Texting service brings messages to expecting mothers

Published 1:23 am Saturday, September 29, 2012

Instead of lugging around “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” and memorizing an endless list of baby facts, new mothers and mothers-to-be now have the option of simply sending a text message and receiving instant information using Text4baby.

Representatives from Text4baby, a free text message service designed to provide mothers with information on how to take care of their infant, met with residents at the Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-op Tuesday and explained the benefits of the program.

“We’re so excited about this because we’re trying to see if this type of technology can help change behaviors and we’re hoping this will really help moms to raise healthy babies,” said Kimberly Bassett, executive director for the Wireless Foundation.

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To use the service, mothers text “baby” to 511 411 and include their stage of pregnancy or age of infant along with their zip code.

After joining the program, mothers receive three texts a week with updates for their baby.

September also marks infant mortality awareness month, which is another reason why the program is being promoted, Bassett said.

“This is the month to really raise awareness about how to have a healthy baby,” said Susan Can, corporate equity director for Johnson & Johnson.

Although Alabama’s infant mortality rate dropped to a record low in 2011, it is still among the nation’s highest for infant deaths, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Can said she is hoping by using this program, mothers and mothers-to-be can learn how to raise healthy babies.

“Today is about educating moms, and not just about Text4baby, but it’s really about the importance of nutrition and prenatal care and exercise and those types of things,” Can said.

Text4baby has about 800 partners nationally, Can said, which they use to connect with citizens on a local level.

Measjah Gordon, Selma resident, has used the program and said it has been a great help in raising her daughter, Jamiria, who is 1 year and 4 months.

“It’s been a lot of help,” Gordon said. “Especially for first time moms like myself that don’t know what’s going on. I know more now than what I did before.”

To learn more about Text4baby, visit www.text4baby.org.