United Way partnering with Text4baby program to aid Bradley County parents
by Special to the Banner
Jun 04, 2013 | 892 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Information such as the “do’s and don’ts” of what a young mother should or should not do with a baby has been passed down from mother to mother for generations.

With the increase in technology and the use of social media, young mothers are constantly looking for the easiest and most convenient way to live in this fast-paced life. Text4baby, a program that has drawn the support and sponsorship of United Way of Bradley County, is exactly that by sending mothers a text message with information and helpful tips in raising their child.

Text4baby is a free program of the nonprofit National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB). Text4baby is the largest national mobile health initiative reaching nearly 500,000 moms nationally since the launch of the company three years ago. Through free text messages, pregnant women and moms with babies under the age of one receive customized health and safety information and public health alerts to support them in the beginning stages of motherhood.

For a mother or future mother to get started in this free program is simple. Just send a text message saying “BABY” or “BEBE” (for Spanish) to the number “511411”. The mother will then need to send the due date or the date of birth of her child and the zip code from the area in which they reside. Shortly after registration, she will receive free tips three times a week throughout the pregnancy and the baby’s first-year birthday. As easy as it is to sign up for this free service, it is just as easy to stop at any time. Simply reply to the same number with the text message “STOP” and the messages will stop being sent.

“Partnering with the Text4baby program is one of the most cost effective ways to get vital information to mothers in our community,” said United Way of Bradley County Community Impact associate Jaynese Waddell.

United Way promotes the Text4baby program and is partnering with text4baby for the 2013 Text4baby State Enrollment Contest. The contest runs from May 12 to Oct. 21, 2013. During this time, states compete to enroll as many participants as possible in the service. The states with the highest percentage of pregnant women and mothers in the text4baby program during the contest will be announced and recognized during the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass., in early November.

“The Text4baby State Enrollment Contest is a great way for states to actively participate in making sure pregnant women and new moms across the country get the information they need on immunizations, appointments, resources, and other health and safety information that leads to better health for them and their babies,” said Sarah Ingersoll, text4baby director, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “Text4baby is proven effective and with United Way’s help, more moms can get signed up to receive these valuable messages.”

Along with text4baby, there are a few other partners United Way of Bradley County supports that are involved with helping families get a jumpstart on life. These include the Imagination Library, the Starfish Program, The Caring Place, The Refuge, the Boehm Birth Defects Center, the Hope Center, LUDIC and Signal Centers. These programs all help in various areas of need and are willing to serve mothers and expectant mothers in any way possible.

“United Way of Bradley County is proud to partner with programs like text4baby, to help educate mothers and serve families from all different backgrounds of life,” Waddell said.

For more information on the text4baby program, contact Waddell at United Way of Bradley County at 423-479-2020, or email her at jaynesewaddell@unitedwaybc.com.