The federal government has launched a new partnership across government agencies and private industry to enable pregnant women and new mothers to receive free text messages that will help keep them and their babies in good health.
Texting BABY to 511411 on a moble phone (BEBE for the Spanish-language version), pregnant women can receive three free text messages every week, timed out to their due date or baby’s date of birth. The messages focus on topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth-defect prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, and sleep.
The program is called Text4baby, and includes private and public organizations such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and founding corporate sponsor Johnson and Johnson. Government and nonprofit health experts will provide oversight to ensure that the text messages will contain accurate health information.
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said of the program, “Text4baby is the first free mobile health service to be taken to scale in the United States. We know that mobile phones hold tremendous potential to inform and empower individuals,” said Chopra. “Text4baby represents an extraordinary opportunity to expand the way we use our phones, to demonstrate the potential of mobile health technology, and make a real difference for moms and babies across the country.”