Sentara Joins Text Outreach to Pregnant Women and New Moms Promoting Healthy Choices
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Sentara Joins Text Outreach to Pregnant Women and New Moms Promoting Healthy Choices 

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Norfolk, Virginia (September 2011) - New moms and moms-to-be are more mobile than ever. That’s why Sentara joins other national organizations as an outreach partner to help educate women about wellness from pregnancy through baby’s first year.

With text4baby, free text messages are sent directly to cell phones or personal assist devices to go everywhere a new or expectant mom might go.

Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information to help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE in Spanish) will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth."

“While the importance of face-to-face education between patients and their healthcare providers cannot be downplayed, text4baby is a terrific, new way to reach women,” says Diana J. Behling, Manager Patient Care Services OB Right Safety Program at Sentara.

Studies have shown good health and nutrition during pregnancy are vital for the long-term health of babies. To improve health in moms and babies, Sentara is reaching out to women in Virginia to offer this innovative and free tool.

“With technology, communication styles are evolving, and this program gets vital maternal and infant health information to our patients in a way they can use it right away,” continues Behling.

In our fast paced lives, health messages about eating healthy during pregnancy, what foods contain calcium to build babies’ teeth and bones, and how to care for a new baby will help moms make smart choices wherever they are.

Did you know even before a baby’s first tooth comes in, their gums should be cleaned with a wet wash cloth? Or that sucking on his fists could be a sign of a hungry baby? These are the kinds of messages women and their partners can receive each week with text4baby. From signs of sickness to a baby’s signs of hunger, messages are short and actionable.

Sentara offers hospital tours for families expecting new babies and exercise, breastfeeding, parenting and other courses to learn more about pregnancy and caring for the baby.

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition develops text messages which are reviewed by leading healthcare professionals and are right for women of all literacy levels.

- Annually more than 500,000 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. 
- About 28,000 children die before their first birthday in the U.S. 
- Infant mortality rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, are on the rise. 
- Over 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages.

Related Links:
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition

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