Text4baby is Turning Three, but It’s Really About the Number One
February 1st, 2013
In celebration of text4baby’s third birthday, we welcome guest blogger Susan Can, Director, Corporate Equity at Johnson & Johnson. We thank our friends and Johnson & Johnson for their partnership and support of this groundbreaking program.
By Susan Can, Director, Corporate Equity at Johnson & Johnson
This year I am happy to wish text4baby a very happy third birthday. Over the past three years I have been fortunate to work with text4baby and experience its growth as the largest mobile health offering of its kind, a service which delivers key health messages directly to the mobile phones of new and expectant moms.
But even though text4baby has hit this three-year milestone, it is really all about the number one. Every single child born deserves the best possible start in life, and the impact that this one life can have is immeasurable. That one baby is everything to its mother and father and grandparents. That one baby is a sister, a brother, a cousin, a classmate, a friend. And that one baby is born into this world with an infinite range of possibilities at the tips of those tiny little finger tips. That one baby.
Text4baby is the largest mobile health offering of its kind, with over half a million subscribers. This service delivers key, stage-based health messages directly to the mobile phones of new and expectant moms. Of the four million babies born annually in the United States, 500,000 infants are born prematurely and 28,000 die before their first birthday. Just think how we can help decrease these numbers by helping moms, one cell phone at a time.
At Johnson & Johnson, we know how important the early start in that one life can be. For 125 years, the desire to make families healthier and safer has been at the heart of our commitment to improving maternal and child health around the world. This is why we are so proud to be the founding sponsor of text4baby.
Today we celebrate this groundbreaking program, thanks to the commitment of an unprecedented public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, and non-profit organizations nationwide. Together, we have delivered more than 67,000,000 messages to moms, giving them health information and resources to provide that one baby with the best possible start in life.
Our role has always been clear. Beyond that of funder, we work closely with text4baby to bring our deep and varied experience in healthcare to this service, supporting text4baby in a multitude of ways because we believe in the model.
Now, we know that the model works; last fall, the first outcomes studies were completed and they showed that text4baby is making a real difference in the health behaviors of its subscribers; increasing users’ health knowledge, facilitating interaction with their health providers, improving their adherence to appointments and immunizations, and improving new and expecting moms’ access to health services. Most recently, the first randomized evaluation of the service, led by The George Washington University, found that text4baby mothers were nearly three times more likely to believe that they were prepared to be new mothers, compared to women in a control group.
As the years go on and text4baby continues to grow and touch the lives of many more moms to come, it’s important to remember that as we continue to try and expand our reach and help as many moms and families as we can, it really all boils down to one — every single baby whose life gets off to its best possible start with a little help from text4baby’s mobile health service.
Meet a few of our text4baby moms and babies:
My baby’s name is Savannah. I signed up for text4baby after hearing about it from my friend who works for New York City as a Breastfeeding Consultant. She signed up for the text messages as well. Text4baby has helped me a lot. They sent me text messages with things I was going through that day. For example, during my 7th month of pregnancy, I thought I was feeling contractions and I was a little nervous. That same day text4baby sent me a text message about Braxton Hicks contractions, and that helped me a lot because I knew that that was what I was feeling and it kind of eased my anxiety.
I’ve been receiving the text messages since I was five months pregnant. I also received messages about postpartum depression, and about the things to look for and how you should be feeling. It actually helped me to recognize different things and to nip it in the bud before anything got too crazy. After using text4baby, I forward messages to my expecting friends and tell them to sign up. Text4baby is excellent. I think moms and dads should go for text4baby because it’s very helpful. For me personally, it helped me with the things I was going through that day. It can help you also, especially being first time parents!
My daughter is eight months old. She’s growing quickly! I didn’t sign up for text4baby until after I gave birth, when I saw text4baby information in the hospital. I thought to myself, “I can do this, it’s easy because my phone is always with me and I can let the information come to me.” I welcome anything I get for free after having my daughter! Everything is so expensive now, so that was definitely an incentive to sign up for the service.
It is really helpful to get the text messages about what to do, what to ask my doctor, and getting messages about emotional feelings postpartum, which helps as a source of support. For example, one very helpful text message was about what stage your child should be in, which helped me not to push her too much and to know what to expect. Another really helpful message was about putting your baby on their tummy to help them gain strength in their neck, so I made sure to do this often. If you use text4baby, you’re going to have a resource to help you understand what to expect. It’s going to give you phone numbers for whatever decision you need to make for your baby. I’ve been using it all the time and it’s helped me, and it’s going to help you.