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Best Postpartum Ice Packs of 2023

Updated
Postpartum pain is inevitable, but these ice packs can help!

If you’re thinking about self-care after your baby’s birth, good for you! It can be easy to get so wrapped up in planning for your new arrival that you completely forget to plan for yourself and your own healing process.

As you may have heard, ice packs are a must-have in the postpartum period. As a mom and health care practitioner, I can assure you there are better ways to care for your perineum than stuffing an ice-filled medical glove in your underwear, as I was encouraged to do after delivery.

We’ve found the best postpartum ice packs out there to help you with your recovery. These packs won’t leak water in your pants and are soft and flexible to avoid any unnecessary pressure on your healing lady bits. Some of these ice packs even double as heat packs for sore muscles.

Say goodbye to pain and discomfort while you enjoy your sweet little bundle of sunshine.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the TendHer Reusable Perineal Ice Packs for Postpartum & Hemorrhoid Pain Relief, Hot...
Best All-Around
TendHer Cooling Pad
  • Pack of two
  • With 5 reusable, washable covers
  • Fit securely in underwear
Product Image of the VagiKool Reusable Postpartum GelCold-Pack 10 Komfort Fit Sleeves- Flexible Cold...
Most Hypoallergenic
VagiKool Cold Pack
  • Maximum comfort
  • Latex-free
  • Made in an FDA-approved facility
Product Image of the Medline Deluxe Perineal Cold Packs with Adhesive Strip, 4.5 x 14.25 (Pack of...
Most Convenient
Medline Ice Pack
  • Easy to use
  • Can absorb discharge
  • Affordable
Product Image of the Thrive Reusable Ice Packs for Injuries - Pack of 2 - Regular Gel Ice Packs for...
Best for Long Term
Gel Ice Compress
  • Comes with a travel bag
  • One-year warranty
  • Stays cold for a long time
Product Image of the ICEWRAPS 4'x10' Reusable Perineal Ice Packs for Postpartum Recovery | Hot Cold...
Best Bang for the Buck
IceWraps Cold Pack
  • Can be hot or cold
  • Reusable
  • One-year warranty


The Best Postpartum Ice Packs of 2023

Here are 5 great postpartum ice packs for you to consider.

1. TendHer Reusable Cooling Pad

Best All-Around Ice Pack

These reusable gel pads are made for moms, by moms. They are designed to fit in your underwear perfectly, without bulkiness. If you’re on the go, this is critical.

We love that they can also be used to provide relief for painful C-section incisions.

Some moms find that warmth brings more relief than cold when it comes to swelling or pain. If that is your case, these pads can also be warmed in hot water and will stay warm for up to 30 minutes.

The pads are filled with a gel made from food-grade, vegan ingredients. For moms who want to keep it as natural as possible and avoid toxic products, this feature provides an extra level of security.

TendHer pads are also designed to stay flexible when frozen. No one likes the idea of walking around with a stiff, frozen stick in their underwear. These pads will move and bend with you, making it more comfortable to do what you need to do.

Pros

  • Pack of two.
  • Comes with five reusable, washable covers to keep the pads clean from vaginal discharge or blood.
  • Designed to fit securely in your underwear.

Cons

  • Vegan gel ingredients expire after about eight weeks.

2. VagiKool Reusable Cold Pack

Most Hypoallergenic Ice Pack

This reusable ice pack is made with non-toxic ingredients and is latex-free. Ice packs stay close to your body, so for people with allergies or sensitivities to latex, this could be a lifesaver.

These packs are designed to fit snugly in your underwear. Because they remain flexible when frozen, they can adapt to different body sizes and shapes. This is important from a comfort aspect — you’ll want that cooling material to touch everything it can down there.

For the women who want to have a cold pack on some occasions and a warming pad on others, you can also heat this pack in hot water. This is nice if you want the pad to double as comfort for engorged breasts or aching muscles.

For added comfort, VagiKool comes with a reusable sleeve to help keep the pad clean during use.

Pros

  • Designed to contour to the vaginal area for maximum comfort.
  • Comes in a fun pink color.
  • Latex-free materials reduce the potential for irritation.
  • Made in an FDA-approved facility.

Cons

  • Only comes with one reusable sleeve.
  • Includes just one cooling pad.

3. Medline Deluxe Ice Pack

Most Convenient Ice Pack

If this is your second child, you will most likely be on the go in your postpartum days more than you were with your first. Preschoolers and toddlers don’t like to stay home for long, and they will want you to take them to the playground — perineal pain or not!

Medline Deluxe ice packs combine many of the healing tools you need into one. They are meant to be frozen to help provide relief from pain and swelling, but they are also absorbent maxi pads that can take on the vaginal discharge that comes with childbirth.

Because they are maxi pads, they come with an adhesive strip to ensure they stay put in your underwear. The last thing you want to see is your postpartum ice pack in the playground mulch.

