Childbirth is messy, really really messy but at the same time it is the most beautiful experience of your life. I've had so many women tell me how scared they are of labor and delivery and my response is always to remember that it is just one day. Yes it's hard and painful, but it's a good pain. There's a point to it and it's not hurting you. The pain of the contractions are a wonderful thing because with each one you are closer to meeting your baby. There's a lot of intense things that happen before, during, and after labor that so many women just keep to themselves or say to other moms "you know what I mean." While this may not be appropriate dinner table talk, I want you to know it's ok to talk about it. It's ok to say out loud, I tore, I have hemorrhoids, I was a gusher.. I'm always here to be honest with you guys, so here it is, all of that happened to me. I personally wish that I had found other blog posts that were brutally honest about childbirth before I gave birth to Kai. I'm not here to scare you but it does happen but you know what else? You heal! You really really do. The human body is extraordinary, especially women's bodies! Sorry guys, but it's true. Women are far superior in every way. I read a hilarious quote at the very beginning of my pregnancy and it was, "There's a reason God decided women would give birth and not men." We're so strong, stronger than you can ever imagine yourself and I promise you can do it. We are meant to do this and it's all so wonderful.
Belly Itching + Stretch Marks
My bump was itching so bad the last couple weeks of my pregnancy. I remember being so miserable and nothing would help. Our skin gets stretched so far to make room for these little nuggets that it's just bound to happen. I got some pretty gnarly stretch marks at the very end but I've been using the Honest Company Belly Balm and it has worked wonders to lighten them up. You can't even see them anymore! The itching goes away too about a week after giving birth. I still had a little bit of it right after but that's because your skin is snapping back to normal. Seriously, our bodies are amazing.
Losing the Plug
If you're pregnant and getting close to the end, there's going to be a lot of talk about losing your mucus plug. It's gross yes, but it happens when you go to the bathroom. I lost mine all at once when my water broke. You flush it down the toilet and that's that. I've heard that some women can lose it early and some can lose it a little bit here and there. Whatever it may be, you just wash it away and know that pretty soon it's going to be baby time! See? Always a positive outcome even with the gross stuff.
Only about 10% of women's water break before labor starts. I am proud to say I am in that 10%! I was terrified that this would happen to me at work and that I would be a gusher. Well I was a gusher but thankfully it happened in the comfort of my own home. I definitely would have been embarrassed if I was out in public and especially if it was somewhere like work where I would have to see these people again! However, if it does happen, who cares, especially if you're just out and about! You'll never see those people again and you have much more to think about than what people think of you wetting your pants ha! To ease your comfort though, most women really do start to have contractions first and a lot of times your doctor or midwife will have to break your water for you. So either way, know you are not alone. It also may be a slow trickle or you might just start gushing water like I did. For me the beginning sensation started while I was laying in bed. It woke me up in the morning actually. I felt this purging sensation down in my vagina and thought "hm, that feels weird" and got up to go to the bathroom. Then whoosh it all started coming out. Whatever it may be, just carry a towel around with you until you get in to your hospital bed if it breaks before you get to the hospital. Just remember that once in breaks, you're guaranteed to meet your babe in the next 24 hours!
Pain of Contractions
At first, they really don't hurt. They're just weird. Before I went in to labor I remember scouring the internet for what they feel like because I just needed to know and I could never find anything that truly described them. So here it is. For me, they were a strong tightening of my lower abdomen and I felt a lot of pressure pushing down in to my vagina. That's it. None of this intense sharp cramping that you picture or anything like that. The most uncomfortable part and I imagine painful part is that the pressure gets more and more as you dilate. I opted to receive an epidural when I was 5 cm dilated and that is when the pressure was becoming very uncomfortable. After I got the epidural though, they didn't hurt at all!
