Last year many of my friends became moms for the first and second time. And whether it’s their first or second baby, they all have something in common: they love to surf the Internet for information related to caring for their babies.
They often post questions on their Facebook pages, directed at fellow moms. They ask questions ranging from what kind of medicine to give their coughing infant, to how to soothe them after a trip to the doctor for shots, or even suggestions for brands of cloth diapers.
I know my friends are not alone in this desire for information about caring for their babies. And that’s where a great program called text4baby comes in. Text4baby is a free mobile information service provided by the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB). It is designed to promote the health of mothers and their babies, and is available to anyone who wants to participate.
Developed to supplement regular doctors’ visits, the program sends mothers weekly text messages specific to their child’s due date or date of birth, information the mother provides when she signs up for the program.
According to the text4baby website, the text messages include information about immunizations, nutrition, seasonal flu, prenatal care, emotional well being, drugs and alcohol, labor and delivery, stopping smoking, breastfeeding, mental health, birth defects prevention, oral health, car seat safety, exercise and fitness, developmental milestones, safe sleep, family violence, and more. They are not personalized, but are tailored to the baby’s due date or age.
The program is designed for lower income families who may not have access to the Internet, but is available to anyone who would like to receive the messages.
Text4baby is a great resource and I encourage you to discuss the program with your Birthing Center and pediatricians. Aside from promoting the service to the expectant and young mothers who come to your hospital, it requires no work by your staff, which makes it a win-win.