Adult diapers for labor and postpartum, seriously?! Frozen wet pads?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In my "childbirth refresher" course, the midwife listed disposable adult diapers as a NECESSITY to buy in preparation.  She said you can use them after your water breaks and/or for the first few days of lochia and/or for the water from the frozen pads she said are also necessary.  I was surprised because I didn't have either adult diapers or frozen pads for my first birth or wish that I'd had them, so I'm wondering about other moms' experiences and if you think they're really a good idea.

 

My water did not break in my first labor until I had been at the hospital for hours and the midwife broke it to speed up labor, so I do not have any experience with walking around in public leaking.  Because I went into transition about 5 minutes after it was broken, I didn't have a long time to experience what it was like, but as best I recall there was an initial huge gush of fluid (into a bag, because we were prepared for it) and then I was just sort of wet, more like period wetness than peeing-my-pants wetness.  I was naked on top of an absorbent bed pad, and I recall the nurse swapping out that pad only once, as I was getting settled to push.  It didn't seem like enough fluid that a maxi-pad wouldn't have been adequate.

 

If my water breaks naturally this time as the first sign of labor...that first big gush is going to be a surprise and make a mess no matter what, because I'm not going to wear adult diapers all the time for weeks just in case.  After that, if I'm at home I can change my clothes and get pads, towels, plastic bags to protect the seat in the car, and stuff.  If I'm at work or in some public place, well, my clothes are already wet, and either I'll be calling my partner to pick me up or I'll have the car (we only have one) with towels and plastic bags in it.  Is putting on a diaper, instead of a pad, under wet pants really going to make a lot of difference?

 

I guess if labor starts while I'm at work and for whatever logistical reason it makes sense for me to go to the birth center by bus and meet my partner there, then I want to be prepared in case my water breaks on the bus.  Would an adult diaper really hold all of it?

 

After my first birth, I used washcloths and then cloth maxi-pads for 100% of the lochia and had no problems.  It was just like a heavy period.  Is that unusual?  Do most moms have really huge, pad-overflowing amounts of bleeding the first day or so?

 

This midwife said you should take a dozen disposable maxi-pads, dip them in water, squeeze them out until very damp but not dripping, press them into a bowl to make a curved shape, and put the whole shebang in the freezer.  Then you use them like ice packs to soothe your tender bits after the birth.  But as they thaw, they are going to leak water, so you want to have them inside an adult diaper.  Okay, I can see that IF I were doing this, I would need the leakage protection.  But frankly it sounds really gross and uncomfortable to wear a cold wet pad.  I remember that after my first birth the nurse gave me a sealed cold pack (not drippy) to put on my ladyparts but said to take it off after 10 minutes to prevent tissue damage.  I have a flexible, refreezable ice pack at home that I could use this way.  Is there some advantage to frozen soggy pads that I am missing?

 

I do intend to get disposable maxi-pads just in case I run out of cloth ones or decide I don't feel like rinsing them.  Do I really need the frozen pads and adult diapers, or not?  What is your experience?


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#2 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 10:08 AM
 
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We have moms make frozen pads (or we do it for them while they're in labor) and they generally love it.

 

I know the adult diapers sound crazy, but moms who try them tend to love them in the first day postpartum.


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#3 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 10:38 AM
 
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I used the disposable underwear and pads and ice packs they gave me in the hospital and they seemed just fine. I didn't feel like I needed a diaper or more ice packs. I didn't feel like the ice packs did much and I think they said to only use those for the first day or so. I think if what you had before worked for you, you should stick with it. I hope you have a great birth!



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#4 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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Not pregnant but with my last two recent births I used frozen baby diapers.  They were a lifesaver for me, but I tore third degree both times.  The frozen diapers don't leak and you can break them up, since they are gel,  to fit as comfortably as a frozen diaper can feel comfortable.


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#5 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 11:41 AM
 
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I used a depends type product (provided by my midwife) for the first couple days postpartum with both births. It worked well for the heavy bleeding and I found it more comfortable than a regular pad. So I found that useful, but not necessary. I don't think I would do the frozen pad thing, never did before. A regular ice pack worked fine.

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#6 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 12:53 PM
 
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Ah yes I loved the baby diapers!  They slit open the diaper and stuffed it with ice.  It numbed me and it felt wonderful!  Pads worked as well by filling with water and putting them in the freezer but those leaked a bit.  The diapers worked the best.

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#7 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 01:07 PM
 
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My hospital gave me commercial versions of the freeze-your-own method suggested here. You just cracked them (like glow sticks) and placed them in the bottom of your underwear. Aahhh! I might try adult diapers this go-around but last time I just bought several sets of "granny panties" and used what the hospital gave me, and then when the pain died down, regular pads. For any first time mamas out there, I highly recommend purchasing some big comfy full coverage panties for your first couple of weeks. I usually wear binikis and not only would I have ruined them post-partum but they don't hold big pads as well. 

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#8 of 16 Old 03-10-2014, 01:25 PM
 
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I do intend to get disposable maxi-pads just in case I run out of cloth ones or decide I don't feel like rinsing them.  Do I really need the frozen pads and adult diapers, or not?  What is your experience?

