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Congresswoman Capps Champions text4baby

PRESS RELEASE
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)
4401 Ford Avenue
Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22302
MEDIA CONTACT:
Jennifer Sharp, jsharp@hmhb.org or 703-838-7552

US Congresswoman Lois Capps Champions text4baby, Helping California Babies Get a Healthy Start

June 9, 2010 – The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) applauds US Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) for her commitment to helping children in her district get a healthy start by sharing HMHB’s innovative new mobile health messaging service with her constituents. This week Rep. Capps co-hosted a “Text4baby Launch Party” with the Ventura County Health Care Agency, spreading the word about this free, first-of-its-kind mobile messaging program with expectant and new moms from California’s Central Coast.

An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby delivers timely health tips for pregnancy and baby’s first year via text messaging personalized to a pregnant woman’s due date or baby’s date of birth – with the ability to reach the 90% of American households who have access to mobile devices. The service is made possible by an unprecedented, broad public-private partnership that includes the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Voxiva, CTIA-The Wireless Foundation and founding corporate sponsor Johnson & Johnson.

“We thank Rep. Capps for her leadership role in championing text4baby as a free, accessible resource that can make a real difference in the health and wellbeing of California moms and babies,” said Judy Meehan, Executive Director of HMHB. “Rep. Capps has demonstrated her commitment to the families she represents by making sure that essential health information gets into the hands of the women who need it most, empowering them to care for their own health and the health of their children.”

Each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday—signifying a public health crisis. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise. Now text4baby is leveraging technologies in new ways to make a change for babies, speaking directly to moms in a space that is familiar and accessible.

“Text4baby provides essential health information to pregnant women and new moms during a critical time of life. I was so pleased to be able to help spread the word about this valuable tool that will help ensure that information reaches the women who can benefit from it. Helping to educate new mothers is essential to ensuring that their babies are healthy and happy,” said Rep. Capps.

Signing up for the text4baby service is quick and easy. Texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) is all it takes to begin receiving three free text messages each week, timed to mom’s due-date or baby’s date of birth. Messages focus on a variety of critical health topics, including preventing birth defects, immunization, nutrition, mental health, oral health and safe sleep. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and resources.

About the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) is the only coalition of its kind which acts as a catalyst for change by creating partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and government agencies. The Coalition promotes optimal health for mothers and babies, and works to strengthen families and build healthy communities.