Texting program for those expectingPublished 11:53pm Friday, September 21, 2012
Alabama has one of the highest infant mortality rates among the states and the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world. But a public-private partnership is hoping to wipe out the epidemic through texting.
On Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 11:30 Text4baby and the Alabama Department of Public Health will team up to support moms and moms-to-be in Dallas County and Selma. At the Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-Op, the two organizations are hosting an event to promote Text4baby, a free texting service that informs mothers, in hopes to prevent infant mortality through health education.
“Basically it is a free health prevention service for moms and pregnant moms,” Sarah Ingersoll, Text4baby campaign director said.
By texting BABY to 511411, mothers receive free information, safety tips, and special alerts until their baby is one year.
“The messages the moms receive are all timed to their baby’s development and all of the most critical developmental milestones that the American academy and center for disease control and prevention and dozens of others experts have weighed in on and said ‘This is what moms need to know,’” Ingersoll said.
At Tuesday’s event the Alabama Department of Public Health will be give away a free car seat and a one-month membership to the YMCA for moms-to-be and moms. Free food and activities will be inclusive for the whole family and mothers will be connected with all the resources in the area.
“We will have a nutritionist from the health department doing a cooking demonstration that deals specifically with WIC available products that moms can get from WIC benefits,” Luisa Castenada, a spokesperson for Text4baby said. There will also be tools presented for moms that are smokers and demonstrations on proper and safe ways to place babies in cribs.
“We wanted to work with a place like Selma with our partners,” Ingersoll said, who explained that Johnson&Johnson is the main corporate sponsor for the service. “In Selma they are reaching women through health and the community and its just a wonderful example of the kind of place that can use Text4baby and its working and reaching moms.”
To register for Tuesday’s event, call 1-800-545-1098. Those who register are entered into the raffles for prizes.