Text4baby Targeting At-Risk Mothers

One of the most successful, and unsung, mobile text public service programs is Text4baby, a free text messaging service for pregnant women and new mothers. According to an announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, “Text4baby has reached nearly 250,000 people in the U.S., an extraordinary accomplishment especially for a service that requires each person to subscribe.”

Aimed primarily at low-income mothers and mothers-to-be, Text4baby was a project of The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), a 30 year-old coalition of health organizations. Subscribers need a text-capable cell phone, but service is provided free through support from The Wireless Foundation and many wireless carriers.

Subscribers receive three weekly text messages per week of information and resources. And according to a study by the National Latino Research Center at California State University and the University of California, San Diego,  the service showed “very high satisfaction with the service, increase in users’ health knowledge, improved interaction with healthcare providers, improved adherence to appointments and immunizations, and increased access to health resources.”  

The U.S. has an alarmingly high infant mortality rate, particularly among African American, other minority and low-income people. All indications are that Text4baby is being embraced by the very people who need it the most.

Text4baby Shows Promising Results for Moms (White House Office of Science and Technolocy Policy, Nov. 2, 2011)

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) (HMHB Website)