Heartbreaking Study Shows 30 Percent Of Mothers Can’t Afford Diapers And Sometimes Re-Use Them

shutterstock_27874597__1375193040_74.134.205.46According to NBC News, a new study shows that thirty percent of women are so broke that they cannot afford diapers for their babies, and have taken to waiting a long time between changes and even scraping off feces in order to reuse the diapers for their children. Can we all just stop and reflect at how amazingly fortunate we all are that we don’t have to do this? Or if you are reading this and you DO have to do this, let us all know so we can come up with some way to help you.

”For other needs, like food, you could go to a food bank,” Aragon, now 33, says. ”But there was no help for things like diapers. I had to borrow money and sell everything I had — the DVD player, the TV to get money for diapers.”

Sometimes she’d just have to skip a change and leave her baby wet so she’d have enough diapers to make it through the week. “It made me feel ashamed, like I was less of a mother,” the Columbus, Ohio, mom says.

As it turns out, Aragon is far from alone. Thirty percent of the women interviewed for a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics said they’d experienced a time when they could not afford to buy the diapers their kids needed. And a full 8 percent reported that they would ”stretch” the diapers they had when their supply was running short by leaving a wet diaper on their child or partially cleaning the diaper and reusing it.


We are all aware that the economy sucks, but this is such a horrible situation that I can’t even fathom how utterly helpless this makes a parent feel.

The high percentage of moms who worry about affording diapers came as a surprise to the study’s lead author, Megan Smith, an assistant professor of psychiatry, child study and public health at the Yale School of Medicine.

Smith started out looking into stressors that impact the mental health of moms and especially the factors that affected their ability to bond with their kids. The more moms she talked to the more she realized that a big stressor for some of them was the inability to pay for diapers.

”Some were taking off their kids’ diapers and scraping off the contents and then putting them back on the child,” Smith says. ”While that has an incredible impact on the health of the child in terms of urinary tract infections and rashes, it also impacts the self-esteem of the mom.”

Another big surprise to Smith: there are few federal dollars to pay for diapers. Neither WIC nor SNAP provide for diaper purchases.

I had no idea that programs like WIC and SNAP don’t pay for necessities like diapers. What do they expect a mom to do? I know diapers and wipes and Desitin are amazingly expensive, I bought them for four different kids. It’s these sorts of items that parents will skip paying the cable or phone bill or scrimp on groceries in order to afford, and it makes no sense to me why we don’t have programs for low-income families to purchase these supplies at a reduced cost. The person who suffers the most due to this is the child who has to sit around in a soiled diaper. I hate to think of any baby going through this.

(Image:  Nina Vaclavova/shutterstock)

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