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Want to recover quickly after a vaginal birth? The ‘padsicles’ TikTok trend may help with postpartum healing, say experts

“Padsicles” or frozen sanitary pads are gaining popularity among new mothers. Experts tell CNA Women it’s a recommended practice for postnatal healing, when applied with caution.

Want to recover quickly after a vaginal birth? The ‘padsicles’ TikTok trend may help with postpartum healing, say experts

TikTok's mummy influencers have been demonstrating how to make "padsicles" to help with postpartum healing after a vaginal birth. (Photos: TikTok/Madison Marschall, TikTok/Lehandra Staude)

TikTok does it again and this time, mum influencers are promoting “padsicles”– do-it-yourself “cooling” sanitary pads that are stored in the freezer and worn with underwear after a vaginal birth.

In the past year, TikTok influencers typically based in the United States like Lehandra Staude and Madison Marschall have been posting videos of themselves demonstrating how to make these postnatal healing pads, attracting millions of views and thousands of appreciative comments.

Turns out, it’s a regular practice in Singapore too.


“A ‘padsicle’ is essentially a sanitary pad with cooling properties, derived from applying herbal supplements to the pad and then freezing it,” gynaecologist Dr Samantha Yeo told CNA Women.

At the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where Dr Yeo works as a consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, staff have been using aids such as “perineal ice pads to help patients relieve their postnatal vaginal discomfort and swelling”, she said.

On social media, ingredients such as aloe vera gel and witch hazel are added to a maxi or overnight pad, then combined with a spatula. Videos then show the pad being returned to its packaging and placed in the freezer.

“I do believe ‘padsicles’ have been used for ages now but it has become increasingly common in recent years,” said Dr Mythili Pandi, a family physician specialising in women’s health.

“With the use of more natural products, this is one way to naturally allow healing of the perineum,” said Dr Pandi, citing aloe vera gel and witch hazel as “the usual suspects”.

“Cold is often used to reduce swelling and when it is used on the raw perineum post-childbirth, it can be very soothing,” said the doctor at The Integrative Medical Centre.


“Many women, especially first-time mothers, experience some degree of tearing or require an episiotomy (surgical cut of the perineum, the area between the anus and vagina) during a vaginal delivery,” Dr Yeo said.

Situations where a pregnant woman might need an episiotomy include having babies of high birth weight and the use of a vacuum or forceps during delivery, she added.

“Naturally, the perineum may be tender after a vaginal delivery. Hence, cooling pads, together with medications, can help significantly in lessening perineal discomfort.”  


Dr Yeo cautioned women to be “mindful of hygiene” when preparing any homemade remedies for fresh wounds, including “padsicles”.

“Over-the-counter formulations are not regulated and some of their concentrations may be harsher than recommended, leading to skin reactions and increased inflammation,” she said.

“Patients should always check for skin sensitivities to the ingredients being used, prior to applying any homemade treatment on tender areas.

“Alternatively, postnatal patients can use perineal ice pads provided by their maternity hospitals,” Dr Yeo added.

The obstetrician also noted that “each birth is unique and each new mother may have unique circumstances and requirements”.

Hence after delivery, a maternity hospital will provide a package of postnatal medications and tools that not only “ease their recoveries and assist with establishing breastfeeding”, they are also “tailored to the individual’s needs, in order to help new mothers recuperate faster”.


Additional options for easing vaginal birth symptoms, according to Dr Samantha Yeo

  • Oral or injectable painkillers, particularly medications that are safe for breastfeeding
  • Topical numbing gels or sprays (analgesics) that can be applied directly to the perineum
  • Antiseptic wash and sitz baths to prevent wound infection
  • Doughnut cushions to reduce pressure on the perineum when sitting down or breastfeeding
  • Avoiding constipation
  • Pelvic floor physiotherapy to strengthen the pelvic floor
  • Compression garments for pelvic instability


“Most obstetricians in Singapore have already been prescribing their postnatal patients with perineal ice pads. It is really up to the individual to decide on what works for her best,” said Dr Yeo.

“More importantly, I would recommend having a lot of rest during the initial postnatal period. This would minimise pressure on the stitches and encourage the body’s natural healing process,” she said.

Dr Yeo also advised new mothers to maintain good perineal hygiene during the postnatal period.

“Cleaning the wound with an antiseptic solution from front to back after using the toilet and regularly changing sanitary pads will help minimise the risk of infection.

“If women suspect that their episiotomy wounds are not healing well, they should return earlier for their medical reviews. Occasionally, antibiotics may be needed to tackle early signs of infection and wound issues,” she said.

Women who have undergone a Caesarean section would also do well to keep the wound clean.

“Wound healing affects the aesthetics of the Caesarean scar. The type of dressing used on the Caesarean scar would determine the specific wound care instructions, so the woman’s obstetrician would be in the best position to advise her post-operatively,” said Dr Yeo.

All new mothers should also avoid straining their abdominal muscles and focus on pelvic floor exercise and core rehabilitation before resuming any strenuous activity, she added. 

CNA Women is a section on CNA Lifestyle that seeks to inform, empower and inspire the modern woman. If you have women-related news, issues and ideas to share with us, email CNAWomen [at]

Source: CNA/hs