I had a second degree tear with Kai. I tore externally and internally and had to receive stitches. Thanks to the epidural though I didn't feel the tearing happening or the stitching happening. I heard it though. It was a series of pops and all I could think was yep there it goes...but hey then my baby was born! They put your little bundle on your chest and your doctor takes care of you and you seriously don't even notice. Afterwards, you're sore but I imagine all women are even if you don't tear! You just gave birth to a human after all. Just use the ice packs the hospital gives you and when you get home start using the padsicles you prepared. Here's the recipe for the ones I made. They seriously do wonders and I healed so quickly thanks to them! Also use the peribottle that the hospital gives you after every bathroom visit to keep yourself clean down there. The stitches just dissolve in your body so nothing falls out or anything crazy like that. At your 6 week postpartum appointment with your doctor or midwife, they will check it and make sure you are all good and I promise you will be. Just rest, take ibuprofen, and ice when you can!
Peeing Your Pants
So I haven't ever really experienced this but it definitely does happen to a lot of women so if you're in this bucket, you're seriously not alone! I had a friend tell me one day during her pregnancy she had pee running down her leg and we just laughed about it because who cares, it happens to the best of us! Just wear a pad around if you feel your pelvic floor weakening. Do some kegels when you can it'll get stronger over time. There's so much weight baring down and then during delivery your pushing so hard, your bound to mess it up. But just like everything else, it really does get better over time. I still wear a pad when I workout just in case. No shame mamas!
Pooping on the Table
I have no idea if this happened to me. It might have? I don't know and you know why? Because for 1 you can't see, 2 you can't feel it, and 3 the nurses just clean it up for you or it just drops right in to the bag at the end of the table. Trust me, a lot is coming out of you other than stools so seriously don't concern yourself with any of it. Just concentrate on your pushing your babe out...that's all that matters!
The First Postpartum Bowel Movement + Hemorrhoids
Ok sorry ladies but this one hurts. Like a fricken mother f*****. I'm not trying to scare anyone but oh my goodness this is probably the only thing I'm dreading with future babies. But like I've been stressing over and over again it all gets better over time. To help with all of this do sitz baths with either the contraption they give you at the hospital or just sit in your bath tub. I opted for the bath tub because I had a very bruised tailbone after giving birth. I would fill it with a little bit of water and a few drops of tea tree oil and just sit for about 10 to 15 min. It was a nice break and time to myself actually. Also use baby wipes (I'm sure you have plenty) to wipe yourself after going as toilet paper can be a little rough and really irritate hemorrhoids. Preparation H, those padiscles, and stool softeners will help them heal, too. This was honestly the most uncomfortable part for me and I definitely got frustrated that this part of postpartum took so long to go away and I actually still struggle with this now 5 months postpartum but you just learn to deal. Some days it hurts still but most days it doesn't. Once again...time is your best friend with all this healing.
Post delivery will feel like a very heavy period. You'll need to wear a pad 24/7 and yes I really do recommend just wearing the granny panty mesh underwear from the hospital for the first 2 weeks. I felt like I was wearing a diaper most of the time but it was better than ruining clothes, sheets, or the couch. The bleeding gets better each week and mine was completely gone by 4 weeks.
I didn't get this one too bad either, thank goodness but I know it does happen. At the hospital I was told at the beginning to wipe my nipples with a warm cloth after each feeding and let them air dry. Then apply some nipple cream. I started out using the Lansinoh nipple cream and it did help but it stained my clothes! So be careful ladies, it's like grease so if you wash and dry your clothes you'll never get those stains out. I switched to using the Honest Nipple Balm and it's been amazing. You don't really need it after about week 2 but every once in awhile I'll apply a little because they can get sore from pumping.
Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, + Postpartum Psychosis
So of all the things us mamas experience after birth, this topic is definitely one of the most serious and important ones. Our emotional and mental health is so important and it is extremely rocked after giving birth...hell it's even messed with during pregnancy...hello crazy pregnancy hormones! It is completely normal to experience baby blues after giving birth. Some moms feel it right away and it sets in later for others. Our hormones are going haywire to get back to normal or to stabilize for breastfeeding. However, if it's been months and you still can't stop crying, have severe anxiety, or if it's more on the extreme side where you are hallucinating, have thoughts of harming yourself or others, and aren't able to complete any of your normal daily tasks then I encourage you with my whole heart to call your doctor. There is no shame in any of this. It happens to all of us, myself included. After I went back to work I found it very hard to cope with my feelings, I struggled to be productive, and my anxiety was through the roof. I couldn't deal with small things or big things and thanks to my sister in law and one of my best friends I went to my doctor. I am proud to say I am doing so much better these days and I'm able to go through life now with a much clearer head. The thing is, it's not our fault that we feel this way. Thanks to all that we went through and are still going through our bodies just can't regulate its hormones without some help. It's all a part of motherhood and if you need the help of talking to someone or medication then please seek it out, it will help you to kick ass at life even more.
