Moms now can text4baby

The latest technology that mom carries in her purse or pocket can help her carry her baby to a healthier beginning and birth. A new cyber service, text4baby, sends text messages to expectant moms three times a week.

The messages provide information on health, nutrition and other prenatal guidance that increases the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy. The text messages continue for one year after the baby is born to update mom on vital topics such as well-baby doctor visits, immunizations and child safety.

"Moms are really eager for information and are motivated to do the best for their baby," said Judy Meehan, CEO of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, which hosts the service.

"If mom makes healthy choices and allows baby to enjoy a strong start, the positive implications and consequences will last the child's lifetime."

Especially at a time when fewer pregnant women in Indiana are receiving prenatal care. In 2007, the most recent year available, only 67.5 percent of expectant Hoosier moms received first-trimester prenatal care. The percentages are even lower for younger women: Just 46 percent for pregnant teens between the ages of 15-17, and only 60 percent for expectant mothers between the ages of 20-24.

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