Diapers are more important than you might realize, here’s why

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WHNT News 19 and Rocket City Mom are partnering again for The Great Diaper Drive; a campaign collecting diapers and wipes for local babies in need.

To help explain why we feel so passionately about the cause, we checked in with Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children. We wanted to learn more about some of the serious medical consequences babies can face when they don't get clean diapers.

Jeanette Atkinson, Clinical Education Specialist for the hospital's Mother Baby unit, laid the risks out clearly.

"When a child isn't getting regular diaper changes, it could lead to skin breakdown, rashes, and infections," Atkinson said.

A newborn baby can go through as many as 10-12 diapers daily. That can be a serious shock for parents with financial worries; adding to the stresses that come along with just becoming a parent.

"Just learning how to make adjustments with your family, life your work," Atkinson described. "Waking up for feedings, in the middle of the night for diaper changes."

Atkinson and the rest of the staff at Huntsville Hospital urge new parents to change their newborn every two or three hours; whenever wet or dirty.

Studies though, show that many parents struggle to meet that goal. Many low-income families are forced to skip or ration changes. Non-profits like Manna House and Crisis Services of North Alabama tell WHNT News 19 they see that desperation locally, with many parents having fallen on hard times recently due to job loss or death in the family. Other parents are fleeing domestic violence with next to nothing.

Medical experts also tell WHNT New 19 that diaper need can harm the bonding between parent and child; raising the risk of abuse.

It's why caregivers like Atkinson, along with her co-workers, feel so strongly about supporting The Great Diaper Drive.

"Our newborns, infants, toddlers; they may not be able to communicate their needs," Atkinson said. "We need to give them their best start, as such a vulnerable population."

Click here to donate online to The Great Diaper Drive 2016.

You can also drop-off diapers at area Walmarts. Click here for the details!