That about covers it. If I've forgotten anything or if you mamas have any other questions or advice for me and other moms please leave me a comment below! Hooray for the mess of being moms! It's a beautiful thing ;)
I want to start out by saying that breastfeeding isn't for everyone and that is 100% ok. I don't exclusively nurse and we also supplement with formula on the occasion. I feel as long as you feed your baby, that is all that matters. Also, I am not here to give medical advice. This post is strictly about my journey with breastfeeding and what has worked to get us to this 4 month point. Please do not take my advice as scientific fact or evidence and if you have any questions or concerns I encourage you to always ask your doctor.
Oh the beauty of breastfeeding. It is a wonderful thing us mothers are able to do for our babies. I knew from the time I got pregnant that I wanted to try breastfeeding. I've always heard about the benefits of it from a health standpoint as well as the perks of how it can help prevent colic and SIDs. Also, formula can be very expensive. So why not go the free route if I'm able to and take advantage of it's added perks?
Well it's not that simple for some women, me included. I was a formula fed baby (and I think I turned out fine? ;) ), so I wasn't lucky to have my mom as a reference on what to do when it came to this part of caring for our baby. I wanted to try though and I knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize how hard it would be.
At first, I hated it. I wanted to give up. Due to the time of day Kai was born, things at our hospital were moving a little slow and I didn't get a chance to attempt to feed him until he was about 4 hours old. Not a great start. My first piece of advice to all you expecting mamas out there, demand they help you feed your baby within the first hour of their life. It is SO important. The first hour is when they are the most alert and their instinct to nurse is at its highest. After the hour to hour and half mark, they start to get sleepy. This is exactly what happened with Kai and that's where the latch problems started. He refused to latch on and then the cycle of fear began. I was worked up about him not latching so he would get worked up. I think we had 1 successful latch on 1 side the entire 3 days we were at the hospital. By day 5, Kai had lost too much weight when we went to his first doctors appointment, and we were instructed to give him formula for the time being. Our pediatrician told me to pump to get my milk to come in because Kai wasn't doing it for me and we needed it to come in ASAP. This is my second piece of advice, PUMP. If you have any kind of latch issues after a couple of days, please just pump. Don't let the hospital staff talk you out of it. They told me some crazy rule of waiting 3 weeks to try pumping at all and if I had listened to this it probably would have been too late or I wouldn't have been able to breastfeed Kai at all. He needed there to be a flow to get it at this point. I understand the concern over nipple confusion between bottles and breasts but we also have to remember, in the end we need to feed our babies. It doesn't matter how you do it, any way is fine. Formula, breast, pumped, it's all wonderful and gives them what they need.
I'm not going to sugar coat this for all of you, our first week of life with Kai and feeding him was awful. Down right awful. After that doctors appointment things did start to turn around but I was miserable with the breastfeeding side of it. What we did for days 5-9 was attempt to breastfeed for 10-15 min (failed every time), I would pump for 15 min, and Caleb would bottle feed him formula. We did this 10 times a day. The first two days of pumping I got little drops if I was lucky but then it started to come in! I was so excited and we were able to give him that pumped breast milk before giving him the formula. He was gaining some weight back, sleeping better, and going to the bathroom again. My third piece of advice is use regular baby bottles. Do not use the pre-mix bottles and the nipples that come with them. They flow way too fast and this definitely made us take steps backward in terms of him latching on to me. We realized this after a day or two and started using our baby bottles that we had bought. The ones that came out the winner and I truly believed helped with his nipple confusion were the Dr. Brown's bottles. We still use these bottles today, and he still loves to nurse. Then on day 9, it happened. He latched on to me! We got in a full feeding! A 40 minute feeding! It was amazing and the biggest relief aside from actually birthing a healthy baby. The next day we went back to our doctor for a weight check and he was back at his birth weight.
