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Coalition launches free text service for pregnant women, new moms

The Office of Science and Technology Policy said on Thursday a service being launched by a coalition of mobile phone providers, health professionals, and federal, state and local agencies will allow pregnant women and new mothers to receive free health information updates to their mobile phones.

Women can sign up for the text4baby service by texting to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish). They will receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby's date of birth that will focus on such issues as nutrition, seasonal flu prevention and treatment, mental health issues, risks of tobacco use, oral health, immunization schedules and safe sleep. The service also will provide information on public clinics and support services for prenatal and infant care.

"Text4baby represents an extraordinary opportunity to expand the way we use our phones, to demonstrate the potential of mobile health technology, and make a real difference for moms and babies across the country," federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, who announced the new service at a health technology conference, said in a statement.

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