By Zoya Gervis // SWNS

W/ VIDEO + INFOGRAPHIC

This past year, many young moms struggled to balance the increased demands of childcare with isolation, work, financial stress and more.

According to the new research, 68% of moms surveyed admitted 2020 was the most stressful year they have ever experienced. Top emotions felt include stress, exhaustion, depression, anxiety and isolation.

A new study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Store Brand Infant Formula examined the incredible financial and emotional impact the pandemic has had on moms.

Sixty-two percent of moms surveyed said they lost sleep as a result of their financial worries. This added up to an average of five sleepless nights in a single month—or a full workweek of lost sleep because of money woes.

This poll of 2,022 moms of babies and children under two years of age – 55% who are on The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – found that 61% are concerned about their current financial situation.

Unfortunately, nearly half (47%) of respondents said they didn’t have enough money saved for an emergency—which led to an increase in financial stress.

Further, 64% of moms had to sacrifice a lot because of financial reasons, with nearly two in three (65%) cutting costs just to feed their family.

Three in 10 moms said the ability to afford enough food for the family was causing the most financial stress, and an alarming 30% revealed they have skipped meals so their children could eat. Another 44% had food that simply didn’t last long enough without having enough money to get more.

“You don’t have to cut back on nutrition or jeopardize your family’s well-being to make ends meet; instead, families should focus on making wise choices to stretch their dollars further and safely,” says financial expert and founder of Clever Girl Finance, Bola Sokunbi. “Switching from name brands to store brands is a great way to save money, especially when it comes to baby..”

With all the emotional and financial stress, moms found themselves turning to a patchwork of resources for help, such as the local food bank or charity, WIC, family members, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or a pediatrician/healthcare professional.

In fact, 40% of moms surveyed applied for WIC or SNAP to help support their family within the last year. Unfortunately, these benefits may not be enough.

A staggering 88% of moms enrolled in WIC reported they run out of infant formula before the end of the month.

Not surprising, more than half of moms (54%) agreed they had to make difficult decisions just to feed their baby in 2020. Some of these decisions could be harmful to a baby.

To save money, 52% of moms said they have used more water than required by the instructions to make infant formula last longer. Formula over-dilution is dangerous because it dilutes critical nutrients in formula at a time of rapid growth.

“Caregivers experiencing food insecurity are often met with unimaginably tough decisions when it comes to feeding their family,” said Perrigo Nutrition Marketing Director Jeremy Jones. “With store brands, there’s no need for parents to take unnecessary risks such as diluting infant formula to save money.”

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