Women United Spins to Support GO Buffalo Mom
Since 2019, GO Buffalo Mom has served over 500 low-income pregnant women in Buffalo & Erie County, helping them get to and from prenatal visits, build financial skills, and secure safe housing for themselves and their newborns. Through the support of Transportation Navigators and financial coaches, GO Buffalo Mom helps mothers overcome barriers in accessing prenatal care and get babies off to the best start.
Women United decided Women's History Month was the perfect time to shine some light on this important work supporting women in our community.
"Mothers carry the weight of the world on their shoulders from day one, when they find out they are with child," says Kayleigh Terranova, Women United advisory board member. "So when we look at what we want to support, that hits home to a lot of women. A lot of us think about our own pregnancies and our own experiences, and how lucky and blessed we have been – or others have experienced their own challenges and want to make sure that other women don’t experience that."
That's why on March 18th, Women United will host Spin to Give at Revolution Buffalo, raising funds – and their heart rates – to support the GO Buffalo Mom program.
In building GO Buffalo Mom, United Way turned not only to program partners (an impressive list that includes Belmont Housing, Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network, Catholic Health, Kaleida Health, the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.) They also looked to the women the program would serve.
"We talked to moms, people who were pregnant or new parents, about why they thought we have such high premature birth rates and other poor birth outcomes in Erie County," says Mary K Comtois, UWBEC Program Director for Health Initiatives. "What we heard from moms was that transportation – to prenatal appointments, to the pharmacy, to everything – would help them have a healthier birth." Low-income pregnant women then helped to co-design GO Buffalo mom, alongside United Way and their partners.
Healthy birth outcomes are one of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County's core impact priorities. "It's the beginning of a journey," says Comtois. "If a baby is born healthy and mom is healthy, then we'll avoid other problems as the child progresses through their life. It sets them up to have more success along that continuum – to be able to perform at school and do well in the workplace."
Learn more about United Way's work to support healthy birth outcomes and more: uwbec.org/research