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For Release:  May 7, 2013 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications - 405/271-5601

Text4Baby Provides Free Health and Safety Tips for New Mothers
Women’s Health Week is May 12-18

A woman’s health before, during, and between pregnancy can impact the health of both mother and baby. That is why the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and more than 20 partners in the “Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” initiative are promoting Text4Baby to help improve maternal and infant health and reduce infant mortality.  The initiative members are asking pregnant women and new mothers to enroll in this free program during the month of May, especially during Women’s Health Week, May 12-18.

Text4Baby is a free service for expectant and new mothers providing text messages on prenatal care, baby health, parenting, and more.  Other caregivers of infants are also encouraged to participate.  To sign up for the Text4Baby program, just text the word “BABY” (“BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411 from a cell phone or you can register online at www.text4baby.org. Participants will receive FREE text messages until the baby is 1 year old.  Individuals will not be charged for receiving text messages through this program.  You can find more information about the service at www.text4baby.org.

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition partnered with CTIA – The Wireless Foundation to provide free health-related text messages about topics such as prenatal care, oral health, safe sleep, and nutrition. Individual organizations and communities are encouraged to hold local events to increase enrollment in this valuable service that supports moms and families.

There is a need to focus on the health of women at all ages and, in particular, during the child bearing years. Almost half of the pregnancies in Oklahoma are unintended.  Health conditions and risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, alcohol use, and tobacco use all have the potential to complicate pregnancy and harm the developing baby.

In Oklahoma, nearly 35 percent of women smoked during the three months before they became pregnant and almost one in five smoked while they were pregnant.  To help promote a healthy pregnancy and birth, women are encouraged to be active, eat healthy, and avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking. 

The focus of Women’s Health Week this year in Oklahoma is to empower women to make their health a priority and encourage them to take the following steps to improve their physical and mental health, and lower their risks of certain diseases:

  • Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings. 
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet and texting while driving.

Partners in the  “Preparing for a Lifetime – It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” include the following:  Community Health Centers, Inc./Central Oklahoma Healthy Start; Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa; Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates; Indian Health Services; Infant Crisis Services, Inc.; March of Dimes; Oklahoma Child Death Review Board; Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board; Oklahoma City-County Health Department; Oklahoma City Indian Clinic; Oklahoma Department of Human Services; Oklahoma Department of  Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Oklahoma Family Network; Oklahoma Health Care Authority; Oklahoma Hospital Association; Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy; Oklahoma State Department of Health; Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment

Trust; Safe Kids Oklahoma; Smart Start Oklahoma; The Parent Child Center of Tulsa; The State Chamber; Tulsa Health Department/Tulsa Healthy Start; Turning Point Coalitions; University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education; University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/Department of OB/GYN and Pediatrics; and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. 

For more information about Text4Baby, please visit www.text4baby.org  or http://iio.health.ok.gov or call (405) 271-4480. 

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