From the Kent County Health Department
Women who are pregnant or just joined motherhood have a new, powerful tool, right at their fingertips: text4baby. This texting service is free, and will help expectant and new moms through their baby’s first year.
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) launched text4baby. Text4baby is available to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby’s first year.
Michigan’s infant mortality rates have increased in recent years, and the state currently ranks 37th in the U.S. “Kent County Health Department is glad that the Michigan Department of Community Health is working hard to fight infant mortality,” says Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer of KCHD. “Together, we can inform mothers and give babies a healthy start. The information provided to mothers in these texts could make a difference in the lives of children in Kent County.”
Women can sign up by visiting www.text4baby.org or text BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish). The service sends three free SMS text messages each week, timed to the baby’s due date or date of birth. Messages include information about birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, oral health, safe sleep, and more.
This service has been successful in California, where more than 75 percent of moms surveyed said they learned of a medical warning that they did not previously know, and more than 70 percent talked to their doctor about information they learned over text4baby. The service gives accurate health information and resources in a format that is personal and timely, and can reach a large population: more than 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages.
Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and more.