Blue Cross Offers Text4Baby Service Free to Louisiana Moms

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has partnered with Text4Baby, the first free health text messaging service in the United States, to help support pregnant women and new moms by providing accurate, timely health information and resources in text format.

Because more than 85 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 72 percent of cell phone users send or receive text messages, texting is a convenient way to share simple health and wellness information. Research shows that increasing health knowledge can help people stay healthier—another good reason to send wellness messages to expectant mothers in this familiar, personal format.

Blue Cross is promoting Text4Baby on its website at www.bcbsla.com and sending signup information to its members statewide, as well as to doctors who specialize in women’s and infants’ health.

Click on the banner below to sign up for Text4Baby.

text4baby

“As the largest health insurer in Louisiana, we feel an obligation to improve the health of the entire state,” says Dr. Ken Phenow, chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. “Blue Cross is a strong advocate of preventive and wellness initiatives like Text4Baby that help keep people healthier—not just our customers, but all the communities we serve.”

Women can sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish). They will receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date during pregnancy or their newborn baby’s date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to a mother’s or child’s health, including immunization, eating right, preventing seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, safe sleep, preventing birth defects and more. Text4Baby messages also help women find prenatal and infant care services and other resources.

“Every woman deserves access to information that will help her give her baby the best possible chance at a healthy start in life,” said Judy Meehan, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “It’s partners like Blue Cross that are making it possible for Text4Baby to deliver health messages to those who need them most.”

The coalition says that each year in the United States, more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate in America is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise.

Text4Baby is made possible through a broad public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, non-profit organizations and more. Founding partners include National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, Voxiva, CTIA - The Wireless Foundation and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company) and Text4Baby’s Founding Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson. Federal government partners include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Free messaging services are generously provided by participating mobile operators, including Alltel, Assurance Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cellular South, Cellcom, Centennial Cellular, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, Metro PCS, nTelos, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile USA.

About the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition is the only coalition of its kind, acting as a catalyst for change by creating partnerships among community groups, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, businesses and government agencies. The coalition promotes optimal health for mothers and babies and works to strengthen families and build healthy communities.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders—and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.4 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,900 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluecrossla. Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BCBSLA and CEO Mike Reitz at www.twitter.com/MikeReitzCEO

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