NH DHHS - Text4baby Turns One Year Old in New Hampshire

Concord, NH - This month the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) celebrates making the mobile health program, text4baby, available for the past year to women in New Hampshire. Happy 1st Birthday text4baby!

DHHS signed on as an outreach partner one year ago, and hasn’t stopped texting since. With multiple local community programs and two State Agencies (DHHS and the Department of Education) signed on as outreach partners, New Hampshire is excited to be involved in a new and exciting mobile health technology project. Pregnant women and new mothers who text "BABY" (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 receive free text messages, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date through the baby’s first year.

In its first year, text4baby has already reached more than 145,000 women across the nation, thanks to an unprecedented partnership between the nonprofit Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB), the private sector and government partners including the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CTIA – The Wireless Foundation, and Voxiva. Johnson & Johnson is the program’s founding sponsor. New Hampshire has over 1,000 women enrolled in text4baby, second nationally for the highest percentage of women enrolled.

Text4baby provides timely pregnancy and health tips sent directly to participants’ cell phones in the form of text messages. While 90 percent of people in the U.S. have cell phones, text4baby is the first free, health education program in the country to harness the popularity of texting as a mode of communication.

“What is exciting about text4baby, is that it brings the information right to the mom on her cell phone,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “She gets three messages per week tailored to her due date or the child’s date of birth. We are thrilled to be a part of text4baby, and will continue to collaborate with local community programs across the State, to make the program available to more mothers.”

The messages, which have been vetted by government and non-profit health experts such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and March of Dimes, deal with nutrition, immunization, and infant safety, among other topics.

New Hampshire is preparing to enter a nation-wide text4baby enrollment competition. The state with the highest enrollment percentage increase, will win a local text4baby media event. If you are a community organization and want to get in on the competition to help New Hampshire win, send an email to text4baby@dhhs.state.nh.us

Text4baby is an exciting and innovative way for the millions of pregnant women and new moms across the country to get the most important information they need to ensure their child’s healthy development. If you’re an expectant or new mom or you know one and want to learn more, go to www.text4baby.org .

These recommendations are one of the topics DHHS is focusing on this week in recognition of National Public Health Week; for more information go to www.nphw.org .