Becoming a new mom can be an exciting time. It can also be scary at times. It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities that come along with caring for someone so small and fragile.

But there is help available. New and expecting moms can receive free information and advice on taking care of an infant and issues that may arise.

Text4baby is a free service that provides pregnant and new moms with three text messages a week on pregnancy and infant care. These messages are timed to a baby’s due date or date of birth.

The service is made up of a partnership of community health providers, wireless providers, businesses, health care providers and governmental agencies.

Text4baby is simple to begin. All you have to do is send a text message to 511411 with the word “BABY” or “BEBE” (for Spanish messages). You will be prompted for your child’s due date or date of birth and Zip code, and immediately begin receiving three messages a week offering evidence-based information based on the stage of your pregnancy or your child’s development.

During South by Southwest Interactive, I sat in a text4baby panel that highlighted the partnership and its reach. The panelists included Campaign Director Sarah Ingersoll of National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, Kimberly Bassett of CTIA Wireless Foundation, Susan Can of Johnson & Johnson and Paul Meyer of Voxiva.

According to

  • 500,000 babies are born every year
  • 28,000 die before their first birthday
  • 89 percent of women ages 18-49 have mobile phones
  • 6.2 billion texts are sent every day
  • 322.8 million wireless subscribers

The service is not just for mothers. Providers are also able to sign up, so that they can receive information that can be shared with their patients.