April 10, 2012
Texting is a quick and convenient way to send and receive messages, but now it’s also a great way for new and expectant moms to receive important health information. Catholic Health has partnered with “text4baby,” a free mobile phone service that provides mothers-to-be with health related text messages throughout their pregnancies and during the first year of their babies’ lives.
“We are excited to help spread the word about this special service available to expectant women in our community,” said Aimee Gomlak, vice president of Women’s Services at Catholic Health. “Texting is a great way to reach busy women, especially young moms-to-be, to remind them of the importance of good prenatal care for themselves and their babies.”
To enroll in the program, women can text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish translations) to 511411. Once enrolled, expectant moms will receive three text messages each week with valuable prenatal and child care information timed to the stages of their pregnancy through their baby’ first birthday. The messages focus on topics critical to maternal and child health, including preventing birth defects, proper nutrition, immunizations, safe sleep, and more. Text4baby messages also connect women with prenatal and infant care services and other resources.
According to the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday. Infant mortality in the U.S. is among the highest in the industrialized world and on the rise. Research shows over 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages.
“Every woman deserves access to information that will help her give her baby the best possible chance at a healthy start in life,” said Judy Meehan, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “It’s partners like Catholic Health that are making it possible for to deliver health messages to those who need them most.”
Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private sector partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, and non-profit organizations. Participating phone carriers include AT&T, Cricket, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. For a complete list, visit www.text4baby.org.