In the world of pregnancy, motherhood and parenting, a lot of advice gets tossed around. Some of it's good, most of it is well-meaning... But a lot is very, very bad.
In my first pregnancy, like so many soon-to-be parents, I was very focused on two things: preparing all the items for baby and preparing myself for birth. But that left me so unprepared for postpartum that, frankly, I was vulnerable to bad advice.
And when I say I was unprepared, I mean that I did not have anything on hand ready for recovery. I had my home birth kit, provided by my midwives, and that's it. Beyond that I did not have a thing – no full coverage undies, no heavy pads for when the birth kit ran out. Nada.
So I was very literally unprepared. But I was also figuratively unprepared. I truly had no idea how swollen and painful my vaginal area would be after birth. It sounds so naive to admit now (I mean, of course there would be some swelling and pain, right?) but at the time it truly caught me off guard.
I didn’t prepare any padsicles (I didn't even know what they were!), didn’t get an upside down peri, or set myself up with a sitz bath, There I was, in the middle of a scorching hot Vancouver heat wave, swollen and in pain, with no imminent relief in sight.
So what is there left do to but Google it? And the answer I found? Fill a condom with water and freeze it. Unconventional? Yes. But in the end was it helpful? Actually, not really. The shape is wonky and you’ll need to wrap it in a cloth or paper towel which kind of dulls the cooling effect.
By the way, if for some reason you feel like you must try this, do not do so without using said cloth or paper towel to wrap it. The absolute last thing you need is to get stuck to this monstrosity…
Look, I was a newbie and no one filled me in ahead of time. The recovery aspect of postpartum is still strangely overlooked when it comes to the whole giving birth and becoming a parent thing.
That’s why we’re on a mission to spread the good word and teach every person who is about to give birth – especially the first timers – the best ways to maximize healing and enhance the recovery experience. Want the best tips and tricks?