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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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Is There an App for Pregnancy?

Is there an app that can help me track things in my pregnancy and help me with health care?

Did you know your phone can help make your baby healthier? Well, it can, by subscribing to a new program that uses text messaging to improve maternal and newborn health!
 
Text4Baby is a free mobile information service of the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, that provides timely health information to women from early pregnancy throughout the baby’s first year. Text4Baby is supported by a large public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies and non profit organizations.  
 
Text messaging in health care is growing.  It has recently been recognized as a tool for behavior change, targeting performance modification in both promotion and management of health. (Cole-Lewis & Kershaw, 2010)  There were 9 studies which had sufficient power to determine the efficacy of text messaging as a behavioral tool.  These studies consistently found that the use of text messaging is an acceptable and effective way to provide advice and support to participants.
 
Ninety percent of women in the united states have a mobile phone, and texting is especially prevalent among women of childbearing age and among minority populations, who are at increased risk of higher infant mortality rates.  Text4Baby appears to be an excellent way to communicate with low-income women and new mothers who may have limited access to health care.
 
Some of the topics that are covered in Text4Baby messages are: Nutrition, flu prevention, mental health, smoking cessation, oral health, vaccination info, breastfeeding and safe infant sleep practices.
 
How it works: Women can sign up for the service by texting BABY (in English) and BEBE (in Spanish to 511411.  The messages that they receive were developed by the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and federal partners.  Enrollees receive the messages free of charge, and it does not deduct from the total number of texts the enrollee pays for her regular plan.  She will receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to her due date.

The bottom line is that text messaging is a very popular mode of communication.  This is a free service that provides vital health information to pregnant women and new mothers.  
 
As a practicing OBGYN I see Text4Baby as a very important adjunct to prenatal care.  The more information we have, the better. 

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Dr. Jill HechtmanJill Hechtman started her medical career at Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth Dominica. After medical school she started an anesthesiology residency in Chicago at RUSH University, where she met the love of her life, Dr. Jason Hechtman. After completing two years of Anesthesiology, Jill decided that she desired to be an OB/GYN, and transferred to Wayne State University for her four year residency in OB/GYN.  After completion, both Jason and Jill moved to Tampa. 

Since moving to Tampa, Jill has become the Medical Director of Tampa Obstetrics and is currently also serving as the Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa. She is the past Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brandon Regional Hospital and served on the hospital’s Board of Trustees for 2 years. She is a frequent face in local media as “Dr. Jill” and is also answers reader questions as our Dr. Mom. Jill was also recently appointed as a member of the Florida House of Representatives Medicaid Low Income Pool Council. She is also featured in various videos about pregnancy, which can be found on her website under “Patient Education”. One of her proudest moments was the birth of her daughter.  The two of them share a common interest in horses.

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