Nearly one in five Canadian mothers struggle to provide diapers for their

Groundbreaking study reveals issue of "diaper need" in Canada

TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - A groundbreaking study reveals a startling issue - nearly one in five Canadian mothers are struggling to provide diapers for their babies. These mothers have had to cut back on basics such as food, utilities like heat or electricity, or even child care in order to provide enough diapers.

"This study helps us understand a serious issue that has been largely unrecognized until now 'diaper need' - mothers struggling to provide diapers for their babies. With the Every Little Bottom Study we are now able to understand the implications not having enough diapers has on both mothers and babies. It shows how small things, like diapers, really do make a big difference in the lives of Canadian families," said Dr. Nicole Letourneau, a lead researcher on the study and professor at the University of New Brunswick.

"The ritual of diapering is one that creates a bonding experience between mothers and babies. Without enough diapers for the necessary routine changes, mothers and babies are feeling distressed which makes the bonding process as well as the job of parenting more difficult."

Nearly one-fifth of moms struggling with diaper need run out of clean diapers monthly or more often. Babies may be kept in wet, dirty diapers for extended periods of time or, in more extreme cases, made to wear used diapers which have been cleaned or dried out. This may lead to babies suffering not just physically but emotionally. According to the study commissioned by Kimberly-Clark's Huggies, babies in diaper need are more likely to show signs of irritation and discomfort, cry or suffer more from diaper rash when they cannot be changed than babies who are not living in diaper need.

Another critical impact of diaper need is mothers' ability to carry on with necessary daily activities. Sixteen per cent of mothers struggling with diaper need have missed work or school, stayed at home when they needed to go out, or kept their babies out of daycare because they did not have enough diapers. The majority of licensed day care centers require a full day's supply of disposable, not cloth, diapers. Further, many public laundry facilities do not allow cloth diapers to be washed for sanitary reasons, making them an unrealistic option for mothers who don't have in-home or private laundry access.

One-third of mothers struggling with diaper need say they need 14 or more additional diapers per week to feel that they have enough. Yet there is little help for these mothers and babies to get the diapers they need since there are no formalized diaper support networks currently in Canada.

"Diapers are a necessity for families with babies and young children. Yet every day, we see the strain that a lack of many essential items such as diapers places on already-stressed families," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada.

"We are proud to be part of Huggies Every Little Bottom. Because of it, many moms will be assisted in having access to this much-needed product for their babies."

The Huggies Every Little Bottom Study was conducted among 1,008 mothers in Canada with babies in diapers ages 0-4 years old(1). The critical issue of diaper need revealed by this study prompted Huggies to develop a nationwide response - Every Little Bottom.

Up to 2.5 Million Diapers to Babies in Need

Huggies Every Little Bottom was created with a single mission - to help get diapers to babies in need. As a first step, Huggies will donate up to 2.5 million diapers in Canada during the next eight months. Huggies will kick off the donation by giving half a million diapers to Food Banks Canada to share among their network of more than 450 food banks across Canada to help get diapers in the hands of those who need them.

"We're thrilled this program will provide more diapers to our food banks to distribute to families who are struggling to provide the basic necessities," said Schmidt.

In addition, Food Banks Canada is working with Huggies to help develop a sustainable solution to diaper need. This solution will include building awareness of diaper need, making additional diaper donations, and forging a national partnership that will provide the community-based support needed.

"We now better understand the widespread extent of diaper need in this country, and Huggies is committed to getting diapers to babies in need. We understand that diaper donations are only part of the solution," said Stu Schneider, senior director of the Huggies Brand.

"For Huggies, this is just the beginning of our long-term commitment to help create a sustainable solution."

For more information on how to get involved in addressing diaper need, please visit

About Huggies(R) Every Little Bottom

Huggies Every Little Bottom has a single mission - to help get diapers to babies in need in the U.S. and Canada. The program was developed in response to a groundbreaking new study that revealed the critical issue of diaper need. Diaper need is the struggle to provide babies with diapers. Today, 1 in 3 American and nearly 1 in 5 Canadian mothers struggle with diaper need, and have had to cut back on basics - food, utilities such as heat or electricity, or even child care- in order to provide enough diapers for their babies. With the support of partner organizations, grassroots efforts and moms across the country, the program will build awareness of the issue and work to create a long-term solution.

About Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people -- nearly a quarter of the world's population -- trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 137-year history of innovation, visit

(1) The Huggies(R) Every Little Bottom thought-leadership study was conducted by Abt SRBI in collaboration with Dr. Nicole Letourneau, Canada Research Chair in Healthy Child Development and Professor at the University of New Brunswick, and Dr. Cybele Raver, the director of New York University's Institute of Human Development and Social Change. The telephone survey averaged 20 minutes in duration and was fielded in English and Spanish in the United States, and English and French in Canada. The study was fielded in February 2010 among a nationally representative sample of mothers with babies 0-4 years old who currently use diapers in the United States and Canada. In total, 1,513 mothers in the United States and 1,008 mothers in Canada were surveyed. The study includes a representative sample of American mothers living in poverty and Canadian mothers living below the low income limit (based on governmental guidelines). At the 95% confidence level, the study has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points in either direction for the United States (1,513 sample), and 3.1 percentage points in either direction for Canada (1,008 sample). The margin of error increases for smaller subgroups evaluated. Opinion polls in general can be subject to other errors based on practical difficulties in conducting surveys.

SOURCE Kimberly-Clark

For further information: For further information: Naz Araghian, GCI Group, 416.486.7225,; Quinton Crenshaw, Kimberly-Clark, 972.281.1386,

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