Yale Study: Moms Who Can’t Afford Diapers Are More Likely To Be Depressed

Low-income mothers in New Haven who can’t afford enough diapers to keep their babies clean and dry are more likely to report trouble coping with stress, depression or trauma, according to a study published today in the journal Pediatrics. The survey of 877 New Haven mothers found that nearly 30 percent said they didn’t have enough diapers to change their children as often as they would like, and the problem was more common among Hispanic women and caregivers over age 45, usually grandmothers. Women who reported diaper need were nearly twice as likely to experience mental health issues, although the nature of the link is unclear. The authors hypothesize that the link could be direct, or it could be part of more complex interaction between mental health and poverty. “It could be that moms who have more mental health difficulties have trouble obtaining diapers,” said the lead author, Megan Smith, an assistant professor of psychiatry, child study and public health at Yale University.

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