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Free Service Helps New Parents, One Text At A Time

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We've all heard expecting parents and new parents say they wished their kids came with instruction manuals.

Just in time for Mother's Day - local groups are promoting a service that can help. It's called 'Text4Baby' and it's a free text message service that sends new and expecting parents helpful tips, safety information and important reminders. "I thought I was well prepared, and you do the very best you can to educate yourself, but stuff that would not even occur to you, like she doesn't have teeth yet, but I should be cleaning her gums? She doesn't have teeth. Why would I be cleaning her gums, you know?" says parent Jila Peek.

Peek says, as a busy mom, just a few tips and reminders a week helped her stay on top of things without having to read tons of literature or consult a lot of different people. That's the goal behind Text4Baby - to give parents the information that they might not be able to get otherwise.

The text messages give tips like - what position a baby should sleep in, when to get vaccinations and how to child-proof your home. And organizers say that's especially important in Nevada. "It's particularly important in Nevada because we have a lower rate of women who get to the proper healthcare provider in their first trimester, and some even get no prenatal care," says Vickie Ives, Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

To sign up for the Text4Baby messages, just text the word 'baby' for English or 'bebe' for Spanish to 511411. You can stop the messages anytime by just replying 'stop.'

Since its inception in 2010, Nevada’s Text4Baby has helped more than 8,500 mothers.

For more information, go to www.text4baby.org; www.ImmunizeNevada.org; www.kidscount.unlv.edu; http://www.health.nv.gov/

Written by Arianna Bennett
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