Text4baby is a free non-interactive mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program from the National Healthy Mothers, Health Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information to help them care for their own health as well as enabling them to give their babies the best possible start in life.
The program is made available through a partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies and non-profit organizations. The mobile health platform provides free messaging services which are generously provided by participating wireless service providers.
How to Obtain Text4Baby Services
It’s easy to sign up for this service. Women merely need to text the word BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. Text messages are free for anyone who has pay-as-you-go or pre-paid cell phone service as long as the user is subscribed to one of the text4baby mobile operator partners. Presently this service is only available to U.S. mobile phone subscribers and is expected to be available through the end of the year.
Service providers currently include:
- Assurance Wireless
- Bluegrass Cellular
- Boost Mobile
- Cellular South
- Centennial Cellular
- Cincinnati Bell
- Metro PCS
- Sprint Nextel
- U.S. Cellular
- Verizon Wireless
- Virgin Mobile USA
Even mothers who don’t have a text messaging plan can get these messages for free. And for those with limited texting per month, text4baby won’t take away from the total amount of messages. Moms can even forward the messages they receive to friends and family.
To stop receiving texts from the text4baby service, moms simply need to text STOP to 511411.
What Text4Baby Services Provides
The program is quite simple. Pregnant women sign up to receive one general health and pregnancy information message per day for the first six days. After that, they will receive three messages a week throughout their pregnancy and up until their child’s first birthday based upon the information they have provided. Each message is relevant to a mother’s pregnancy timeline or the age of the child.
And should the mother’s due date change or the mother gives birth early, they can update text4baby by texting the word UPDATE to 511411. They will then be prompted to text in the baby’s actual birth date so messages can be adjusted accordingly.
Messages focus on topics that are critical to the mother’s and the baby’s health and include subjects such as immunization (shots), nutrition, illness, prenatal care, emotional well being, drugs and alcohol, labor and delivery, smoking, breastfeeding, mental health, birth defects prevention, car seat safety, exercise and fitness and more.
And that’s it. Free health care information for pregnant women and new mothers at their fingertips. With a simple text message or a visit to the text4baby website, text4baby can bring moms and soon-to-be moms much needed information.