HMH to offer free texting service for new mothers

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Text4baby offers information on child and maternal health

By Marty Finley

Hardin Memorial Health has partnered with a national texting service providing free health information for pregnant women and mothers through the first year of their child’s life.

HMH now is promoting text4baby on its website at www.hmh.net and its official Facebook page, where a link is provided for local residents to sign up. Users also can sign up at www.text4baby.org.

Those interested can use the service by texting BABY to 511411. They will receive roughly three free text messages each week that correlate to their due date or the child’s date of birth, according to an HMH news release.

The texts will provide information regarding maternal and child health, such as birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health and safe sleep, according to the news release.

Michelle Murphy, director of marketing and public relations for HMH, said the program is a way for the health system to spread the word and provide another communication medium for its patients to take advantage of. Murphy said the program offers customized text messages based on information provided by the user. For example, expectant mothers may receive reassuring texts alerting them that the pain, discomfort and contractions they are experiencing during pregnancy are a normal part of the child’s development.

Murphy said text4baby also provides information beneficial for relatives or expectant fathers.

“It’s just a new way to communicate,” Murphy said.

Text4baby is a service created through a public-private partnership of governments, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, non-profit associations and other agencies, according to the news release.

“Every woman deserves access to information that will help her give her baby the best possible chance at a healthy start in life,” said Judy Meehan, CEO of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, in a statement. “It’s partners like Hardin Memorial Health that are making it possible for text4baby to deliver health messages to those who need them most.”

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.