The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2018 | UF North | Jacksonville Birth Photography
I was honored to have been asked to photograph a wonderful event, The Great Cloth Diaper Change! Held at UF North Hospital, this year's GCDC drew a crowd of parents, toddlers, babies, and a whole host of pregnancy and parenting related resources. I was excited to photograph the event, as well as man a booth to bring attention to some of the wonderful birth photographers that we have here in town!
To share all of the details of this event, I interviewed the organizers, doula Anne Homan and cloth diaper educator Melanie Hresko. Enjoy!
What exactly is the Great Cloth Diaper Change?
The Great Cloth Diaper Change is a worldwide cloth diaper changing event that takes place each year, usually the Saturday closest to Earth Day. The purpose of the event is to promote cloth diaper awareness and the benefits of cloth diapers.
Originally organized by the Real Diaper Association (RDA), the Great Cloth Diaper Change was conceived and organized in 2011 in pursuit to set the Guinness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed simultaneously. Locally we have been hosting the NE Florida Cloth Diaper Change since 2016.
Why was the event held at UF North this year?
We are passionate about helping families know their options for pregnancy, birth, and beyond. After attending several births at the UF Birth Center and new UF North Hospital, I [Anne] could see their desire to not only accommodate, but also WELCOME the choices of birthing mothers in the community and knew that they would be on board with the mission of this event! The focus for the event this year was for various community resources to partner and educate the community on options available to them.
How was this year different than previous years?
This year was different for our event in many ways. The GCDC was put on hold toward the end of last year pending an announcement. The RDA closed at the beginning of the year, but luckily a group of veteran hosts took over the worldwide organizing of the event. This left a lot of local events, including our own, planning their events in a much shorter time frame.
The NE Florida GCDC is still in its infancy and we are still experimenting with what type of event works the best for our area. This year we decided on a more relaxed resource fair. I think that we are lucky to have the resources that we have and we are excited to see the resources and the natural parenting community expand and grow!
Here are the fourteen information-rich booths that were represented this year!
UF Birth Center
UF Women's Specialists
Birth photography booth
Infant loss support booth
Postpartum wellness booth
March of Dimes booth
Cloth diaper support booth
What happened during the actual diaper change? How many cloth diapers were changed this year?
The procedure for the change is that at exactly 11am local time, families across the globe change their children into a cloth diaper. For evidence of the change, we all hold up a clean cloth diaper and a picture of the group is taken. Once all of the babies are changed we hold up the babies, who are now wearing the diaper from the first picture.
At our local NE Florida Great Cloth Diaper Change this year, we had 36 pairs of a caregiver and baby participate. Worldwide 2,521 diapers were changed at 120 locations in 11 countries!
Why is it important to raise awareness about cloth diapers?
There is such a diaper need worldwide and in our local community! It’s important to spread awareness that there is an economical, reusable option for families. Using cloth diapers can not only save families money but can also help keep babies healthier by allowing the families change their babies regularly rather than push the limits of or even reusing the disposable diapers that they can barely afford. In addition, we do not know the full environmental impact of disposable diapers. It is estimated that it will take 400 or more years for a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill.
How would you describe the atmosphere of the event?
Community cohesiveness, lots of teamwork, professional partnerships sharing education and information, smiling faces, cute baby fluffy bums, inquisitive parents, lots of learning and "lightbulb" moments like when you realize something for the first time, mommy connections among one another, and community building.
Were there any door prizes or giveaways?
Various booths offered personal giveaways, from doula services, to Hypnobirthing class opportunities, to postpartum recovery 101 sessions!
We gave away wetbags, childrens' books, cloth diapers, chew beads, gift certificates, toothbrush kit, skincare products, eco pouches, breastfeeding supplies, swaddle blankets, sleep sacks...we also had coupons and vitamin samples to pass out!
What roles did the two of you play in bringing this event to Jacksonville?
We have teamed up three years in a row after meeting and having similar interests/goals in spreading natural birth and parenting awareness. Melanie usually played the role of emailing national sponsors, making sure official event procedures are understood and followed, providing written documentation and forms as needed for participants/vendors, creating the event page and making announcements as needed. As a local doula plugged in with community resources, Anne usually focuses on local sponsors, resources, and support, sharing the event in mommy groups and among professionals in our area, helping with event day organization, and making announcements on the event page as needed. We usually co host the event together, and it is definitely a TEAM effort!
Anne Homan is a local birth doula at A Moment in Time Doula Services who offers education, information, and support to families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Her motto is "YOUR birth! YOUR moment!" because she realizes the importance of women knowing their options, and being able to create positive "moments" that will impact their lives forever!
Melanie Hresko is a local cloth diaper educator that enjoys that loves to spread cloth diaper awareness to new families by teaching the basics about cloth diapers and helping seasoned families troubleshoot any issues either in a class setting or one-on-one.
Thanks for putting on such a great event, ladies! See you next year!