Healthy Baby Campaign Uses Texts To Reach Mothers

Health education is about to meet the information age.

Expectant mothers now have a new tool to help keep themselves and their babies healthy: pregnancy tips sent directly to their cell phones.

Sponsors say the so-called text4baby campaign is the first free, health education program in the U.S. to harness the reach of mobile phones. Sponsors include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, WellPoint and CareFirst BlueCross and Blue Shield. Wireless carriers including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have agreed to waive all fees for receiving the texts.

Organizers say texting is an effective means of delivering wellness tips because 90 percent of people in the U.S. have cell phones.

Studies in Africa, Latin America and India have shown that periodic texts can reduce smoking and other unhealthy behaviors in pregnant mothers.

Text4baby is expected to be announced this morning by officials from the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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