Twenty-one percent of children in the US live in poverty, a rate that has increased annually since 2006. Beyond consequences on socio-economic outcomes and opportunities, sustained poverty in the form of material hardship has significant impacts on child development outcomes.
Our mission is as simple as it is critical: to provide low-income mothers with one package containing all of the items they’ll need for their newborn in the first four weeks of life. For parents living below the poverty line, purchasing sufficient diapers and wipes is a financial burden often too great to overcome. Add in clothing, hygienic items, baby carriers, and other essential gear and the costs quickly climb to hundreds of dollars many families simply don’t have. As a result, a child may be forced to go without these vital goods.
WHY 4 WEEKS?
There is nothing more delicate and difficult than the first four weeks after delivery, when babies and mothers are navigating stressful, uncharted territory without support or resources. Newborns are highly susceptible to germs and highly sensitive to the world outside the womb. Mothers are still recovering from the physical and emotional upheaval accompanying birth and new parenthood.
Babies who lack diapers, wipes, rash creams, and comfortable clothes frequent doctors’ offices and emergency rooms more often, further tilting the balance against them, exacerbating the strain on resources, and increasing the emotional toll on new mothers.
It can be a relentless cycle that completely undermines the space, structure, and vigilance needed to build a solid foundation for a child’s development and for healthy and successful parenting.
Studies have shown that mothers who cannot provide for the basic needs of their newborns struggle with postpartum depression at a higher rate, experience high levels of stress, and lack competence.
The Welcome Baby package directly addresses many of the critical needs of both baby and mother in these vulnerable postpartum weeks, a period often referred to as the fourth trimester.