Keeping mom healthy

By on May 31, 2010

Health Department partners with text4baby to provide free health messaging for new moms and moms-to-be
Kane County—The Kane County Health Department announced a new service that will provide health messages for new moms and moms-to-be.

In partnership with the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby is a new, free service that provides messages each week on a mother’s or expectant-mother’s cell phone to help them through their pregnancy and baby’s first year. Text4baby is an educational program of HMHB designed to promote maternal and child health. The service is available to all expectant and new moms, not just clients of the Health Department.

“With more and more of us using text messaging to communicate, especially young people, this free service seemed like a logical fit for us,” Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert said. “This will be a great way to provide health messages to new moms and moms-to-be at this most crucial time.”

Kuehnert noted that the Health Department is building strong, local partnerships with the Kane County Perinatal Committee, the All Our Kids (AOK) Early Childhood Network and the Aurora and Elgin Circles of Wise Women to bolster its efforts to reach its goal of eliminating the disparity in African-American infant mortality, as stated in its Community Health Action Plan. By distributing posters and information, these same partners are assisting in the launch of text4baby in Kane County, which provides all pregnant women and new moms with information they need to take care of their health and give their babies the best possible start in life.

Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies and non-profit organizations.

Founding partners include HMHB, Voxiva, CTIA—The Wireless Foundation and WPP. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor, and premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. U.S. government partners include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense Military Health System. The mobile health platform is provided by Voxiva, and free messaging services are provided by participating wireless service providers. Implementation partners include BabyCenter, Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems and The George Washington University. MTV Networks is a media sponsor. More information is available at www.text4baby.org.

Despite strong corporate partnership, women will not receive any advertisements. Women sign up using a cell phone number, their zip code and either the due date or the date of their infant’s birth. No additional information is collected. For downloadable posters and materials, visit www.kanehealth.com and follow the text4baby links.

About Elburn Herald

The Elburn Herald has been serving the Kaneland communities since 1908. To reach our editor, Keith Beebe, email info@elburnherald.com, or call (630) 365-6446, ext. 105. To reach our owner/publisher, Ryan Wells, email RyanWells@elburnherald.com, or call (630) 365-6446, ext. 107.

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