Your Baby’s Safe…Are You?

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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.

If you have a WAHM that makes Feminine Cloth please leave a comment for all of us to benefit from. I’ll be adding links as I find them.


About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

View all posts by Autumn Beck

23 Responses to “Your Baby’s Safe…Are You?”

  1. Beth VB Says:

    I started with the DivaCup, then as baby came along cloth diapering seemed to make so much sense I barely thought twice about it. But switching to Mama Pads post partum was for some reason a tough choice for me.
    I recommend Ella Bella Bum, (who also makes beautiful diapers).


  2. Charndra at Part Time Diaper Free Says:

    Hi Autumn,
    So sorry for your loss, my sister recently lost her 4th baby too, at 20 weeks. Devastating for us all.

    Like many pp, I too switched to the Diva Cup and stay there – it just feels so hygienic!

    Many women use them with a cloth pad for leaks as they learn how to best fit it.


  3. jennifer hamilton Says:

    I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing this post. It never occurred to me to think about menstrual pads as being unsafe.


  4. janny Says:

    I too have made the switch to cloth pads. I didn’t know if I would like them or not, but thought, hey if I’m doing the cloth diaper thing, what is the difference? And I really like them. I was constantly getting UTI’s or feeling like one was coming on every period and now nothing. However, I have not had my period in a while either due to nursing!


  5. Joy Says:

    Here is a WAHM who makes awesome mamma cloth.I have a Diva cup and her pads. I use both. She sells both too. She makes awesome wet bags too. Her things are of the best quality and affordable too.


  6. Li Says:

    and of course… I am so so sorry for your loss.


  7. Li Says:

    I’d recommend Just Fussy’s Moonbow cloth pads

    Made out of bamboo velour and wool. Beautifully made compared to the dozens of brands I’ve tried – these are the ones that truly feel like they’re ‘not there’.

    Pretty decently priced too, considering the sewing skill, great design, trimness and organic materials.


  8. Stacey Says:

    Hi Autumn. I know I’ve been at this blog before, but I just ‘rediscovered’ it when you posted some help for a fellow blogger over at DS.

    Are you feeling OK today? It’s so awesome to know that you can rely on God for the comfort and healing you need.

    As far as great WAHM’s that make menstrual pads, I have a few favorites.

    First, with the most beautiful and comfortable pads EVER, is Homemade Mama

    Second, with more affordable pads, also very comfy, is Punky’s Pads

    I’m also looking into buying a menstrual cup, probably the Lunette. I’ve heard that the Diva isn’t the best for everyone, and thought I’d try one that pretty much everyone loves. I found a LIve Journal community all about menstrual cups, and there is some very helpful information there, including comparison charts.

    I hope you find something that works for you!


  9. candace Says:

    Hi Autumn,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I pray that God will comfort you as only He can.
    I also haven’t had many cycles due to extended nursing. I think I may look into cloth pads or the Diva cup myself.
    Blessings, Candace


  10. becky Says:

    I also use the Diva Cup and i love it. Before I discovered it, I had lots of cramping with tampons. Since I have swiched I am pain free and will never go back.
    My thought are with you Autumn. I lost my first pregnancy but I am now blessed with my son who is now 3 weeks old.
    Keep smiling


  11. DoodleBunz Says:

    Autumn, I am so very sorry for your loss. I’ve also been there, and take the time that you need, please don’t let anyone rush you.

    I’ve actually been making some AIO pads, although I’m only stocking them on my Hyenacart Congo right now as they’re available. :)


  12. Autumn Beck Says:

    Thank you so much for all your comforting words. The Lord is good. I am feeling very well today and I look forward to the blessing of more pregnancies.


  13. Kait Says:

    Oh, what horrible news! I see that you are getting lots of love here online… I hope that you are getting just as much in real life!

    I don’t know of any WAHM’s that sell mama cloth, but it looks like you have lots suggestions. I’ve made my own, and they work pretty good as Diva Cup backup.