Next came the clogged duct/mastitis. At around 1 month I started not feeling well. I was really achy, my left breast was really hurting, and I started getting a red spot on it. I started to panic that I had mastitis. I actually had a full blown panic attack the night the red spot showed up. I was so ready to be done. I was on the verge of making the decision to become an exclusive pumper. For some reason though, this decision broke my heart. I wanted to be successful at nursing him and I wanted to enjoy the closeness nursing brings. At this point I would nurse Kai all day up until his 8pm feeding and for 8pm, 11pm, and 3 am, I would pump and Caleb would bottle feed him on nights he didn't have to go in to the office, otherwise I would take the 3am shift. It was still so exhausting especially because Kai was a very slow eater. Nursing sessions were at least 40 min each time if not 1 hour each time. I had no idea what I was doing and kept trying to play around with the length of times I let him nurse on each side. He was so sleepy while nursing sometimes I thought he was done. He has never really been a baby that pops off when he's good. Trust me, I've tried. The kid could stay latched on for 40 minutes on one side if I let him (I asked our doctor about this and she told me no, 20 min max ha!) Well apparently I was pulling him off too soon because I got clogged on my left side. I gathered myself up after that panic attack though and tried to make a plan. The next day I was going to exclusively pump every 2 hours to get the clog out and we would bottle feed Kai. Well the times didn't really line up with when we usually fed Kai so I took on a bottle feeding session that day. I only had a couple ounces of breast milk to give him (my clogged breast was barely producing any at this point) and I tried to give him formula to finish out the feeding. He straight up refused. He was screaming his head off and I knew he was still hungry. I didn't know what to do so I offered my breast to him and he took it immediately. He looked at me with this look in his eyes of "I only want you, mama" and something in me clicked. He would have to be the one to fix me. We could do this. I wasn't go to give up. I nursed him at every session the rest of that day and by the next day, the red spot had faded away. We had his 1 month checkup that next day, and our pediatrician graciously looked at it for me and told me I was fine. I never got a fever, so I somehow stopped myself from getting mastitis. So my fourth piece of advice is when they are this young try to get them to nurse at least 15 min per side, never go more than 4 hours without nursing or pumping, and even try to pump after you nurse. It's a lot, I know and understand that, but it's very important to empty our breasts often when they are this young and we've just gotten started with our supply. You will avoid clogs as well as start building a stock up so that you can take a break from nursing once in awhile and let Dad feed baby. I will be doing a post on how I beat mastitis soon, too, as it took more than just nursing Kai all day. My fifth piece of advice that I actually received from our doctor is for the first two months switch nursing positions every feeding. I rotated between football and cradle. When our babies are this little their suck isn't very efficient and so all the ducts aren't getting proper suction if we do the same hold every time. So if you switch your position often then each duct should be getting good suction throughout the day.
It was smooth sailing after this for awhile. Then it was time for me to go back to work. Another milestone that I was worried about. Day 1, pump 1 was a disaster for me. I barely pumped an ounce, I was so stressed. It got a little better after that once I got a routine down, but not fully better. I wasn't producing as much as Kai was eating from the bottle. We always feed him till he's full and as he was getting older and bigger he was wanting more. Without nursing my body didn't know that. I would nurse him when I got home from work, but it still wasn't enough for my body to realize it needs to produce more. So that's when I turned to supplements. At first I tried the Honest Company Postnatal Lactation Plus. The primary ingredient in them is fenugreek, which is supposed to really help promote breastmilk production. Unfortunately these did not work for me. It took a lot of trial and error but here is what I have personally noticed has helped with my production:
The Legendairy Milk supplements took about a week for me to really see a difference with them. They work best when I've been good about drinking water all day. If I am behind on my water intake, I notice a significant decrease. So regardless if you choose to take supplements or not, water is your best friend when it comes to breastfeeding. Eating healthy is very important too, not just for production, but because whatever you put in you, your baby eats, too! Lastly, I stopped taking some additional things that are known to be supply killers. I was put on a progesterone only birth control pill after my 6 week postpartum appointment but I believe this was hindering my supply, too. I also recently started taking allergy pills again thanks to springtime in Chicago and I also noticed a dip with this, too. Our doctor told me that they shouldn't be an issue but once I stopped taking both of these my production has increased even more. So it's something to try if you're struggling, too. My allergies haven't been that bad without taking them and I plan on only taking them if and when I have bad allergy days.
