Rice socks are quickly becoming one of the most popular and least expensive ways to get relief from a host of aches and pains during pregnancy including reducing the pain from back labor. They are so versatile that they can be even be used for other discomforts such as neck, shoulder or lower back pain. Making a rice sock is easy with just a few items you may already have at home.
Ingredients for a Rice Sock
In order to make a rice sock you will need just two ingredients – one large knee-high men’s tube sock plus about one pound of uncooked white rice. Some people also like to add scents or aromatherapy to their rice sock. A few suggestions would be lavender or clary sage essential oil which are both known for their calming effects.
The type of rice is not important so if your budget is tight, the least expensive plain white rice is fine to use. You may also substitute flax seeds instead of rice if so desired. You may wish to purchase a pair of socks so that you can use one to make a warm rice cold and another for cold. Or you can purchase several pairs of tube socks to make rice socks as gifts, weblink.
How to Make a Rice Sock
Making rice socks is easy but can be a bit messy. Be sure you have a broom and dustpan nearby to help pick up the stray grains of rice when you are done. Begin by pouring the rice into the sock until it is about 2/3 full. Leave enough room at the opening of the sock so that you can knot the open end. Also leave several inches between the knot and the top of the rice. The rice expands when heated, so it is important to leave extra room at the top of the sock.
If you would like to add aromatherapy, add only a few drops of essential oil to the rice before pouring it into the sock. The scent will be more aromatic when heated, so be sure to put a scent in that you know you enjoy. When using any essential oil, be careful to avoid direct contact of the oil on your skin.
Use Rice Socks as Heat and Cold Packs
Rice socks can be used for a number of everyday purposes as well as for laboring women. When heated, it is an excellent heat pack that can be used for relief from back labor or other labor discomforts. It also helps relieve neck and shoulder pain. Warmed rice socks can also ease menstrual discomfort. In order to warm up a rice sock, be sure to heat it for no more than 2 minutes in a microwave.
Sometimes cooler rick socks are desired. Moms can get very warm in labor, so sometimes using a rice sock that has been kept in the freezer for about 2 hours can serve as a cold pack that relieves aches or pains in labor. Whether warm or cool, rice socks work well placed inside a wrap or rebozo and tied around the mother’s waist to hold into place. Both the warm and cool rice socks will keep their temperature for about 30 minutes.
How to Use a Rice Sock Safely
Because rice socks heat unevenly in a microwave, it is crucial to know how to use them safely. After microwaving for about 2 minutes, take the rice sock out and shake it to distribute the warm rice. Then wrap it in a pillow case or towel and place it over at least one layer of clothing, such as a robe or hospital gown. If the heated rice sock is too warm to the touch, it is much too warm to place on anyone’s skin! Do not ever put the warm rick sock directly on the skin.
Making a rice sock is both easy and inexpensive. Rice socks can serve multiple purposes during labor and even with everyday aches and pains. Knowing how to apply them and use them safely is important to avoid damage to the skin.