Text4baby Marks First Ever Free National Mobile Health Initiative Addressing Rising Infant Mortality Rates
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) February 4, 2010 -- Today, BABYCENTER®, the leading global resource for new and expectant parents, announced that it is an implementation partner of Text4baby – a new, free mobile information service providing timely health information and tips to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby’s first year. BABYCENTER, the premier global parenting digital media company, was instrumental in the research, promotion and creation of the bilingual mobile messaging content used in the Text4Baby program. BABYCENTER will leverage its award-winning Web site, experts, promotional channels and its reach to 8 million moms in the U.S. to broaden the overall awareness of the campaign and drive registration for the service through babycenter.com and babycenter.com/espanol. Text4baby is made possible through an unprecedented broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies and non-profit organizations.
Each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday – signifying a public health crisis. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise.
Today, 90-percent of Americans own mobile phones and mobile phones play a critical role in reaching the target audience for Text4baby: younger women from lower income communities throughout the U.S. A majority of these women do not have Internet access but do own mobile phones and an overwhelming percentage use SMS text.
Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health and safe sleep. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.
“The increased infant mortality rate in the U.S. is sobering,” said Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President of BABYCENTER. “At BABYCENTER, we are committed to doing all we can to help reverse this trend, and support the underserved population on maternal health issues. Innovative programs like Text4Baby are critical to empowering women to take an active role in their own healthcare. Our goal is to support all moms in their journey of motherhood by utilizing our insights and providing them with the information they need at critical times in their lives to ensure their family’s health.”
An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), Text4baby delivers timely health tips via text message to those who need it most. It is made possible through an unprecedented public-private partnership which includes the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Voxiva, CTIA-The Wireless Foundation, Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company) and founding corporate sponsor Johnson & Johnson. Premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and wireless carriers are distributing text messages at no charge to recipients. Implementation partners in addition to BABYCENTER include Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems and The George Washington University.
“We believe the power of partnership and community can make an incredible difference in women’s and children’s lives,” said Judy Meehan, executive director of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “Text4baby brings HMHB’s mission to life and with the help of our partners, we believe we can be a strong catalyst for change.”
The Text4baby wireless carriers are voluntarily providing the critical communications link of the initiative, distributing text messages to recipients at no charge. Participating carriers include: Alltel, AT&T, Cellular South, Cellcom, Centennial Cellular, Cincinnati Bell, Metro PCS, N-Telos, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and Virgin Mobile.
About BABYCENTER®, LLC
BABYCENTER® is the leading global resource for parents, reaching 78 percent of new and expectant moms online in the United States, and 16 million parents monthly across 21 markets worldwide. BABYCENTER has nurtured more than 100 million parents since its launch in 1997 providing a customized experience that blends trusted expert advice with mom-to-mom wisdom from pre-conception through age eight. As the voice of modern motherhood, BABYCENTER is the go-to resource for 21st Century Mom™ insights. Through its unique combination of content and community, BABYCENTER delivers award-winning stage-based content to parents via personalized home pages, e-mail newsletters, useful online and mobile tools, two popular parenting blogs (MomFormation™ and FameBaby®) and the BABYCENTER Community, the fastest growing parenting community on the Web. BABYCENTER provides the most comprehensive, exclusive set of industry-leading 3D animated videos about pregnancy and birth while also housing a series of complete live birth videos with expert narration and commentary. Through its proprietary research and industry-leading mom panels, BABYCENTER has helped some of the world’s leading brands better understand how to market to moms. BABYCENTER has garnered numerous prestigious awards, including six Webby Awards, two Mediapost OMMA Awards and was listed on Advertising Age’s 2008 “Digital A-List.” BABYCENTER is available on the Internet in eight languages and has mobile applications available in English, Spanish and Hindi. BABYCENTER, LLC is based in San Francisco, California, and is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. BABYCENTER is a registered trademark of BABYCENTER, LLC.
About the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) is the only coalition of its kind which acts as a catalyst for change by creating partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and government agencies. The Coalition promotes optimal health for mothers and babies, and works to strengthen families and build healthy communities.
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