I've been taking the Legendary Milk supplements for about a month and can definitely say they really do help. I take 1 mL of Lactivist with a small glass of water and 2 Pump Princess pills in the morning, after work, and before I go to bed. We're at a point now where we do not have to feed Kai formula anymore and I am slowly but surely building up a stock thanks to Legendairy Milk. I sometimes pump after I nurse Kai, too, and I get an extra ounce or two every time. I was never able to do that in the past. I've also noticed a big difference in the quality of my milk when I pump. There is so much more fat in my milk! Thanks to this, Kai hasn't demanded 8 oz bottles anymore. These supplements really do work, mamas! I encourage you to give them a try if you feel your production isn't where you want it to be.
Here's a quick round-up of all my breastfeeding tips plus a couple of extras I didn't mention above:
I honestly love nursing now. It is my time with Kai and I dread the day he either doesn't want to nurse anymore or it's just time to wean. I personally do not enjoy pumping anymore but I gotta do what I gotta do to get that milk while I work! It's a complete 180 from the beginning though. I am so glad I stuck with it. I have Kai to thank for keeping me motivated and not letting me give up. So mamas, I know it is a very exhausting and time consuming commitment you've made, but if you have that drive to breastfeed then I encourage you to stick with it. It's hard work, but you can do it! You're all amazing moms, regardless. If any of you have any questions, need someone to talk to, or some more motivation, I'm always here for you!
Follow me on Twitter for all my #momlife tweets!
This post was not sponsored. However, I am a Legendairy Milk ambassador and was provided my code for my readers as a part of the program. If my readers use my code to purchase Legendairy Milk products, I will receive Legendairy Milk cash credit. Thank you to Legendairy Milk for this amazing opportunity and supporting our journey here at Tiny Dapper Fox. All opinions are my own and 100% honest and authentic.
Breastfeeding can be stressful at times, especially if you aren't producing enough milk to keep up with your little one. We personally have no problem supplementing with formula, but our primary source of food for Kai is breast milk. He LOVES to eat and especially with going back to work I haven't been able to keep up with him as much as I'd like. One thing that I've done since the beginning to help with my production is make and eat lactation cookies. They are so yummy and really do help! On days that I eat them, I definitely see a difference in the amount that I pump. I've tried out a few recipes over the last few months but these peanut butter chocolate chip ones are by far my favorite! They are relatively healthy, too (just ignore the butter and sugar and concentrate on the oats and flax seed ;) )!
*The only warning I have is to make sure your baby doesn't have a peanut allergy before you consume these. Try out eating a little bit of peanut butter and make sure your baby doesn't have a reaction. If you are in the clear then bake away! Otherwise, just skip the peanut butter in the recipe and make yourself some chocolate chip cookies!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I use the convection baking option)
2. Mix water and flaxseed meal in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes
3. Mix butter (at room temp), granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs 1 at a time until well combined and then add vanilla
5. Add flaxseed meal to mixture and combine well then set aside
6. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and brewer's yeast.
7. Slowly combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. This takes about 1-2 minutes
8. Add oats, chocolate chips, and peanut butter to the mixture until well blended
9. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll in to a ball. Place balls on a cookie sheet
10. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes depending on your oven. In our convection oven, 10 minutes is perfect
11. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling
And enjoy and make that milk, mama! Oh and if you aren't a breastfeeding mama, don't worry, these won't make you produce unwanted milk, ha! Caleb eats them with me all the time and loves them! If you're wondering though what the secret to helping with milk production is, it is the brewer's yeast. Oats and flaxseed help, too, but brewer's yeast is a natural mammary gland stimulant. So eat up, mamas!
