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Nearly 30 percent of moms can't afford diapers, study says

Posted by Angela Nelson, Staff  July 30, 2013 02:55 PM

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Call it the diaper index.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that close to 30 percent of
mothers struggle to pay for diapers.

The study's authors examined responses to surveys about mental health, basic needs, and health care use from 877 mothers and pregnant women in New Haven, Conn.

The researchers found that women with trouble paying for diapers were significantly more likely to report mental health needs than their counterparts who can afford diapers, the study said.

That suggests, the researchers said, that helping mothers provide diapers for their children may be "a tangible way of reducing parenting stress."

An adequate supply of diapers costs $936 per year, per child, the study said. For a mother working full-time at the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25, diapers would account for 6 percent of her gross $15,080 annual earnings, the study said.

Women cannot use government assistance programs like Women, Infants, and Children, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, to pay for diapers, the study said.

This video from WPIX in New York provides tips on saving money on diapers. The tips include printing online coupons, signing up for newsletters from Pampers or Huggies to get coupons, and becoming a member of Amazon Mom.

Other resources mentioned in the video include, a baby-oriented deals blog, and the non-profit National Diaper Bank Network, which donates diapers to diaper banks.

If you're looking for a diaper bank in Massachusetts, The National Diaper Bank Network lists these resources on its website:

A Baby Center Address: 81 Willow Ave., Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601 Phone: (508) 771-8157 Email: url: Contact: Mary Pat Piersons Products Distributed: Diapers, Disposable Diapers

Allston Brighton Baby Diaper Bank Program
Address: c/o Sarah Correia, 7 Commonwealth Ct #13, Brighton, Massachusetts 02135
Phone: (857) 334-3347
Contact: Sarah Correia
Products Distributed: Diapers, Disposable Diapers, Baby Diapers

Anchor of Hope Diaper Bank, a Project of Saint Vincent De Paul-All Saints Conference
Address: 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill, MA Massachusetts 01832
Phone: (978)314-2254
Contact: Claire Hailson

Products Distributed: Disposable Diapers
Baby Basics, Inc.
Address: 47 Beaufort Ave., Needham, Massachusetts 02492
Phone: (617) 305-6899
Contact: Jennifer Haggerty
Products Distributed: Disposable Diapers, Baby Diapers

Cradles to Crayons -- Boston
Address: 155 N. Beacon St., Brighton Massachusetts 02135
Phone: (617) 779-4700
Contact: Kathy Fagan

Giving Diapers Giving Hope
Address: 8 Beckford St. Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
Phone: (315) 491-9447
Contact: Kristen McCarthy
Products Distributed: Cloth Diapers

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Local finance professionals share insights and advice on issues such as budgeting, managing debt, and retirement planning.

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D. Abraham Ringer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner and a Financial Adviser with Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management in Boston. He is registered in MA, NH, NY and several other states to which his articles are directed. For more information please visit
Financial Planning Association™ of Massachusetts has 900 members who specialize in the financial planning process. Many of its members engage in philanthropic pro bono work in their communities, recommend legislation, elevate public awareness, promote financial literacy, and advocate for sound economic and tax policies.
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