Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation
 
 

North Carolina Is National Leader in Promoting Use of Mobile Information to Promote Maternal and Child Health

 

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Contact: news@dhhs.nc.gov
              919-855-4840

Raleigh, N.C. - The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services today announced that North Carolina has been named one of the top three states in the nation for its efforts to recruit new and expecting moms to use a mobile information service for information and resources on healthy pregnancy and infant care. More than 4,800 new users signed up for the free Text4baby service between May and October 2013.

"Today's moms lead busy lives and we want to help them get accurate health information as easily as possible," said Dr. Robin Gary Cummings, deputy secretary for Health Services and acting state health director. "With more people relying on mobile phones for information, the Text4baby service not only meets a need, but also is convenient and accessible."

The Text4baby campaign was developed to address poor birth outcomes by helping more moms of all races, ethnicities, education, and income levels obtain better health information and faster access to care. In North Carolina, an estimated 2.6 percent of births are pre-term, 9.1 percent of babies are born at a low birth weight, and 7.9 babies per 1,000 die before their first birthday.

"With the support of our local partners, North Carolina has adopted a number of innovative public health programs to reach high risk populations," he said. "Text4baby is an excellent example of the impact a data-driven, collaborative approach can have on improving the health of all residents in our state."

Text4baby messages are sent three times a week and are timed to the pregnant woman's due date or the baby's date of birth. Women can sign up by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. The service is available to more than 96 percent of people with cell phones and does not impact limited text messaging plans. Even women who don't have a text messaging plan can get messages at no charge.

In addition to a statewide media campaign, coordinated by the NC Healthy Start Foundation, text4baby was promoted through television ads and numerous community efforts and local websites, including Young Moms Connect (supporting young pregnant and parenting women in five NC counties), Healthy Start Baby Love Plus, Healthy Beginnings (state minority infant mortality program), the Pregnancy Medical Home programs (Medicaid managed care for pregnant women), home visiting, and WIC projects in North Carolina, representing the statewide network of 500+ community-based agencies serving women of child-bearing age. The ad may be viewed at http://youtu.be/GIXvkxO4acg.

NC Outreach Partners:
Alamance Partnership for Children (Burlington, NC)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Durham, NC)
Cabarrus Partnership for Children (Concord, NC)
Carolinas Healthcare System (Charlotte, NC)
Carteret County Health Department (Morehead City, NC)
Columbus County Health Department (Whiteville, NC)
Durham Early Head Start (Durham, NC)
East Carolina University Adult and Pediatric Health Center (Greenville, NC)
Granville-Vance District Health Department (Oxford, NC)
Iredell Health System (Statesville, NC)
North Carolina Chapter of March of Dimes (Raleigh, NC)
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services*
North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation (Raleigh, NC)
Onslow County Health Department (Jacksonville, NC)
Park Ridge Health (Hendersonville, NC)
Pender County Health Department (Burgaw, NC)
Robeson County Partnership for Children (Lumberton, NC)
Rowan County Health Department (Salisbury, NC)
Smart Start of New Hanover County (Wilmington, NC)
Wake County Human Services (Raleigh, NC)
Wilkes County Health Department (Wilkesboro, NC)
* denotes state lead

For more information about text4baby, visit www.text4baby.org

###

Text4baby is the nation's only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. The following carriers support text4baby so the service can be free to the end users: Alltel, Assurance Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cellcom, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, MetroPCS, n-Telos, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, TracFone, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile U.S.A.

State of North Carolina Home Page