Hello hello, everyone! I hope you're all having a lovely week. We've had quite the week... My dad had surgery to get his gallbladder out on Tuesday and we went to visit with him yesterday, which was a nice way to break up the week. Thankfully he's doing really well! However, on our way home though, Caleb's car broke down. So we've been having lots of discussions over if it's time to replace her or not. His car is the first ever car we bought together and on our own, so whenever we do decide to trade her in, it will be a very bittersweet moment.
ANYWAYS, we're trying not to let the stress from earlier in the week though lower our spirits today. Today is a very special day for us! Not only is Kai 4 months old today, but one year ago today we found out that our family would be growing! I thought it would be fun to look back on the last year and reminisce about all the good times plus see how much has changed in just one year.
I will honestly never forget this day. It is so ingrained in to my memory. It was around Mother's Day last year that I started suspecting that I was pregnant. Caleb and I were very private about growing our family at first, so literally no one knew. Not even our parents. I kept my suspicions to myself mostly with the exception of telling Caleb, of course, and confiding in one dear friend. I look back and I wish I could have surprised Caleb with the news but honestly we are such a team and we share everything with each other. I needed him during that week long wait of seeing if my period would come. I needed him to hold my hand while we waited the two minutes for the test to complete. So...maybe next time I'll surprise him, but looking back at it all, this day was so perfect.
I know I've told this story on here before but if you're new around here, here is how May 24, 2017 went...it was hilarious actually. Since being on birth control for many years I use to get my period like clockwork. The most it was ever late was half a day, so when I didn't get it in the middle of May I really started suspecting something. Prior to that though I had a few weird things happen like craving butterscotch pudding (like seriously, why Kai?) and not being able to tolerate some floor cleaner at Trader Joes (again, so random). So the 24th made it one week past when I should have gotten my period. I decided it was time to go buy a pregnancy test. I went to Walgreens on my lunch break that day. I was in the aisle with the pregnancy tests and all I could think about was how expensive these tests are. I decided to buy the cheaper analog one versus the digital one because it was $5 cheaper. I have no idea why I was obsessed with that $5 but for some reason I had in my head that I didn't want to waste the extra money on the digital test in case I wasn't pregnant? I know...I'm crazy. I walked over to the cashier and I was shaking when I handed her the box to ring up. I half wanted to be pregnant so bad and I was half scared out of my mind that I was pregnant. I went back to work and somehow finished out the day. I took the pregnancy test as soon as I got home and that was seriously the longest two minutes of my life. I was so nervous to look that I made Caleb look first. But we couldn't figure out if it was positive or not, ha! We were literally those two idiots trying to read the box and figure out this pee stick. The problem we were having is that the horizontal line was kind of faint. We finally realized though that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you aren't pregnant and man was that vertical line clear as day. We started jumping around, hugging each other, crying, and just not knowing what to do.
Becoming a mom has been the greatest honor of my life. I didn't know it a year ago but that is when I became a mom. I know Kai wasn't here for me to hold yet but I was still caring for him in the most beautiful way possible. We grow them, we feel them, we share every moment with our babies for 9 whole months. Then we get to bring them in to this world and continue to love and sustain them now. Children truly are miracles and being a mom is such a beautiful wonder to me. I look at him all the time in utter amazement. It really does change you for the better and I can honestly say I love who I've become since becoming a mother. I have Kai to thank for this incredible gratitude I have not just for him but for myself. Growing our family has only made all of us stronger. We are all so madly in love with each other it's just remarkable. Even though some of the last 365 days were really really hard, I've loved every single one of them more than I can ever explain in words. Here's to many more years of being a mama and this crew of mine!
