The William & Mary Healthy Beginnings Project is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of professionals, educators, medical personnel, and students who are committed to helping women have healthier pregnancies and babies. Thanks to a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we are able to work with local community detention facilities to identify pregnancies early and begin prenatal care.
What We Do
Our goal is to work with local correctional facilities to provide pregnancy tests and prenatal vitamins to women who enter those facilities. Women who test positive for pregnancy are eligible to enroll in our program and receive nutritional counseling and information about other resources in their community. If a woman is released from jail before her due date, we support her through that process by continuing to offer assistance and information about resources in her community for her and her baby. If a woman will be returning to jail after the birth of her child, we continue to provide emotional support to her during that time as well.
Mission & Vision
Many women who become involved in the criminal justice system have substance abuse issues and may be high risk for having early, low birth weight babies. Identifying pregnancy early in this population is an important first step towards promoting healthy lifestyle choices throughout pregnancy. Our goal is to provide information about healthy eating behaviors during pregnancy as well as information about other community resources which will help support the mother during and after her pregnancy.
Our mission is to support healthy pregnancies and healthy babies through promoting healthy behaviors, education, awareness and empowerment. Our vision is to create a new, healthy beginning for both mother and child. We hope to sustain our project through key partnerships. By partnering with local jail facilities, we can help with the identification of pregnancy in this population. By partnering with local agencies that deliver programs like WIC, we can help continue provision of vitamins and services for this population after their return to the community.