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Promoting Maternal and Child Health Through Health Text Messaging: An Evaluation of the Text4baby Program (Summary of Key Findings)
Text4baby is a free text messaging program for pregnant women and new mothers with an infant up to one year of age, designed to improve maternal and child health (MCH) among underserved populations in the United States. It is the first free national health text messaging service, made possible through an arrangement between The Wireless Foundation and most U.S. mobile operators. Text4baby provides evidence-based, critical health and safety information targeted to traditionally underserved pregnant women and new mothers who are in need of services but are often beyond the reach of the health care system (Whitaker et al. 2012). The Text4baby program was implemented by using a public-private partnership model to develop the message content and conduct outreach. The partnership was led by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), a national coalition of MCH professional organizations; Voxiva, a mobile health (mHealth) company that provides the Text4baby software platform; The Wireless Foundation, representing the wireless carriers; and Grey Healthcare Group, which provides public relations and media support. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor, providing direct financial and in-kind support to operate the program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the lead federal government partner, assisting with outreach, developing and approving message content, and supporting an evaluation of Text4baby. More than 1,000 outreach partners support the promotion of Text4baby at the national, state, and local levels.