An ample supply of diapers ensures that babies stay clean and dryer longer and avoid health issues that can arise from wearing soiled diapers too long. In partnership with the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital will receive a donation of up to 120,000 diapers this year for St. Mary’s families.
Eligible St. Mary’s families include patients at its Maternal Fetal Care Center and the WISH (Women and Infant Substance Help) Center, as well as mothers who participate in St. Mary’s MOMS Support Group or CenteringPregnancy, a specialized prenatal care program for parents.
“Already, parents have shared that receiving diaper assistance makes them feel like they are doing a better job and they feel less alone in parenting,” said Jess Garrett, lead nurse and program coordinator for CenteringPregnancy.
St. Mary’s expects to distribute about 9,500 diapers a month to moms through its center and support groups.
Jessica Adams, founder and executive director of the St. Louis Area Diaper bank, told The American that St. Mary’s makes 44 partners in throughout the St. Louis region.
“We are planning to distribute just about 2 million diapers this year through those 44 partner agencies,” Adams said. “We will serve right around 45,000 children this year alone.”
The diaper bank has served 65,000 children since it was started in 2014.
“The struggle is real to provide dry, clean diapers,” said Kim Martino-Sexton, a postpartum support coordinator who runs five support groups through the MOMS program.
“Doing something as simple as giving diapers to families to help keep babies dry and comfortable also helps parents feel more at ease and confident.”
The staff at the diaper bank is thrilled to partner with medical providers.
“We know how critical good prenatal care is to healthy pregnancies, and we know how detrimental stress is to moms during pregnancy – to moms and babies,” Adams said. “And so we are so pleased we can offer diapers, both as a stress-reliever for pregnant moms as they are building up this stash of diapers so they know what they have when baby comes, but also to have those diapers used as an incentive for moms to access that high-quality prenatal care.”
For information about programs at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, call 314-768-8730. For more information on the MOMS Line and support groups, please call 314-768-MOMS (6667).