One in three babies doesn’t have the diapers they need. To combat this issue, nurses in Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health’s Maternity Department, in partnership with Cradles to Crayons and The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, collected 6,476 diapers throughout November for distribution to needy parents living in the greater Philadelphia region.
Joan Sperger, RN, a Maternity Department nurse at Abington, explains that due to cost, financially insecure parents will often use as few diapers as possible, which can lead to painful rashes and in some cases, bleeding sores or even staph infections, for their babies and toddlers. At the least, such situations cause discomfort, increased irritability and crying for the child, which creates a stressful environment for parents and entire families as well. Sperger also notes that diaper need is tied to maternal depression and anxiety.
“Unfortunately, we see mothers on our Mother/Baby Unit hoarding diapers in their personal-belongings bags or sending them home with visitors,” said Sperger. “It is clear that diaper need is the cause of much distress to at-risk families. Entire families are suffering from the effects of not being able to meet this most-basic need.”
In addition to health and comfort concerns, there is also a distinct connection between diaper need and the cycle of poverty.
“Families in need often have to choose between paying bills, buying food or buying diapers,” added Pat Kennedy, president and founder, The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank. “At this time of year, these diapers may mean a brighter holiday.”