Men Need Text Messages to Be Good Dads

Heather Chaet

pregnant bellyAhhh, pregnancy. Those 40 weeks of nurturing and growing that little one inside of you. Especially for first-time moms, those weeks are filled with highs, lows, and middles of every emotion. All of the uncertainty, the uneasiness of what's happening to your body combined with amazing happiness.

Now imagine you had someone texting you all of the time, with hints, advice, tidbits. No, it's not you mother-in-law. It's text4baby. It is a service that sends you info on labor, your emotional needs, prenatal health, breastfeeding. You name it, they got it and will send you a text every week.

I wonder about this. If I were pregnant, would this be annoying or helpful?

This isn't some random doc sending you prenatal prompts. Nope, there are some heavy hitters behind text4baby -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the folks at Johnson & Johnson and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, as well as a slew of public and private partners. And it's pretty simple -- you can text BABY to 511411 or go to their website and register. You give your due date or your baby's birthday and they send appropriate info for you.

For mamas that may not be getting good care or may not have good resources available, this is pretty amazing. Text4baby is trying to reach 1 million moms by the end of the year. I think that's pretty cool.

I was not a happy pregnant woman. I was either totally nervous or completely annoyed or both. That weekly text may have been just one more thing to make me anxious, one more thing to remind me of the impending ginormous thing (not just my belly, but the event itself). I was already getting too much information: I was that pregnant mom who read all of the books and scoured the parenting websites. The last thing my anxiety level needed was a weekly text.

I think they're missing a huge target audience -- the dads-to-be. Now my husband was great -- he came with me to every visit, was super-supportive, the whole nine yards. But he didn't read one baby book. Text4baby would be a perfect way to have your man get up to speed on what's going on with you and your body. No more nagging him, no more earmarking chapters he needs to read. Good info can just -- poof! -- appear on his phone every week!

Yup, I wish they had had it back when I was expecting. I would have signed up for it. Not for me -- for my husband.

Would you sign up for text4baby?


Image via David Boyle/Flickr

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