Text messages get expectant mothers ready for parenthood

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 17, 2012

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The text4baby text messaging program helped prepare pregnant women for motherhood, according to a pilot study published online Nov. 26 in BMC Public Health.

Text4baby was launched by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition in February 2010 with support from the mobile platform vendor Voxiva and 18 wireless carriers. It provides pregnant women and new mothers free text messages containing information about pregnancy and infant care.

Researchers surveyed a group of pregnant women who enrolled in the program and another group that received usual care. Both groups responded to two telephone questionnaires about their beliefs and attitudes toward pregnancy, including nutrition, drinking, smoking and health information-seeking.

The first questionnaire was given to 123 women from April 2011 through January 2012, before text messages were sent to enrollees in the text4baby program. Follow-up surveys were conducted among 90 women.

Researchers found that participants who received texts expressed feeling more prepared for motherhood. Women with a high school education or higher expressed more agreement with attitudes that alcohol consumption during pregnancy was harmful to the unborn baby (link).

“Women who are more educated may be better able to process and make informed decisions as a result of text4baby messages,” researchers wrote.

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