Written by Ashley Johnson, '13
Writing Intern for the Office of Communications

Recent studies conducted by CSUSM’s National Latino Research Center (NLRC) and UCSD show that text4Baby, a text message health service, is improving maternal and infant health. The research findings indicate that text4baby raises users’ health knowledge and results in higher immunization rates and increased access to prenatal care and resources.

“The study results show compelling evidence for text4baby’s capability to reach underserved populations and deliver valuable and relevant information,” said Arcela Nunez-Alvarez, director of the NLRC, a research center housed at CSUSM.

A free nationwide service, text4baby sends health tips, reminders and resource information via text message to mothers-to-be and new moms. On average users receive three text messages from text4baby each week. The program aims to reach underrepresented community residents and low-income families to raise healthy pregnancy outcomes.

In San Diego, the program has sent more than 800,000 health tips to 6,300 new and expectant mothers since 2010. The average user enrolled in the program is 27 years old, with an annual household income less than $30,000.

The report released by NLRC in partnership with the UCSD’s Department of Reproductive Medicine and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation states that 65 percent of participants reported that text4baby helped them remember an appointment or need for an immunization.

Nearly 75 percent reported that the messages informed them of medical warning signs that they had no previous knowledge about, and 67 percent said that they were able to talk with their doctors about a topic they read about in a text4baby message.

The findings of NLRC and its partners have garnered White House attention calling the research effort “critical in delivering health and safety information to pregnant women and mothers with infants around the country.”

The San Diego service of text4baby got a boost last month as the County of San Diego announced a new alliance to expand the reach of the program, adding three new community partner organizations: Alliance Healthcare Foundation, Council of Community Clinics and First Five San Diego.

“Research on text4baby has shown that this free service helps new mothers raise healthy babies,” said Greg Cox, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Providing this service to San Diego moms ensures we are doing our part to provide them with vital health and safety information.” 

Enroll in text4baby

Mothers and mothers-to-be can enroll in the free service by texting “BABY” for English or “BEBE” for Spanish to 511411. Addressing topics such as immunization, nutrition, birth defect prevention and child safety, messages are timed to the due date or baby’s birth date and continue until the child reaches its first birthday.

Recent studies conducted by CSUSM’s National Latino Research Center (NLRC) and UCSD show that text4Baby, a text message health service, is improving maternal and infant health. The research findings indicate that text4baby raises users’ health knowledge and results in higher immunization rates and increased access to prenatal care and resources.

 

“The study results show compelling evidence for text4baby’s capability to reach underserved populations and deliver valuable and relevant information,” said Arcela Nunez Alvarez, director of the NLRC, a research center housed at CSUSM.

 

A free nationwide service, text4baby sends health tips, reminders and resource information via text message to mothers-to-be and new moms. On average users receive three text messages from text4baby each week. The program aims to reach underrepresented community residents and low income families to raise healthy pregnancy outcomes.

 

In San Diego, the program has sent more than 800,000 health tips to 6,300 new and expectant mothers since 2010. The average user enrolled in the program is 27 years old with an annual household income less than $30,000.

 

The report released by NLRC in partnership with the UCSD’s Department of Reproductive Medicine and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation states that 65 percent of participants reported that text4baby helped them remember an appointment or need for an immunization.

 

Nearly 75 percent reported that the messages informed them of medical warning signs that they had no previous knowledge about, and 67 percent said that they were able to talk with their doctors about topic that they read about in a text4baby message.

 

The findings of NLRC and its partners have garnered White House attention calling the research effort “critical in delivering health and safety information to pregnant women and mothers with infants around the country.”

 

The San Diego service of text4baby got a boost last month as the County of San Diego announced a new alliance to expand the reach of the program, adding three new community partner organizations: Alliance Healthcare Foundation, Council of Community Clinics and First Five San Diego.

 

“Research on text4baby has shown that this free service helps new mothers raise healthy babies,” said Greg Cox, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Providing this service to San Diego moms ensures we are doing our part to provide them with vital health and safety information.”  

 

ENROLL

Women can enroll in the free service by texting “BABY” for English or “BEBE” for Spanish to 511411. Addressing topics such as immunization, nutrition, birth defect prevention and child safety, messages are timed to the due date or baby’s birth date and continue until the child reaches its first birthday.

“Research on text4baby has shown that this free service helps new mothers raise healthy babies,” said Greg Cox, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Providing this service to San Diego moms ensures we are doing our part to provide them with vital health and safety information.”