News Release

February 28, 2012

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510

Text4baby Provides Information To Expectant Mothers, Mothers Of Infants

Friends and families of women in Oklahoma gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday to take part in a national effort to send and share vital health information via text messages to help women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

The campaign, “text4baby,” is a national initiative of the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. It is being promoted by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Smart Start Oklahoma and community partners across the state.

"We are happy to support the text4baby program, which reaches an audience of future and new parents on-the-go through their cell phones, to bring health messages throughout the pregnancy and the baby's first year. This partnership will help us reinforce the 'Preparing for a Lifetime, It's Everyone's Responsibility' initiative to reduce infant mortality statewide and provide more access to health care through the SoonerCare program," said Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Terry Cline.

OHCA partners, stakeholders and Secretary Cline were invited to join others across the state who are texting someone they love with information about the program.

Text4baby will send free text messages to pregnant women and new mothers from the time they sign up through the end of the child’s first year of life. Mothers or mothers-to-be can sign up online at www.text4baby.org or by texting BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 on a cell phone.
 
 “We are aware of Oklahoma’s less-than-desirable infant mortality rate,” said OHCA Medical Director Dr. Sylvia Lopez. “Text4baby is a wonderful way to leverage technology and improve the health of women and infants in Oklahoma and across the nation.”

The texting campaign fits with Oklahoma’s “Preparing for A Lifetime – It’s Everyone’s Responsibility,” initiative which is designed to reduce Oklahoma’s infant mortality rate (IMR). In 2007 Oklahoma ranked 46th in the United States with an infant mortality rate of 8.5 deaths per 1,000 live births. Today, we are happy to announce numbers showing that our state is heading in the right direction to reduce infant mortality in Oklahoma.  Data from the Centers for Disease Control/National Center for Health Statistics show that in 2008, Oklahoma ranked 35th in the United States with an infant mortality rate of 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the national average of 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.

For general information about improving the health of pregnant women and infants in Oklahoma, contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health Maternal and Child Health Service at 405-271-4480, call the county health department in your area, or view the “Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility” website at http://iio.health.ok.gov.

“This will make it easier for moms to take charge of their family’s health,” Dr. Lopez said.  “Help us ensure that moms can access critical health and safety information through text4baby.Whether you’re a mom or a health services organization, improving access to services for women and babies helps ensure that children get the best possible start to life.”

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