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A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

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OR "Moms 2 B" Get Parenting Tips by Cell Phone

May 14, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. - If little things mean a lot, then a one or two-sentence text message should be sufficient to get the word out for new moms, about taking good care of themselves and their babies. The "Text4Baby" program is the first government, community and private partnership to deliver health and safety reminders by cell phone.

Denise Johnson, health education coordinator for CareOregon, says it's a way to try to reach younger women during their pregnancies, and keep them interested in the advice, after their babies are born.

"The traditional method is booklet or letters or even Internet, which are all very good and valuable. But, studies show, and we know by evidence, that 18 hours of the day, your cell phone is probably within arm's length of you."

The challenge, says Johnson, is to communicate with younger women, who might avoid going to the doctor, even when they're pregnant. In Oregon, she says the number of expectant mothers who are not getting proper prenatal care is on the rise.

"Technically, it's having less than five prenatal visits during your nine-month pregnancy. Prenatal care is very important because it enables you and your health care provider to identify potential problems and catch them early."

The Text4Baby messages cover topics from labor and delivery, to nutrition and car seat safety. The service is free, and anyone can sign up by texting the word BABY on their cell phone, to 511411. It is also available in Spanish, by texting BEBE to the same number. People can also sign up online at www.text4baby.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR