Having a baby is a treasured life experience, but pre-natal care can be pricey. That may lead some women to visit the Stork’s Nest.
“What we do is provide incentives for pre-natal moms,” Michelle Hunter, Stork's Nest Supervisor said.
Hunter said low-income women entering motherhood are encouraged to attend educational courses or pre-natal doctor visits.
“They take their little booklet, almost like their little Bible because they keep it that close to them, into the doctor’s office. While they’re there getting their checkups, their doctors or supervisors will sign off saying you were here.”
Those activities earn points and as clients increase their points, they increase incentives.
“Once they have earned those points they can come here to the Stork’s Nest and redeem those points,” Hunter said.
Those points act as currency at a baby store with all the necessities. From cribs, car-seats and clothes, to bottles, bibs and diapers.
"They are a true blessing, but they are expensive. You know diapers today, a box of diapers can cost you from $35 up to $50,” Hunter said.
Coordinator Marilyn Cole works with Storks Nest clients on a daily basis.
“Money-wise I’m sure it can run up to $200, $300, $400, or $500 and even more because some of the items are quite expensive,” Cole said.
Cole said the incentive program also educates about financial budgeting.
“They’re able to know, if there is a large item that they want they have to save up their points to get that item,” Cole said. “They are all new items and they’re available, most of them, still in the boxes.”
By making efforts to enhance pre-natal care, women can get those new baby products free of charge.
“Thousands of dollars can be saved just by enrolling and participating in the Stork’s Nest,” Hunter said.
The Stork’s Nest is primarily funded by March of Dimes. Hunter said any pre-natal mom is qualified for the program.