Information is power as they say, and this is rarely ever more true than when pregnant. An expecting mother who is informed about how to be healthy when pregnant greatly improves her chances of having a healthy baby. After everything I’ve been through these last few years, I know just how important that is. So, when I was approached with an amazing opportunity to help AT&T spread the word about text4baby, a new service the White House is launching that could improve the lives of millions of Americans, I immediately pledged to help. It is a cause so near and dear to me.

The text4baby campaign is a nationwide effort to give expectant and new mothers information that promotes healthy pregnancies – and healthy babies – via text messaging. It is totally free, and once registered an expectant mother (“or father!” Mike just yelled across the room) will receive three free text messages a week with health tips specifically tailored to the stage of their baby’s development. So, if you are two months pregnant, you will be texted info about being healthy when two months pregnant, or if you have a two month old, you will be texted info about your two month old. As your pregnancy advances or your child gets older, so will the information texted to you, and it will continue to do so all the way through your baby’s first birthday.

This service is so important because, shockingly, America has one of the highest infant-mortality rates in the industrialized world. Each year more than 500,000 of our babies (one in eight) are born prematurely, and about 28,000 infants die before their first birthday. These statistics don’t have to be so dire…by literally putting health information at the fingertips of expectant and new families, we are empowering them to give their babies the best possible start in life.

As you all know, Madeline was born premature, and one of the reasons she passed away was because of “complications related to prematurity.” So if you are pregnant or a new parent, please sign up for text4baby by texting the word “baby” or “bebe” to 511411. If you’re not pregnant, please help to spread the word. (a press release with more info on text4baby can be read here.) The more parents this information reaches, the more babies will make it to full term, and that is something we can all be proud of.

Everyone deserves a healthy little baby like this:

so snug