We’re about halfway through the month of April, which means that we’re well into National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Throughout this month, we have (and continue to) identify practical ways to prevent child abuse in our homes, families, and communities.
In St. Louis, many new moms with newborns, babies, and toddlers are in desperate need of clean diapers. If you’re a parent or have even spent any time around little ones, you know how important it is to have access to diapers. Without diapers, moms, dads, and caregivers in need are forced to make tough decisions. Babies wear dirty diapers for much longer than they should, they wear diapers that are too small (and often duct taped together), and, in some cases, even wear dirty disposable diapers that have been rinsed out and reused.
Babies that don’t wear clean diapers are at a higher risk for UTIs, diaper rash, and other infections. Babies that aren’t able to be able to be changed into a clean diaper aren’t able to be soothed. Babies that stay in wet and dirty diapers cry more, fuss more, and are unhappy. The risk of child abuse for these babies is much higher than babies who are able to be frequently changed into clean, dry, fresh, diapers.
Diaper need doesn’t just affect babies. According to a Yale study, moms who lack an adequate supply of diapers for their babies are more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety than other low-income mothers. A mother’s depression and anxiety as a result of diaper need can have a profound impact on a baby’s development, both as an infant and throughout childhood. Many day care centers require a full day of clean, disposable diapers, per child, every day. Without being able to supply diapers to day care centers, babies and toddlers aren’t able to go to day care, meaning that mothers aren’t able to work to provide for their families.
Every baby deserves to have a clean diaper to be changed into. All babies and toddlers in our four programs are in need of clean diapers. The more that we, and other agencies serving moms with newborns, babies, and toddlers, can eliminate the stress, anxiety, and inadequacy that moms feel when they aren’t able to provide a basic need, diapers, for their little ones, the more we can decrease the risk for child abuse and promote happy, healthy, moms and babies.
What can you do to help us get clean diapers into the hands of the moms that so desperately need them? Join us for our Little Lambs Baby Shower, this Sunday, April 17. Support the efforts that we’re making to promote stress free and healthy pregnancies, healthy and happy babies, and strong and supportive families. Visit our main office (1340 Partridge Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63130), join us for Mass at 1 pm, and stay for a catered lunch with us. Meet our staff members, tour our maternity shelter for homeless teen moms, and learn more about what we do.
If you want to bring a box of diapers, a pack of newborn onesies, or a set of twin sheets for our moms in our maternity shelter, your gift will make a huge impact in the life of a mom, baby, toddler, kid, or family in need. View the lists of the items our moms and babies need here: Amazon, Babies R’ Us, Target, Walmart.
Please join us for this day of celebrating moms, babies, kids, and families in our community. We would greatly appreciate if you could RSVP below. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 1 pm!