In 2012, when Russian tennis player Anastasia Myskina was expecting her third child, she subscribed to a newly launched service SMSmame (“SMS to Mom” in Russian, also known as Text4baby Russia) which provides new and expectant mothers with free text messages to their mobile phones with information on caring for their own health and the health of their children.
“I lead a pretty active life even when I’m pregnant. But this doesn’t mean that I’m unaware of the need to take care of myself, after all, I have a fair amount of experience being a mother,” said Myskina. “That being said, with a busy schedule it can be difficult to keep to your prescribed health regimen and remember every little thing, which is so important for the health of your child.”
SMSmame is based on the successful U.S. maternal and child mobile health (mhealth) initiative, Text4baby, and was developed under the auspices of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission in 2011 and launched nationwide in Russia by the Health and Development Foundation in February 2012. It is a public-private partnership with the Kulakov Center of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology of the Russian Federation Ministry of Health and Social Development, the country’s lead maternal child center responsible for maternal child health protocols. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor of Text4baby in Russia.
The Health and Development Foundation recently carried out a national survey among participants of SMSmame. Specialists from Lomonosov Moscow State University conducted research among 751 respondents from 64 Russian regions: 91 percent said they are motivated by text messages and 98 percent said they follow text message advice. This includes taking vitamins/folic acid (91 percent), breastfeeding (90 percent), and quitting smoking during pregnancy or their child’s first year of life (23 percent). While a majority, 70 percent of subscribers, are expecting their first child, 30 percent are expecting their second or third. These survey results provide evidence that SMSmame will improve maternal and child health in Russia, as well as improving the quality of medical care available to pregnant women and new mothers.
“We know that Text4baby really works. It has helped women in the U.S. and Russia maintain their health during pregnancy and give their babies a healthy start in life,” says Susan Can, Director of Corporate Equity, Johnson & Johnson. “That’s what’s so exciting; we see the potential of mhealth initiatives to help people throughout the world live healthier, happier lives.”
Johnson & Johnson has a Healthy Future 2015 goal to advance community wellness.
From the 2013 Johnson & Johnson Annual Report