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RENO, Nev. – Immunize Nevada and the Nevada State Maternal and Child Health Division are partnering with text4baby to test a resource module targeting pregnant women and new mothers.
Through the convenience of texting, pregnant women and new mothers can receive immunization information, personalized appointment reminders, health alerts, and nutrition advice in the palm of their hand.
The Nevada pilot project allows 80 custom messages to connect participants in Nevada with resources in the state. With more than 89% of young women owning a cell phone and 97% of cell users checking text messages immediately, text4baby is a perfect fit.
“The ability to connect Nevadans with local resources improves the relevance of the information, and elevates text4baby to the next level,” said Heidi Parker, Immunize Nevada Executive Director. “For example, when the CDC recently recommended all pregnant women receive a Tdap shot during each and every pregnancy to help reduce the spread of whooping cough, we now have the ability to send this message, along with a customized link to our website to learn more about the recommendation, as well as how to find a Nevada provider.”
Nationally, text4baby has sent over 62 million text messages to more than 500,000 moms nationwide. In Nevada more than 6,000 women have enrolled in text4baby since the program began in 2010.
“Text4baby is a tremendous resource for mothers in Nevada, especially when it comes to sharing the message about timely immunizations for themselves and their babies,” added Parker. “As we begin to see Nevada’s childhood immunization rates improve, this strategy complements our other communications efforts and allows us to spread the message in a timely, convenient and effective way.”
Text4baby’s message content is developed by health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes, American Academy of Pediatrics, and many more.
A recent George Washington University-led randomized evaluation found that text4baby mothers were nearly three times more likely to believe they were prepared to be new mothers compared to those in the non-text4baby group.
A University of California and California State University study demonstrates that text4baby is “increasing users” health knowledge, facilitating interaction with health providers, improving adherence to appointments and immunizations, and strengthening access to health services.”
“Each and every pregnancy is unique, yet we know there are important factors that can help reduce risks and health issues for all women and their babies during pregnancy and throughout a baby’s first year of life,” said Parker. “This program is truly making a difference; we are proud partners and proud to pilot the Nevada resource module.”
Text4baby, a free service of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, was created in partnership with Founding Sponsor Johnson & Johnson, and founding partners Voxiva, CTIA-the Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group to help address this issue. Women who text "BABY" (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date.