No you don't need them. I am sure it is a personal preference for some but personally I like using infant prefolds for the first few heavy days until it has slowed down enough to use my cloth pads. I thought the frozen pads I got in the hospital last time were nice but before that we used a reusable gel hot/cold pack and that worked fine too.


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#9 of 16 Old 03-11-2014, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooohh, I forgot about prefolds!  Much softer than washcloths and probably more absorbent.  And I could easily put my flexible ice pack under the top layer of prefold and wrap it around.


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#10 of 16 Old 03-11-2014, 12:25 PM
 
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As someone whose water has broken prior to labor with 3 births, Depends are definitely on my to-buy list. I never would have thought to buy them myself, but a friend sent me the remainders of a pack before my second was born, and they turned out to be wonderful. No, it doesn't help with the first gush (this is why waterproof bed pads are also on my list - all three times my water has broken when rolling over in bed), but you keep gushing periodically until the birth, and it's just easier and allows for more natural movement than sitting on a towel or something. They're also good for if you feel like going and walking around in public, and I do like them for the first bit postpartum (I find that once the pack has run out, my flow is light enough for cloth pads to be practical).

 

But I wouldn't call it an absolute necessity. Most people don't have their water break prior to labor.

 

I'll probably make one or two frozen pads this time, but have never found them all that amazing.


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#11 of 16 Old 03-23-2014, 06:59 PM
 
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If you end up with hemorrhoids from giving birth (my second was bad for this) ice packs are super nice.  I just froze maxi pads.  I also had a lot of lochia with my first, and way less with my second, so I think that can vary from baby to baby.  I don't plan on having depends, but our hospital gives out disposable underwear and lets you take home gigantic pads, so I will use those for the first few days, then just use disposable maxis.  After a week, and depending on how I feel, I will use my diva cup.  While we never use disposable diapers, somehow I feel like in the first few days post partum, I'm not interested in dealing with my mess and new baby meconium mess. 

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#12 of 16 Old 03-23-2014, 09:53 PM
 
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By far my favorite post partum relief came from the pads I had previously frozen with a HERBAL SITZ BATH concoction. My midwife told me prior to birth to make the sitz bath herbal recipe in a pot on the stove and then soak the pads and put them in a bowl in the freezer. I really didn't understand why but after having the baby-- oh my gosh!!!-- I loved those things!

So I would recommend giving them a shot. Making them beforehand and trying one post partum if you are up to it. I say, what's the harm in trying? you have It there If you like that and If It doesnt work for you, then It doesnt, ya know. I just re-read your post and saw that you said "wet pads," and yes, wet pads sound gross but frozen.pads are just like an Ice pack and they stayed cold and you could tell when you were ready to take them off.

By the way, here is a link to a herbal sitz bath reciped if you or anyone is interested:

http://wellnessmama.com/8542/after-birth-sitz-bath-herbs/

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#13 of 16 Old 03-24-2014, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Manysplinters wrote:

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After a week, and depending on how I feel, I will use my diva cup.

I thought the rule was nothing in the vagina for 6 weeks after giving birth because of the risk of infection.  Both times I've had uterine surgery through the cervix it was 2 weeks, but I can't recall now what they said about after birth--it just seems like it must be at least as long.  Also, I'm not sure you would have the muscle tone to hold in the cup a week after a vaginal birth.  Have you tried this before?  Have you asked your midwife or doctor about it?

 

Philothea wrote:

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I say, what's the harm in trying? you have It there If you like that and If It doesnt work for you, then It doesnt, ya know. I just re-read your post and saw that you said "wet pads," and yes, wet pads sound gross but frozen.pads are just like an Ice pack and they stayed cold and you could tell when you were ready to take them off.

Well, the harm in trying is that a stack of pads would take up a couple meals' worth of freezer space.  We only have the freezer above the fridge (not a chest freezer) and we are filling it with food to eat postpartum, so I'm reluctant to give over freezer space to non-food.

 

I don't understand how you can soak pads, whether in your herbal water or in plain water, and freeze them and NOT have them feel wet as they defrost.  But I have very little recent experience with disposable pads because I dislike them so much, and I admit I've never tried soaking and freezing them, so maybe I'm missing something?


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#14 of 16 Old 03-24-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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I use cloth pads, gladrags or similar, I put witchhazel on some inserts and stuck them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. They were heavenly for the first week. I would just set them on top of my cloth pads.
I used the disposable hospital pads while at the hospital, but cloth as soon as i got home. I did wear the disposable underwear for a few weeks. One of the nurses told me they were washable, so I'd throw them in the wash and dry them with my cloth pads.
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#15 of 16 Old 03-24-2014, 07:48 AM
 
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re:  the Diva cup - yes, I did this with my last birth.  no, I am not advocating doing this without consulting a doctor, and I'm sure they would say don't do it.  I made that choice myself, found it useful, but only because my vaginal area was relatively unaffected by the birth, whereas my rectal area was very affected, and required things like frozen pads and hydrocortisone ointment - all of which is way more effective if you are not also bleeding and soaking pads from lochia.  It's a trade-off, and I certainly wouldn't keep it in for anywhere near as long as I would during a period - and not constantly, either.  Certainly if you had tears and/or stitches this would not be a good idea.

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#16 of 16 Old 03-24-2014, 08:37 AM
 
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I didn't use either and I didn't wish that I did. It may be different this time but I was fine with regular pads with my first birth.


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