CHAPEL HILL, NC – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) customers can now access text4baby, a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. Text4baby recently received an innovation award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information they need to take care of their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. Messages cover topics ranging from immunizations to car seat safety and continue through the baby’s first birthday. Text4baby is available to women throughout the U.S. To date, more than 81,000 women have signed up.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were more than 17,000 preterm births in North Carolina in 2006, the most recent year for which data is available.
“A healthy childhood begins with a healthy pregnancy, and text4baby puts valuable information literally at new moms’ fingertips,” said Dr. Don Bradley, senior vice president and chief medical officer for BCBSNC. “We know that with the right information moms can make the right decisions for the long-term health of their children. This program is a baby step toward a healthier future for North Carolina’s littlest residents.”
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s partnership with 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 North Carolina moms and their babies will benefit from text4baby.”
Other pregnancy resources for BCBSNC members include:
- Access to one-on-one nursing support;
- Outreach from prenatal case managers to members who may be at higher risk. Prenatal case managers are nurses who specialize in maternal health.
- Up to six annual nutrition counseling visits with a registered dietitian;
- Educational materials covering pregnancy, breast-feeding, postpartum depression, labor and delivery options and costs, general newborn care and choosing a pediatrician, car seat or day-care provider;
- Discounts on certain breast pumps and supplies with free shipping;
- A prenatal resource guide; and
- A child health record to help track pediatrician visits, immunizations and health milestones.
- Members’ specific benefits depend upon their current health insurance plan.
* Customers should visit bcbsnc.com to learn more about program qualifications and restrictions.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 77 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.