Online Program

Diaper need and maternal mental health

Monday, November 4, 2013

Joanne Goldblum, MSW, National Diaper Bank Network, New Haven, CT
Anna Kruse, MPH, School of Public Health, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Diaper need is the inability to afford enough diapers in order to change a child as often as necessary. Previous research demonstrates an association between the frequency of diaper changes and diaper dermatitis and urinary tract infections in infants (Adalat et al., 2007; Sugimura et al., 2008; Li et al., 2012). There are potential associations between diaper need and maternal mental health as evidenced by the Huggies® Every Little Bottom Study (Raver et al., 2010). However, no peer reviewed research exists regarding this association. 695 low-income, racially and ethnically diverse women who were pregnant, the biological or adoptive mother of a child under 18, and living in the City of New Haven were interviewed. Logistic regression was performed with maternal mental health as the dependent variable and diaper need as the independent variable while controlling for age, race, and number of children under 18. Diaper need was found to be associated with maternal mental health (OR=1.807, 95% CI (1.050, 3.110), p=0.03) such that women reporting diaper need were 80% more likely to report significant emotional health needs than women with no reported diaper need. Therefore, diaper need presents a unique contribution to maternal mental health and, unlike other poverty-related risk factors for poor mental health, is a malleable factor that can be intervened upon from a public health perspective. Diaper need provides a clear direction for policy level interventions aimed at improving child health and maternal mental health, and the provision of diapers could be incorporated into existing antipoverty programs.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain the concept of diaper need and it's significance to maternal mental health. Describe how diapers can be incorporated into existing programs supporting maternal mental health.

Keyword(s): Barriers to Care, Poverty

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a faculty member at Yale Child Study Center I worked directly with families in the child welfare system. Based on my experiences I founded the Diaper Bank in New Haven, Connecticut, & provided millions of diapers to tens of thousands of children throughout CT. I then became the founding Executive Director of the National Diaper Bank Network. I was chosen in 1997 as a RWJ Community Health Leader for my work on diaper need.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.