    I hope that you and your family are able to grieve through this time, and rebound to as happy as you were before. ::hugs::


  14. Heidi Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss…I lost 2 myself. My prayers are with you.


  15. Racheal Kinney Says:

    I am praying for you. I lost my forth little one as well and it is so very hard. If there is anything I can do let me know. Thank you for all of the things you have to say it makes using cloth diapers so much easier knowing that other moms are going through the same thing.

    God Bless you. You and your family are in our prayers.


  16. Jenn Ruse Says:

    Autumn, I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my first pregnancy at 10 weeks and I know how rought it can be.

    I have begun using the Diva Cup as well, and I LOVE it! I considered using mama pads, but the dear hubby wasn’t so excited about the idea of them in the wash. I figure he’d probably never know, really, and he’d also get over it. Interestingly, he doesn’t mind the diapers in the wash…

    And yes, if I thought there was enough interest I would be more than happy to put cloth products for moms on my hyenacart. (Thanks Mese!)


  17. Alysha Says:

    One more benefit to cloth pads I thought I would add. Many women have stopped getting cramps after the switch, and a few that I have talked to have had less pms symptoms or none at all. In my opnion the chemicals in the hygene products we are using are causing some of they horrible symptoms we indure every month. The cloth pads can be used for several years and the diva cup, moon cup or what ever on you choose to buy will last at least 5 years.  You can also find 100% organic cotton tampons and pads at your health food store if you are one who finds the cup and cloth repulsive. They still go in the trash but at least you have illiminated the chemicals. Sorry to take up sooo much room here. Since discovering the revolutionized cloth diaper I just want to shout all my lifestyle changes from the roof top!


  18. Alysha Says:

    Thank you so much for your story about the pads. I recently changed to the diva cup. It works very well but with some getting used to. I have heard from women who swear by theirs. I personally feel that it is a bit “standard” and mine could fit a little better.
    I was wishing that I had something else to take a break from my cup once in awhile. I was repulsed by the thought of washing pads in my washer, however after using my cloth diapers for the past nine months my out of the box thinking has dramatically progressed. So I made a few aio cloth pads. They are made from diaper scraps and very girly and cute. That same good feeling you get from cloth diapers you can get from cloth mama pads. It sounds silly but I often open my diaper drawer and admire the homey feeling they bring and all the wonderful benefits they bring to our family. Recycling, health, stress free independance, and a true sense of “taking care of my baby” and so much more! I now admire my mama pads for all that they mean for my life as well. Congras Autumn and all of you who have made the switch! Together we truly make a difference.

    Autumn I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby! I have been there, a very horrible place for a mother to be. I am a crafter and I would love to send you some softer mama pads as a gift to lift your spirits! Email me and let me know! I am always available to talk if you ever need some support!


  19. L.S. Says:

    You should look into a menstrual cup in place of tampons. One such cup is called the Diva cup. It sounds gross and seems like it could never work but there are a couple of types on the market and apparently the concept of the cup has been around since the 30s or 40s. It requires some getting used to but they do work pretty well and it only cost around $35 and then you never have any other cost. From a health stand point you are not putting bleach in your body as you are with tampons and you are avoiding the chemicals in pads.


  20. Cyndy Says:

    I have switched to the Diva Cup. Love it! No leaks like with tampons, reusable, and affordable. If you want more info, let me know, plus I’ll tell you where I found the best deal.

    Hugs on your lost.


  21. Mese Says:

    :-(( I AM SO SORRY, AUTUMN! I’m grieving with you just as I was celebrating with you just a few hours ago! I’m still praising the Lord that Healeth – Jehovah Rapha – for knowing exactly how to heal your body and your heart!

    I have purchased some of my cloth pads from a local (Moore, OK) and like them. You can view them on our Oklahoma Food Coop website at or email her at Also, I haven’t talked to her about this, but my good friend, Jenn, who is a frequent reader of this blog, is a whiz on her sewing machine. I bet she could whip some up fairly easily. Her hyenacart is She makes an awesome cloth dipe, sling, etc. ;-)


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