Is it worth it to prepare frozen pads, ice packs, etc, for a hospital birth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-20-2011, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With DD I had a HB transfer and ended up staying for 48 hours because I was GBS+, and so after a certain amount of time, the nurses told me I couldn't have any more ice packs because it had been 24 hours since the birth. They said I could only have heat (which was not appealing at the time.) I made them bring me ice packs and they had me sign an AMA form. greensad.gif They didn't explain the reason for all this, if they had, maybe I would've used the heat.

So...by the time we got home, my whole stash of frozen pads was basically wasted. Do you think it's a waste to freeze pads and make ice packs if you're having a hospital birth? (This time we're at a very NCB friendly hospital delivering with the MW practice, so I expect a VERY different experience, thankfully redface.gif)

But I'm still not sure, if I end up staying for 24-48 hours, if it's worth it to make a stash of stuff in my freezer at home or not. Thoughts?


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Old 04-20-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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Do you mean would it make sense to bring ice packs to the hospy?  Or just to have at home in case you want them later on?  I think if you're having an in hospital birth, ask the care provider about ice pack availability and if it's no problem (or if she can write an order saying you can have cold packs at will) perhaps concentrate on making sitz bath tea bags for home use and just use the ice packs the hospital provides?

 

The cold vs heat thing... I actually know a few midwives who discourage any use of ice packs/frozen pads and really push the warm packs even in the first few hours (some discussion of that here).  But in general, the purpose of the cold pack is to reduce blood flow to the area and as a result, to reduce swelling/bruising and related tissue damage or muscle ache.  However, for the damaged/stressed tissue to heal and for the muscles to be restored they NEED the blood flow.  Heat encourages the blood flow and so, after the first few hours, heat is "better" for the body (continued use of cold might feel good, but it can delay healing and actually cause more damage).  I've never heard of hospital staff requiring a signed AMA form for an ice pack though!  Yoicks!


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Old 04-20-2011, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I meant would it make sense to have them on hand at home. I definitely will make use of the hospital's ice packs, though! It was just that last time I made all this effort (granted, I had no idea I would transfer) and so this time I was planning to freeze pads again, but then wondered if I even needed them. I think no, that it's just making my "to do" list longer with things that I will have at the hospital anyway.

okay, so...how do you get heat down there?!? headscratch.gif Or, more like, the absence of ice packs after a few hours = "heat"?


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Old 04-20-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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for heat I just used a warm damp cloth. you can also do a warm sitz bath. I think someone mentioned on another thread that they put water and a bunch of washcloths in a crockpot so there was always a warm one available. 


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Old 04-20-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Warm compresses... just like the warm compresses you might use during crowning. You could either use a crock pot, or even just have a support person run hot water and then wring out the cloth.  And then warm sitz baths.

 

With my most recent birth the hospital had "chem packs"... some you'd shake up and they'd get cold, others you'd shake up and they'd get warm.  A heating pad wrapped in a cloth or chux would do the trick too I imagine.

 

I think leaving the frozen for home pads off the to-do list makes sense.  You probably wouldn't need/want them when you got home if you stayed at the hospital more than a few hours postpartum and a shorter to-do list is always a good thing!  :)


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Old 04-20-2011, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahh...warm compresses. This makes SO much more sense now!! lol.gif When the nurse said I could only have "heat" I remember thinking she was a crazy loon! orngbiggrin.gif Of course, I was newly postpartum at the time and not in my right mind. eyesroll.gifinnocent.gif

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Old 04-20-2011, 09:42 PM
 
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This post is very interesting re; heat vs cold b/c my MIL kept mentioning that heat feels so nice on sutures, and I had always heard cold.  I'm 2 weeks pp and still healing from a few 2nd degree tears and I have a little rice sock I could heat up and sit on...I may need to let MIL know she was right!


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Old 04-21-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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My midwife uses heat. She makes up a crockpot full of herbs and cuts up washcloths to be used as compresses for as long as you want. Dip them in (as hot as you can physically stand) and keep on the area. I didn't have stitches, but it felt great! I used them for probably two weeks, not all the time, but constantly the first few days and then whenever I thought of it. I thought about frozen pads from reading it on MDC but I figured my midwife knew what she was doing. Looking back, I can't imagine cold!  cold.gif


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