An alarming number of mothers struggle to keep an adequate diaper supply for their babies, a new study reveals. While there’s government assistance available to provide food and housing for low income families, diaper assistance is hard to come by.
In the first ever peer-reviewed study, 377 women were asked if they have enough diapers to change their little one as often as they need. Nearly 30 percent of women responded "no." The study also found that moms who experience diaper need are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression and stress, which can lead to problems for their baby's health and development.
Food stamp and WIC programs often don't cover diapers. That's where diaper banks come in. They provide hundreds of thousands of diapers to children in their communities each year.
Women who reported needing help supplying diapers said they’d ask to borrow money or diapers from friends, get diapers from an agency or stretch the diapers they had when confronted with the problem.
The need for diapers affects low-income families in many ways. Many childcare centers require parents to provide disposable diapers. Without childcare, parents cannot work consistently.
While cloth diapers are a good alternative, many low-income families don’t own washers and dryers and many Laundromats don’t allow people to wash diapers there.
Not changing diapers frequently enough can lead to infection, diaper rash and even hepatitis.
If you want to help mothers get diapers, consider hosting a diaper drive in your community.