Beds and Britches, Etc. (B.A.B.E.)

A unique "store" offering incentives to expectant mothers & parents to encourage responsibility and improve self-esteem.


"Being able to come here
and get something you need
for all that work you do
when you have a baby
makes you feel like
you have something to show for it all.
I really like it,"
said one B.A.B.E. shopper
and mother of two
.

Beds and Britches, Etc. is a different kind of place.

BABE Store

With boutique elegance and plushy stuffed toy comfort, expectant mothers, newborns and their immediate family shop for anything from infant clothes to strollers and cribs.

Physicians, clinics and other social service vendors distribute B.A.B.E. coupons to clients who can redeem them at B.A.B.E. stores for infant-related merchandise ranging from diapers to child-proofing essentials. Coupons are offered by more than 45 distributors throughout St. Joseph County.

The important part of this exchange is that customers come to the store with something they have earned – coupons – and leave with something they are able to provide for their child – a brand new diaper bag, socks or a handmade blanket.

B.A.B.E. also sponsors classes from journaling and breastfeeding to nutritious cooking. These FREE half to full hours classes are educationally fun and provide the store's customers with an opportunity to mingle.

Locations & Hours

B.A.B.E. & More

325 N. Lafayette Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46601
574-647-2201

Mon: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tue: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

B.A.B.E. Express

201 Lincoln Way West
Mishawaka, IN 46544
574-647-2175

Tue: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thur: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Program Overview

Beds and Britches, Etc. (B.A.B.E.) promotes responsible parenting by offering incentives to expectant mothers and parents. Encouraging responsibility and improving self-esteem, the program provides goods and services that new parents need to nurture healthy babies and foster skills to help the family through life.

This comprehensive program provides tangible incentives encouraging families to nurture healthy babies and children. The program works as follows: Parents (and parents-to-be) earn B.A.B.E. coupons by keeping prenatal appointments, attending parenting classes, taking their child(ren) to get immunized and a number of other activities that improve family health and child development.

B.A.B.E. Goals
  1. To increase awareness and utilization of maternal, child and social services, which may assist in achieving optimum pregnancy outcomes and child health
  2. To promote pride, dignity and self-esteem
  3. To encourage personal responsibility
  4. To leverage community support

 

History

Beds and Britches, Etc. (B.A.B.E.), a unique “store” offering new and used baby clothing and equipment, was born from the work of a multitude of community members and organizations. The story of its growth from a small idea to a living, breathing thing is marked by a collection of influences that started work well before the opening of the first B.A.B.E. store in 1992.

A committee called Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies was formed and chaired by Julie Koza, Director of Healthy Babies. The committee was a grassroots effort to make a difference in the area of maternal and child health. In 1991, this committee, made up of nurses, social workers, and concerned citizens brought the B.A.B.E. program into the world.

In its second year, B.A.B.E. grew by ten percent, “selling” 3,877 items. The third year, B.A.B.E. experienced a 43% increase in the number of people served. Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center sponsored a second store in 1993, which opened in South Bend. In March of this same year, Memorial Hospital granted funds for a part-time coordinator and administrative support, eventually adding a full-time program assistant in 1996. Other funding came from private donations, service clubs, foundations and fundraising.

By the time a third store opened in South Bend in April of 1997, over 85 doctors, clinics, and social service agencies served as B.A.B.E. coupon vendors. Not only had new stores appeared, but more and more segments of the community were a part of the B.A.B.E. program, distributing coupons and using the B.A.B.E. stores as incentives for their clients.

B.A.B.E. supported other community programs, encouraging women and families to seek educational opportunities, decreasing the number of doctor and clinic appointments missed at offices that distributed coupons, and ultimately contributing to the health of children in our community. In 1998 alone, over 1,600 families made “purchases” at B.A.B.E. of St. Joseph County stores.

For a more detailed history of the program, please visit the Learning History.

Outcomes

As a result of the B.A.B.E. program, more people are taking a parenting and/or nutrition class, working toward their GED, attending breastfeeding support groups and establishing goals with a self-sufficiency case manager. Parents are also more likely to participate in other programs that improve the health and well-being of their entire family.

In order to keep this important community resource available, B.A.B.E. continues to rely on the support of individuals and organizations in our area. Donations, new and "like new" (gently used) are always cheerfully accepted and much appreciated.


Use the arrow on the top right to limit the events in the calendar above.

  

MHSB-CHE logo

307 N Michigan Street • 3rd Floor • South Bend, IN 46601

574-647-1350 •  574-647-1351 fax

 

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