News

Health information now available from cell phones

By PATSY GAINES,
Director, Milam County Health Department

Technology has come a long way in our society today.

As I became aware of the following program that supports moms by providing accurate, text-length health information and resources in a format that is personal and timely, I thought it would be beneficial to share this information with our moms and moms-to-be.

Despite decades of public health outreach and education, more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday each year in the United States.

To help more pregnant women and new moms get information about caring for their health and giving their babies the best possible start in life, the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition launched text4baby, the first free health text messaging service in the U.S.

Over 85 percent of Americans own a cell phone and 72 percent of cell users send or receive text messages.

Text4baby was launched nationally on Feb. 4, 2010.

Thanks to the support of CTIA —the Wireless Foundation and participating mobile operators— all messages you receive from text4baby are free.

Even individuals without a text messaging plan can get these messages for free.

If someone has limited texts per month, text4baby won’t take away from that limit.

As long as you have service wi

Registration is easy and can be done online or from your cell phone.

Use your cell phone to text the word BABY, or BEBE inr Spanish to the number 511411.

You’ll be asked to enter your baby’s due date or your baby’s birthday and your zip code.

Once registered, you will start receiving free messages with tips for your pregnancy or caring for your baby.

These messages are timed to your due date or your baby’s birth date.

If you are pregnant and your due date changes, text UPDATE to 511411 to enter your new due date. Once you have your baby, be sure to text in UPDATE with your baby’s birthday so you keep getting messages through baby’s first year.

You will receive approximately three messages per week. Urgent alerts or breaking news might mean you see a few additional messages once in a while.

The text4baby messages are not personalized, but the information is relevant to where you are in your pregnancy or what your baby is going through at particular states of development. \ Text4baby is a one-way educational program, so you can’t text questions or communicate back with the program.

However, if you have specific questions, you can call the phone numbers you find in the messages.

The messages will continue throughout your pregnancy and your baby’s first year.

If you want to stop receiving messages from text4baby, text STOP to 511411..

If you would like to register online or receive more information about this program, please go to www.text4baby.org


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2011-11-03 digital edition



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