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posted on March 28, 2011 08:51

 
Free texting service helps educate new moms

New Idaho moms and moms-to-be now have access to a free mobile information service with tips to improve their health and the health of their infants.
 
The Children’s Special Health Program and Idaho Medicaid are working together with the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition to promote Text4baby, a service that sends three free text messages each week to pregnant women and new moms.
 
Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information to help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life.
 
Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth.
 
The messages focus on a variety of topics, including: immunizations, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, birth defects prevention, safe sleep, developmental milestones, car seats, breastfeeding and smoking cessation. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.
 
“Text4baby is an important tool to promote positive maternal and child health outcomes,” says Carol Christiansen, a registered nurse with the Children’s Special Health Program. “Increasing access to important health information during pregnancy and afterwards can help give Idaho’s newest residents a good start in life.”
 
Christiansen hopes that the program also will increase general awareness about the importance of healthy pregnancies and births. Delivering messages for free through mobile phone technology is one way to reduce the barriers to accessing important health information.
 
CTIA-The Wireless Foundation has reached out to all the major U.S. mobile operators to ensure their commitment to make text4baby a free service for all participating women, even for women without a text plan.
 
Statistics show that 90% of Americans have a mobile plan. Global studies have shown that mobile health services like Text4baby do improve health outcomes.
 
The Children’s Special Health Program hopes to encourage women across the state to sign up for the program and has free promotional materials available to anyone wanting to help spread the word. To find out more, call Christiansen at 208-334-4935.
 
Text4baby is made possible through a broad network of partners, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information, visit www.text4baby.org.
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