New dad's tip: get your partner some frozen condoms

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 Photo: Getty Images

It's the hack many mums have known about forever – frozen condoms and their ability to relieve post-birth swelling and pain. 

Many hospitals have them stocked in the freezer ready to go, and if you've ever used one in the days after giving birth, you'll know they're quite the lifesaver for your tender bits.

In fact, they're such a game-changer that one new father is sharing the hack with other expectant dads, adding condoms to the list of must-haves for their partner's recovery post-birth.

Writing for Direct Advice for Dads (DAD), Aussie father Martin Wanless shared that his wife had recently returned home from hospital two days after having their baby boy, who had been born early.

"It'd be another fairly agonising three weeks before he'd be able to come home," he writes of their son, adding that in the meantime, "there was recovery and prep to be done."

"On four separate occasions I was dispatched at various times of day and night in search of random items," Wanless writes in a story familiar to many new dads, sharing that along with a "piles cushion", bath salts and a breast pump, dads should add condoms to their list, too.

But not, he says, for that reason.

"This isn't male bravado, delusion or wishful thinking – trust me, after a few days at home with a screaming ankle biter, and having recently witnessed your partner's vagina being turned inside out and a little person pushed out of it, neither of you will be wanting or even thinking about risking anything down there for at least a matter of weeks."

Amen to that.

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Instead, Wanless explains that filled with water and popped in the freezer, the condom "popsicles" are the perfect shape to rest in between mum's legs.

"Don't believe me?" he asks. "This is actually a thing. Shortly after giving birth, my wife was taken to a fridge full of frozen condoms.

"Fancy a cold one from the fridge? Don't mind if I do."

If you took a "cold one" from the fridge yourself, you'll know they work like a charm. But what do the experts think?

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Shazia Malik told Metro that frozen condoms can be "very comforting for pain and swelling around the perineum". She does, however, advise women to consult their midwife or obstetrician prior to use to ensure they're safe as part of a mum's individual recovery plan post-birth.

If you've been given the go ahead by your doctor, Malik adds that women should make sure the frozen condom feels comfortable to sit on and that it's covered by a cloth to prevent ice burns.

"I would use a disposable nappy changing mat to sit on so that your furniture doesn't get ruined," she says, adding that women also should not re-use the ice-pops.

Oh, and one more thing: Malik explains that frozen condoms should never be inserted into the vagina (ouch!) as this can cause pain, scarring, damage and infection. Instead, mums should hold them outside the vagina, around the vulva and perineum to help reduce pain and swelling.

Obstetrician Melissa Goist, of Ohio State University, reiterates the importance of only using frozen condoms externally. "We don't typically recommend anything in the vagina for a few weeks after delivery unless it is sterile," she told SELF. "Condoms are not sterile, which typically is not a problem, but in the immediate postpartum period, when the cervix is more dilated, it could pose an increased risk of infection."