quite literally came to my rescue. It may have even been more helpful than all those wonderful meals I didn't have to prepare myself...well at least tied for first.

Step 1: Gather your materials

  • Mondo pads: As in the longest, biggest, most absorbent pads you can find. Some moms suggest the incontinence pads but I'm all about Always brand extra long, overnights. The best part is it's not super bulky and they re-wrap easily (an important thing to keep in mind for this project).
  • Witch Hazel: Usually found in the first aid type stuff in the pharmacy near rubbing alcohol.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: The same stuff you rub on your skin after a sun burn
  • Small Spray Bottle: Used to dispense the magic concoction onto the pad.
  • Foil: You'll probably have this lying around the house

Step 2: Mix it up

Mix 1/4 c. of the witch hazel with a 2 tablespoons of the aloe gel in a bowl. Carefully pour into the spray bottle. I would make at least a double batch for a full box of pads. Any extra you may have can be stored in the fridge and used as a soothing spray during potty time.

Step 3: Spray it on

You'll need to carefully unwrap the pad and gently remove the center plastic that covers the adhesive on the wings.

Now spray a good amount (enough to sufficiently saturate) of the mixture onto the center part of the pad. Basically you want the part of the pad that will make direct contact with your sore lady parts. Be careful not to spray the adhesive on the wings or else they won't be sticky anymore.

Step 4: Wrap it up and freeze

Once you're pad is sufficiently dampened, carefully replace the plastic coving the wing adhesive and gently wrap the pad back up. Cut a sheet of foil that will completely wrap the pad.
Next wrap it up like you would a foil pack, sealing the ends.

Now repeat the above steps with each pad. Once finished put them back in the original bag/box and pop in the freezer. 

Step 5: Enjoy soothing relief for your aching lady parts

Once you run out of the few ice packs the hospital sends home, use one of these "padsicles" instead of a regular pad. It will not only take care of flow issues, but provide the soothing relief of cold (frozen) and gentle healing properties (aloe & witch hazel). 

I went through about two boxes of these with my first baby. I made up one ahead of time (about 3 weeks out) and made another one when I realized I was going to need more. Hope this helps. I know I appreciated having them ready for me when I got home.