Wednesday, October 13, 2010

“Every Little Bottom” Provides Diapers for Struggling Mothers…and their Babies

One in three American mothers struggle to provide diapers for their babies.[1]
Imagine having to keep your baby home from day care?
Imagine having to reuse soiled diapers?
Imagine having to cut back on a basic necessity, like food, to provide diapers?
Each of these questions is laced with the very real challenges faced by mothers on a daily basis.  Since most day care facilities require mothers to furnish a full day’s supply of diapers, it is a challenge.   Since one in 20 American mothers struggling to afford diapers have cleaned out and reused soiled diapers, it is a challenge.  Since one in three American mothers had to choose between diapers or food, it is a challenge.
In 2008, Huggies® – a Kimberly Clark Brand – commissioned a study called “Every Little Bottom,” which detailed the diaper need in the United States and Canada.  The study was authored by Dr. Cybele Raver, Dr. Nicole Letourneau, Dr. Jennifer Scott and Heidi D’Agostino.  The study was published in June 2010.
The Huggies® study surveyed over 2,000 families and demonstrated how they have juggled their responsibilities as parents during the recession – including trying to make ends meet providing the basic necessities, such as food and shelter…and diapers for their babies.  According to the authors, it “helps us to recognize the ways that diapering can be a source of joy and a time of emotional connection for all mothers, but can also represent a significant source of psychological strain for families who are financially struggling.”[2]
It was conducted to better understand the issue of diaper need in the United States and Canada and provide insights into its scope and scale.  Diaper need is the struggle of those without the means to provide their babies with diapers.  Specifically, the study sought to:
  • Determine the proportion of mothers struggling with diaper need;
  • Understand the link between diapering and mothers’ socio-economic status;
  • Reveal the feelings behind “good mothering” and diapering a child;
  • Examine the impact of diaper need on mother and baby; and
  • Discover  solutions to address the issue.
Probably one of the most profound passages in the study reads, “Mothers surveyed in this study, whether or not they struggle with diaper need, reported that keeping their child in a clean diaper was one of the most important things they do for them as a mother. Nearly all mothers connected clean diapers with showing their child how much they loved them.[3]
As a result of not being able to provide clean diapers for their babies, mothers often experience anxiety and stress because they cut back on other necessities and sometimes skip paying bills.  There is also the feeling of being a “bad mother” when the baby suffers from a rash as a result of being in a soiled diaper for too long, or when diapers are cleaned and reused. 
The study found that diaper need impacts moms of all races (Hispanic 41%, African-American 36%, Caucasian 31%), but found that mothers struggling with diaper need are less likely to be employed or to have attained higher education.[4]
In response to the study, Huggies® launched their “Every Little Bottom” campaign to collect 22.5 million diapers for struggling mothers in need.  It aims to help needy families that struggle to provide diapers for their babies.  Their campaign includes diaper drives being hosted all across the United States and Canada.
To date diaper donations have only reached 2.5 million, or just over 10% of their goal.
Aside from Huggies®, “Every Little Bottom” has the backing from some heavy hitters, too. “As a new mom, it broke my heart to hear that so many moms struggle with not having enough diapers,” said Ellen Pompeo, who is an Every Little Bottom ambassador and star in the television drama, Grey’s Anatomy.
There are numerous ways that this program can be supported, including donating diapers online, donating reward points, and start or attend a local diaper drive.
The WE Movement and its HELP4U platform support this worthwhile program.  We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

[1] Huggies®, Every Little Bottom Study, June 2010.
[2] Huggies®, Every Little Bottom Study, June 2010, p. 3.
[3] Huggies®, Every Little Bottom Study, June 2010, p. 4.
[4] Huggies®, Every Little Bottom Study, June 2010, p. 9.

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