Recently my life changed dramatically. I had a baby. And, while I consider myself fairly educated, I still found that I was in the clueless category when it came to caring for a human life both pre- and post-pregnancy. I read the books, searched the sites (which all made my head spin) and yet through all of the information out there, I found that there was one little piece of advice that managed to not overwhelm me – a simple text I received a few times a week at 2pm.
That text came from the Text4Baby program spearheaded by the Healthy Babies, Healthy Mothers Coalition (HBHM) along with a slew of reputable partners. Sound familiar? It may. My colleague, Kate Emanuel wrote about the program over the summer. We were lucky enough to find out about the program as soon as it began. This was especially fortunate for me as it was the time I needed a good dose of prenatal education.
To be honest, I am not a tech savvy person. I don’t text unless it’s absolutely necessary which is actually strange since I really don’t like talking on the phone. (You would think I would be more interested in a non-verbal approach!) I am also quite out of the loop when it comes to all the many mobile programs and apps out there designed to make my life easier, more social, etc. (Am I admitting too much?)
So, you can imagine that I was at first a little apprehensive about signing up to the Text4Baby program. Would it be annoying to receive all these texts? Would I actually need to text back (I am way too slow of a texter)? Would it provide me with the information I needed or just some fluff?
But I knew HBHM to be a reputable organization, so I decided to give it a shot. And, it was worth it.
To sign up, I simply texted my due date. From that point on I received two to three texts a week timed to my pregnancy. It was all so simple. It provided valuable information on ways to protect myself and the little one – from making sure I got checked for gestational diabetes to letting me know that babies always need to be placed on their backs when sleeping. They even provided me with phone numbers to get more information or help. It was my very own digital support system.
As the weeks progressed, I even started to become conditioned to getting happy when 2pm arrived and my phone indicated that a new text had arrived. It became almost Pavlovian.
Now that the baby is here, the texts don’t come as frequently and don’t always provide the same level of information, yet they still make me feel better about some of the more difficult aspects of being a working parent as reflected in a recent text: Have you gone back to work? It’s tough. Take it one day at a time and know that you’re not along in this balancing act. It’s as if they knew that day happened to feel like a no win juggling act!
I really can’t recommend the program enough. We are all so inundated with information and this is especially true when you’re pregnant or have a child – everyone seems to have an opinion whether it’s a relative, expert, or someone in the grocery line. But, this one little 2pm text became my golden nugget.
This program may have even opened the door for me to explore other mobile programs that can help me along the way. Maybe.