What’s in that disposable menstrual pad / diaper of yours

So over at All About Cloth Diapers, the author had, for various reasons ended up using 2 new disposable pads to protect a tree in her yard.

Here’s what happened after a bout of rain :

Those are gel crystals. Right up next to most women’s bodies every month. Now that is gross.

Here’s her story :

A funny story turned into quite an experiment.

Weeks ago my son found a couple of menstrual pads and stuck them to his body. In an effort to recycle, I used them as a padding for our tree stake. No one but us could tell that it was a pad protecting our tree from the gashes the stake was making.

Fast forward to yesterday when we had flash flooding. When the sun came out we went outside to see this massive growth on top of the tree stake. The menstrual pad had literally exploded in gel crystals aka sodium polyacrylate. There were millions of these crystals everywhere.

When I started cloth diapering it was because of gel crystals I had seen one morning on my son’s private areas. Health reasons are why I am devoted to cloth diapering.

I never gave much thought to menstrual pads and tampons. I have been blessed with an extended amenorrhea due to nursing (which means I don’t have a period until around 18 months post partum), so I have not had many cycles in the past 7 years.

When I do have one I fall back on what I’ve always used, tampons. This last cycle though I ran out of tampons and used some old pads…

the same pads that exploded on my tree!

If Sodium Polyacrylate is not safe for our children is it safe for us?

Today, as I grieve the loss of my fourth pregnancy, I am sewing together some very rough looking menstrual cloth. They are ugly and they are not soft but they have no chemicals in them.

I am so glad that there are hundreds of WAHMs that make cloth for mamas that is equally as plush as the diapers we put on our babies’ bums. Bamboo is popping up everywhere and we can enjoy it’s softness as well.

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