HRSA: Text4baby makes for engaged, knowledgeable subscribers


Text4baby subscribers are engaged with the program and would recommend it to others, according to the new report produced for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) by Mathematica Policy Research and Public Health Institute. Additionally, the report has also found that Text4baby users are knowledgeable about critical maternal and child health topics.

Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Since launching in 2010, more than 126 million health and safety messages have been sent to over 860,000 pregnant women, new mothers, and others enrolled in the service. Women participating in the program receive three free text messages a week, timed to their due date or their baby’s birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby’s first birthday. The messages address topics such as labor signs and symptoms, prenatal care, urgent alerts, developmental milestones, immunizations, nutrition, birth defect prevention, safe sleep, safety, and more.

Text4baby subscribers demonstrated a significantly higher level of health knowledge than the comparison groups.The report evaluated the program from its launch to late 2013, relying on data from national level stakeholder interviews, secondary data analyses and from information collected at four community health centers (CHCs) via a consumer survey, interviews, and consumer focus groups.

On four critical topics — safe sleep, infant feeding, best time to deliver in a healthy pregnancy, and the meaning of full-term — Text4baby subscribers demonstrated a significantly higher level of health knowledge than the comparison groups. Specifically the evaluation found that “eighty-one percent of women who signed up for Text4baby responded ‘correctly’ to at least three of the four knowledge items, versus 60 to 62 percent of other CHC prenatal care patients.” It also found that 99% of Text4baby subscribers surveyed say they would recommend Text4baby to a friend or family member.

“These findings add to the evidence that Text4baby offers real benefits to pregnant women and new moms, and is widely valued by maternal and child health professionals,” said Janice Frey-Angel, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.

The report summary can be downloaded from here (PDF download). Users who want to subscribe to Text4baby can text BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411, or download the app on iTunes and Google Play.