Written by BoNhia Lee, University Communications

Women who can’t afford enough diapers for their babies go to great lengths to stretch a single diaper. They track their child’s liquid intake, know when their child will urinate and learn exactly how much will fill up a diaper.

Low-income mothers ask people they know for diapers or diaper money. They go without food, barter their belongings and even resort to selling their blood plasma for money to buy diapers, according to research by Dr. Jennifer Randles, professor of sociology at Fresno State.

Diaper need — not being able to afford enough diapers to keep a child clean, dry and healthy — has long existed and worsened during the pandemic.

“Diaper banks are getting three to six times the requests for diapers. People are out of jobs. They have lost work hours. They can’t rely as much on the social networks they used to,” said Randles, who studies family inequality and very low-income parents. “Before the pandemic, one in three families with infants struggled with diaper need. We suspect even more families are struggling now.”

Read the full story at Fresno State News