More cloth diapers in hospitals...

More cloth diapers in hospitals...

Photo courtesy of Tina Whobrey

A couple of years ago, a group of Real Diaper Association volunteers were inspired to get cloth diapers back into hospital maternity wards. Besides reducing waste at the hospitals, getting cloth diapers onto babies from the beginning, with the tacit approval of the doctors and nurses, seemed to be an important step to returning to mainstream use of cloth diapers.

It turns out their instincts had research support. In 2003, the University of Surrey released a study (Uzzell & Leach, 2003) demonstrating the positive impact of introducing cloth diapers to parents in prenatal classes and on the maternity ward in a hospital.

Project goals and objectives

--1-- Research and publicize the data informing decisions about using cloth diapers in hospital maternity wards so that other hospitals will be able to make similar decisions.

--2-- Implement a grassroots campaign to advocate for cloth diapers in hospitals

--3-- Raise awareness of cloth diapers at the prenatal level. Based on research, the earlier parents are introduced to cloth diapers, the more likely they are to use them.  

Even if maternity wards don't use cloth diapers, new parents should still have access to information about cloth diapers included in hospital prenatal parenting classes.

Several committees at the RDA Board level will be focusing on this project - - the Volunteers Committee, where we'll be training and managing the volunteers to work on the project, the Research Committee, which will guide the investigation into current practices, and the Communications Committee, which will create the internet repository where we'll collect and share the collected data.  To coordinate all the moving parts, we'll have a Steering Committee guide the project, which will likely take 18 months to complete as designed.

Want to help? We're organizing volunteers now! Please email me at heatherm at realdiaperassociation dot org.

Heather McNamara
Executive Director, Real Diaper Association


Thanks for your comment, Ameila! While I don't have the numbers on hand from the Surrey study, here are a couple of quotes from the conclusion of the study: "Mothers interviewed following the introduction of cotton nappies on the ward would often comment that they were pleasantly surprised at how easy cotton nappies were to use and how much they liked them. The experience on the ward had been positive for them, to such an extent that they were willing to change their original intentions of using disposable nappies and try cotton nappies at home." "Furthermore, once parents have tried one type of nappy it is likely that they will follow that behaviour pattern again. Therefore attracting first time parents to cotton nappies is an important step towards increasing the overall number of parents who use reusable nappies."
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  • May 21, 2013
What were the stats of the families continuing on with using cloth diapers so far? Great project to be involved with.

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