Have you heard about the latest health application for mobile phones? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources and Voxiva recently unveiled the free text4baby program in which expectant and new mothers receive at least 3 weekly text messages containing important maternal and newborn health information. These texts will include reminders to take prenatal vitamins, eat lots of protein, get a flu shot, set up pediatric appointments and more. The messages are delivered throughout the pregnancy and until the baby turns one year old. The goal of the program is to help reduce premature births and curb the United States’ embarrassingly high infant mortality rate compared to other industrialized countries–despite the fact that, in most cases, we spend much more on health care!
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, “Only 31 % of the population making less than $35,000 a year has broadband, but 90% of Americans have mobile phones.” It is clear that this program is a great way to reach women who may not have easy access to health care or online information and may improve negative health trends that seriously threaten the lives of mothers and newborns. To sign up for this free service, expectant and new moms just text “baby” (or “bebe”, in Spanish) to 511411.