These pads are disposable and come in packs of 24. This will reduce opportunities for being caught without a frozen one, which can sometimes be the case with reusable ice packs.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Absorbs discharge while offering cooling relief.
  • Fits underwear well.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Disposable, which means they are less eco-friendly.
  • Cannot be heated.

4. Gel Ice Cold Compress

Best Ice Pack for the Long Term

Eventually, your postpartum time will pass. While those days feel chaotic and like they will last forever, you’ll eventually find a new normal. At some point, you may even feel like exercising again.

If you’re looking for something that will work for both the postpartum days and the days after, these ice packs are a great option.

While not perfectly designed to fit inside your underwear, they are the same oblong style, so they fit the perineal area. You can easily use them to ice sore muscles or small injuries, and no one will ever know you once used them to ice your lady parts.

They have a soft fabric covering, which will make them more comfortable and provide an extra layer of separation between your skin and the frozen gel. It’s a great feature for moms who may have sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Comes with a travel bag for staying clean on the go.
  • Pack of two.
  • One-year warranty.
  • They stay cold for a long time.

Cons

  • Cannot be warmed.
  • Can feel a bit bulky in your underwear.

5. IceWraps Perineal Cold Pack

Best Bang for the Buck

These ice packs are designed to get to the point. They are reusable, which will help to reduce your impact on the environment and save you money.

While they are not rounded at the ends like some of the other ice packs, they are narrow and long, so they fit your underwear and cover the entire perineal area. With their medical-grade plastic covers, they’re easy to clean and difficult to tear or break.

These packs are also designed to be heated or frozen — allowing you to choose the option that is most soothing for you. You can even heat them in the microwave, adding to their convenience.

Their plastic covering allows the packs to be flexible. They can fit many different parts of the body and provide relief where you need it — perineum, breasts, stomach, head, or back.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Can be used hot or cold.
  • Pack of two.
  • One-year warranty.

Cons

  • Does not come with sanitary covers.
  • Squared edges may irritate surrounding skin.

Do I Need a Postpartum Ice Pack?

Veteran moms probably remember the postpartum days in great detail. I know I do. During pregnancy, it never even occurred to me that I wouldn’t feel well after a vaginal delivery.

The truth is, the days after childbirth are filled with so many joys. But they are also marked by vaginal soreness, swelling, and strange bodily processes. Ice packs designed for postpartum women can help you recover more comfortably.

During my postpartum days, ice packs were my cure-all. I found so many different uses for them, and for a while afterward, I couldn’t remember my life without ice packs.

How to Choose a Postpartum Ice Pack

Even though ice packs sound pretty straightforward, there are different features included in postpartum packs. It might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different postpartum issues and the way various ice pack features can help with them.

Cooling Technology

The healing power of cool temperatures is pretty magical. However, before cooling gel existed, you had no choice but to deal with the messiness of ice.

As we all know, ice melts — leaving cold water in its wake. With all of the other stuff going on in your postpartum days, the last thing you want to do is change your pants every 30 minutes because your ice pack melted and made you soaking wet.

Ice packs that use gel rather than water will help reduce pain and swelling without getting you wet in the process. Throw that pack of frozen peas away! There are better options out there.

Cooling technology can help with the following issues:

  • Perineal pain: During labor, your perineum will have to stretch considerably to allow your baby to pass through the birth canal and into the world. The stretching can cause tearing or require stitches — both of which could be painful for weeks afterward (1).
  • Postpartum swelling: For a few days after childbirth, you will be swollen in this area. Cooling pads can help to reduce the discomfort.
  • Breast swelling: In the days after childbirth, most women will experience their milk “coming in” (2). Your milk coming in can be a weird and painful process. Applying ice after feedings can help to reduce swelling.

Heating Technology

Some ice packs can also be heated and used for other kinds of postpartum issues. Hot compresses are another great way to address pain. They can also be critical for moms who decide to breastfeed.

Ice packs that can also be heated are useful for these purposes:

  • Milk flow: A hot compress can help milk flow faster if done before a feeding session (3). Releasing all of your milk during sessions will help you avoid breast engorgement.
  • Postpartum cramping: In the days after childbirth, your uterus will try to return to its normal size. This could cause painful, period-like cramping, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Hot compresses can help reduce the pain.
  • Postpartum muscle soreness: You just pushed a baby out of your body. There are bound to be a few pulled of aching muscles here and there. Hot compresses can help with that.

Absorbent Capabilities

Some women choose to make “padsicles” by freezing maxi pads before giving birth. This allows them to get the soothing cool temperatures and the absorbent material needed to help with vaginal discharge.

However, there are products on the market specifically designed to do a better job of both.

After you give birth, your body has to get rid of the excess tissue and blood it built up during pregnancy, also known as lochia, to support the growth of your baby (4). This can be heavy in the first days, so finding an ice pack that can also absorb discharge will help you address two things at once!


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Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.