I feel like my blog has been getting a little food-heavy lately.
As the lovely and always-inspiring Miss Katie at Health for the Whole Self would tell you, healthy living isn’t all about food. We make countless choices every day, both big and small, and they all impact where we fall on our own personal healthy scale. I try to look at every day as an opportunity to make new, informed healthy decisions not just regarding the food I eat, but also the way I live my life as a whole. It’s kind of selfish, actually, because knowing I made an educated decision that I can stand behind and be proud of gives me a nerdy kind of high that I can’t seem to find anywhere else
Because I believe it is in the best interest of my child and my family as a whole, I recently made the decision to switch to cloth diapers. Sure, there is a lot of info out there that “proves” that the cloth vs. disposable issue is, well, a non-issue, because what with the water, electricity, detergent, etc. required to wash cloth, it all works out the same. Yeah, I bought that fluff for a while. I also thought it was no big deal because I found really good prices on the disposables. But then I looked a little further into the ingredients used in disposables and that little voice in my head that I’d been ignoring spoke up, “NOW will you please listen to me and do what you KNOW is right?” So I listened, and I agreed, and I ordered a bunch of cloth diapers.
If the environmental issue wasn’t enough for me, what was, you ask? The turning point for me happened when I had to clean a bunch of weird little gel wads off my baby’s bum and other delicate parts.
But that’s not what I want to talk about today.
Today, I want to talk about the fact that the same weird gel is found in the breast pads I’ve been using. I honestly hadn’t thought that much about it until recently, when I realized that if I have a problem wrapping my little boy’s parts in plastic, then I should have the same problem with wrapping some of my parts in plastic, too.
You see, when a diaper gets really full, the absorbent gel inside expands and little pieces of it fall out and often have to be wiped off a baby’s booty. They are easily missed, but if you look closely, they’re there. The same thing happens with breast pads. But the really disturbing part is that this gel winds up on the same part of your breast that goes into your baby’s mouth. And I don’t know one woman who regularly washes her breast before nursing, especially not in the middle of the night when these things are most likely to be full.
So, after much back and forth (like I do, almost obsessively, with everything), and weighing out all the issues…cost, convenience, comfort, environmental impact, etc., I’m going to give cloth my all, both for my baby and for myself. I’m sure I’ll be challenged on the diaper side of that decision, but that’s nothing new. All other considerations aside, I feel better about cotton, hemp or bamboo next to our skin than some weird, toxic, outer-space-looking material that is stuffed with chemicals to make it smell like “baby.” (What is that all about, anyway? Smells like a yucky chemical cover-up to me.)
Final verdict: Cloth is just plain better for our health. (Bonus: While cloth diapers are pricey, cloth breast pads are cheaper than box after box of ‘sposies.)
If you breastfeed, or plan to breastfeed someday, please, please consider using reusable breast pads. Once you get good at reading your nursing body, you won’t even have to wear them very often anyway. They are a little bulkier and you can’t just toss them in the trash, but I’ll bet you really don’t want your child latching on for your perfect, beautiful mother’s milk and getting a mouth full of “hydrogel.”
And, if this line of thinking brought you to the next logical question about other feminine products, the answer is yes. I’m making the switch there too.
I only wish I’d done it sooner.
Hey everyone…speaking of reusable baby goodies….
The Progressive Pioneer is giving away Lusa Organic Products…check it out! One of the items is a baby wipe juice concentrate that you can mix up and use on your reusable baby wipes! Isn’t that the coolest?