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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Promotes Free Text Messaging Initiative to Support the Health and Wellness of New Mothers and their Babies

CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
617-246-7412
jenna.mcphee@bcbsma.com

BOSTON — July 12, 2010 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) today announced its support for text4baby, a free mobile information service* designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information to help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE in Spanish) will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby's date of birth on topics ranging from health care access and immunization, to oral health and car seat safety.

"According to an article in the New York Daily News, 19.3 million moms are text messaging," said Bryce Williams, director of Health and Wellness at BCBSMA. "It's not surprising so many on-the-go moms are looking to communicate and get information quickly and easily on their phones. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is looking forward to working with text4baby to deliver helpful information to these busy moms."

Text4baby pregnancy and infant messages were developed by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition in collaboration with federal partners, physicians and nurses and national medical organizations. Once registered, moms will receive three text messages a week until the baby's first birthday such as:

  • A seat belt protects you and your baby. Shoulder belt goes between your breasts & lap strap goes under your belly (not on or above). Wear it every time.

  • It's normal for new moms to feel tired or overwhelmed. But if you're crying a lot or feeling anxious or hopeless, please call 1-800-944-4773 for help.

  • Keeping your baby's mouth clean is important even before he/she has teeth! Wipe gums each day with a wet washcloth or use a soft baby toothbrush.

More Online Tools for BCBSMA Moms:
Moms can learn more about text4baby by visiting BCBSMA's Living Healthy Babies website, another resource dedicated to BCBSMA members who are pregnant or thinking about conceiving. The site offers tools and information covering everything from preconception and pregnancy to cognitive development during the baby's first year. The program also offers members access to BCBSMA's 24-hour Blue Care Line (1-888-247-BLUE), where they can ask a registered nurse health questions and receive advice on caring for themselves or their baby at home.

BCBSMA also recently launched the Maternity Screening Pilot, an employer initiative that identifies members with high-risk pregnancies based on factors such as age, medical and behavioral health status. Members who elect to participate work closely with registered nurses in BCBSMA's case management program to improve the health and wellbeing of themselves and the baby during their pregnancy.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' support for text4baby demonstrates their commitment to the health and wellness of moms and their babies," said Judy Meehan, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. "Now more moms in Massachusetts will benefit from receiving free text messages that will help them care for their health and give their babies the best possible start in life."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) was founded 73 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to nearly 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. BCBSMA believes in rewarding doctors and hospitals for delivering safe and effective care, and in empowering patients to take more responsibility, become educated health care consumers and become stronger partners with their doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

 

* Text4baby is offered at no additional charge through certain cell phone carriers. To learn more visit: www.text4baby.org.

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