December 5, 2012 — The Text4baby text messaging program has helped contribute to changes in certain beliefs among pregnant women, according to a pilot study published in the journal BMC Public Health, FierceMobileHealthcare reports.
The program, which launched in February 2010, sends weekly, no-cost texts to pregnant women about pregnancy and infant care (Slabodkin, FierceMobileHealthcare, 11/30). It is sponsored by the federal government, the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, wireless providers and several health industry companies (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/23/11).
Text4baby has more than 300,000 subscribers and is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
The study involved pregnant women who sought care through the Fairfax County, Virginia Health Department. The researchers compared one group of pregnant women who enrolled in the Text4baby program and received usual care with another group who only received usual care. More than 80% of the study participants were of Hispanic origin, and their average age was 27.6 years.
Both groups responded to two telephone questionnaires about their beliefs and attitudes toward pregnancy. One survey was administered before the text messages were distributed to the intervention group and one survey was administered at about 28 weeks of gestation.
The study found that women who received the texts were more likely to agree with the statement "I am prepared to be a new mother" at follow-up than they were at the baseline.
Participants in the intervention group who had at least a high school education also expressed more agreement with attitudes against alcohol consumption during pregnancy (FierceMobileHealthcare, 11/30).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership