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Brush for Two for Baby and You!

PRESS RELEASE
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)
4401 Ford Avenue
Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22302
MEDIA CONTACT:
Arlene Remick, aremick@hmhb.org or 703-837-4792

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Shares Important Message
with Moms-to-Be

Alexandria, VA – - Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition is proud to partner with Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care Company, the makers of Sonicare, and the HMHB Coalition of Georgia to announce a pilot education program in Atlanta, Georgia. This educational campaign will increase awareness about the importance of oral health during pregnancy and educate on the risks that gum disease can pose to both mother and child. Emerging science suggests that pregnant women with gum disease may be as much as seven times more likely to give birth to a baby that is premature or of a low birth weight.

Launched at The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia this fall, 2005, the campaign will engage prenatal health care providers including OBGYNs, family physicians and nurse practitioners. The effort aims to see that Atlanta’s moms-to-be are aware of the relationship between oral health and overall health.

HMHB is committed to improving the health and safety of mothers, babies and families through education and collaborative partnerships of public and private organizations. Poor oral health weakens the immune system and makes one susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease. The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease can enter a woman’s bloodstream and can easily spread to her developing fetus. This periodontal infection can trigger the release of a chemical called prostaglandin, which is believed to cause premature labor.

“Philips Sonicare is excited about partnering with HMHB to educate pregnant women about the effect that poor oral health can have on pregnancy. This is such an important topic, yet many women know very little about it,” expressed Ayana K. Butler, Associate Brand Manager, Philips Sonicare.

This partnership is a unique affiliation that will offer information to consumers that is not readily available through other sources. By making educational materials available to health care providers free of charge, the partnership will give professionals an easy way of sharing important health messages with their patients. The goal of the nine-month campaign is to reach over 50,000 pregnant women in the Atlanta-metro area through speaking engagements, health care conferences, online, and an “Oral Health toolkit” which includes an educational brochure, a tip sheet and a Sonicare toothbrush rebate coupon.

“This project presents exciting opportunities to remind moms that they are brushing for two. We thank Philips Sonicare for their commitment to maternal and child health and this very important issue.” says Judy Meehan, Executive Director of HMHB.

For more information on this exciting campaign, please visit HMHB at www.hmhbga.org or call Chrissy Faessen at 202-220-3769.

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The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition reaches an estimated ten million health care professionals, parents and policymakers through its membership of local, state and national organizations. Enhanced by a network of 80 Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies state and local coalitions, HMHB acts as a catalyst for change and creates partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and governments agencies. By promoting optimal health for mothers and babies, HMHB works to strengthen families and build communities. To learn more, go to www.hmhb.org.