Hey there friends! I hope you all had an awesome weekend! We definitely had a great one. Saturday morning we took Kai out to the city for his first ever brunch! We went to our favorite brunch place in Chicago, Bistrot Zinc. He was an angel the whole entire time! He woke up a few minutes after we sat down and just sat in his car seat and smiled the whole meal. We we're such proud parents! The food was delicious, as always. This time I got a seasonal special, the strawberry rhubarb clafoutis and Caleb got our favorite dish ever, which is their eggs Benedict. Yesterday we had lunch with my parents and then I spent the afternoon baking some cookies with Kai. I baked some really yummy peanut butter chocolate chip lactation cookies that both Caleb and I are just devouring now. I'll definitely be sharing the recipe on here soon because even if you aren't a breastfeeding mama they are delicious and actually "somewhat" healthy!
Today I'm sharing a little postpartum wisdom with all you new mamas, so if you aren't a mama and have no interest in the pain and messiness of postpartum don't even worry about skipping this post. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was recommended by a few friends to make these things called padsicles to help me heal after Kai was born. I looked up what was needed for them and got to work on them. I used them almost every day after Kai was born for about a month and they really really helped, so I wanted to share them with all of you! Basically what a padsicle is, is a feminine pad that you add witch hazel, essential oils, and aloe vera to and then you put them in the freezer. They act as an ice pack as well as a cooling mixture to help your lady bits heal after delivery. Here is what you need and how it helps:
Target - $9.29
You can get any pads you like. I started out with heavy duty maxi ones because I didn't know how bad I would end up being after giving birth. After I worked through my first bag and began to heal, I grabbed some less intense pads until I no longer really needed to wear them anymore.
Non-Alcoholic Witch Hazel
Target - $6.99
Non-Alcoholic witch hazel is essential. Make sure it is NON-ALCOHOLIC! Otherwise, you'll be in more pain than you can imagine down there, especially if you tore. That is why I recommend Thayer's witch hazel. It is the only non-alcoholic witch hazel brand that I could find. I ordered mine off of Amazon but I've seen it at Target, too. I got the rose petal one for a nice scent. Don't worry the scent won't cause you any irritation. The witch hazel really helps any tears to heal as well as really helps with hemorrhoids.
Lavender Essential Oil
Amazon - $15
Any lavender essential oil works. I personally got the Lily & Lush essential oil off of Amazon. The lavender essential oil is a nice calming oil that works with the other products to help calm any pain or irritation you might be having.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Amazon - $15
Same thing goes for the tea tree essential oil, any kind works. I just ordered the same brand as the lavender for mine from Amazon. The tea tree essential oil works as a natural healer again for any tears, swelling, and hemorrhoids.
Amazon - $16.23
Just like the witch hazel, make sure the aloe vera is non-alcoholic. I wasn't able to find any non-alcoholic ones at our Target, so I resorted to Amazon again. I settled on this two pack one and it worked great. The aloe vera freezes really well and helps to numb you up down there to get rid of any burning pain you might be having.
A couple of other things you'll want to have with you before you start are gallon size freezer bags and a spoon. That's all you need to make these things. Now here's how you do it.
Step 1: Open up your feminine pad but leave the back wrapper part on.
Step 2: Squirt 3 tablespoons of the witch hazel on to the pad. I used a spoon to measure this out. The spoon comes in handy later, too. I dumped 1 tablespoon in the front, 1 in the middle, and 1 in the back.
Step 3: Add about 5 drops of each essential oil evenly over the pad. You only need about 5 drops of each since the oils are pretty strong.
Step 4: Add a decent amount of the aloe vera all over the pad and smooth it in with the spoon. Add as much of this as you want...it seriously helps so much!
Step 5: Fold the pad back up and put it in to a gallon size freezer bag. Fill the bag up and put it in the freezer and you're good to go!
Hopefully this helps any of you brand new mamas out there to find some relief and heal super fast! I'm not going to lie, they can be a bit of a shock to the system when you first put it on, so if you want to let it thaw for about 5 minutes before you put it on that might help. I remember I'd put it on and I'd dance around for a couple of minutes because it was so cold, but after it thaws a bit it always made me feel better. I had a second degree tear and was completely healed by 6 weeks. I like to think these little things helped make that happen. I also never had any bad irritation down there and stopped bleeding completely by 4 weeks. If you need any more help or support during this trying time I'm always here for you! You got this mama!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
Follow on Instagram