TIME MAGAZINE, March 10, 2011
When Megan Johnson was eight weeks pregnant, a nurse told her about a new, free service that would send her customized text messages about her current stage of pregnancy. All she had to do was text “BABY” (or “BEBE” for Spanish) to 511411.

Johnson, whose daughter was born in January, received texts such as this:

“Did you drink water today? Get plenty of water each day & more if it's hot or you're exercising. Keeping your body hydrated is important!”

“Talk to your Dr. about getting a flu shot. Pregnant moms & babies can get very sick from flu. For info call CDC at 800-232-4636.”

“Need free or low-cost health care for you & your baby? Your state has programs to help. Call 877-543-7669 to find out if you qualify.”

As a single mother who's out of work — the sort of demographic that can lack the resources to be diligent about prenatal care — Johnson, 22, is text4baby's target market, along with Hispanics and African Americans. They're about 2.5 times as likely as whites to postpone seeing an obstetrician until the third trimester or to get no prenatal care at all. But they love to text.

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