Magazine article The Nation's Health

Text4baby Educating New Moms Via Text Messaging: New, Free Text Service Offers Maternal, Child Health Information

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Text4baby Educating New Moms Via Text Messaging: New, Free Text Service Offers Maternal, Child Health Information

Article excerpt

THE BEST things in life are free, the saying goes, such as a new nationwide program that brings important health tips to pregnant and new mothers in the form of text messages sent to their cell phones.

An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, "text4baby" provides timely health information throughout a woman's pregnancy and up until her child's first birthday. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and other participating wireless providers have agreed to provide the text messages free to users of the service, which is backed by a broad private-public partnership that includes APHA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Johnson & Johnson, WellPoint, Pfizer, and CareFirst BlueCross and BlueShield.

The Virginia Department of Health served as the test site for the program before project organizers rolled it out nationally on Feb. 4.

"Education plays a critical role in preventing infant deaths, and the more we engage organizations throughout our communities, the more successful our initiatives will be," Virginia State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, MD, MBA, said in a statement introducing text4baby's national rollout in February. "We've made some important gains in understanding this problem and it is critical that we share best practices nationwide."

More than 16,000 users signed up for the free text messaging service within the first three weeks of its launch, according to Judy Meehan, executive director of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. The service received a jump in users after it was mentioned on a White House blog in January.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"We know that women are very motivated at this point in their lives," Meehan told The Nation's Health. "They are very eager for information, and from a science standpoint we know that the mother's health is directly related to the baby's health. We know that a child who comes into this world full term and healthy has a better chance to have optimal health lifelong."

Women can register for the service by texting "BABY" to 511411, or "BEBE" for messages in Spanish. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.