I used to be a birth doula. One of my tools of the trade was a rice sock - literally a tube sock filled with raw rice that you stick in the microwave and heat up and it stays warm for about 30 minutes. I used it for back labor mostly, right on the sacrum (tailbone). It was an unsightly thing, but boy howdy was it effective and convenient.
I've seen tutorials on making rice packs and I think it's so funny it never occurred to me to make my rice socks pretty! Although...childbirth ain't pretty most of the time and it sure isn't the most sanitary of situations. So, if the rice sock got icky, I could just throw it away.
But - ta da - perfect gift for the post-surgical crowd!
I used some Moda Crossweave, some Alexander Henry scraps for the applique and a scrap of batting for the quilting. (I recommend pre-washing fabric. The chemically smell of new fabric isn't pleasing when heated!) The finished size of this pack is 10 X 5 inches and I used about 2.5 cups of rice. This is a simply constructed "pillow" filled with raw rice. Easy-peasy.
And my secret tip for a little something extra? Herbal tea bags!
Keep Johnna and her family in your prayers - she's nervous as heck.