Expecting moms in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region can now get evidence-based pregnancy information sent straight to their phones through the SmartMom program.
According to a media release from VCH, SmartMom is a free, prenatal text messaging program that sends information to support women through their pregnancies, from five to 42 weeks. The program is tailored to ensure women receive the right information at the right time of their pregnancy.
The texts include links to websites with evidence-based resources, phone numbers and videos on topics such as fetal growth and development, options for genetic screening in pregnancy, and preparation for labour and delivery. SmartMom also suggests topics to discuss with care providers, with the goal of supporting women and their families to make evidence-informed choices for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, the media release stated.
Women can enroll by texting VCH to 12323 or online at smartmomcanada.ca.
“Pregnant women appreciate knowing they’re receiving the key information at every stage of their pregnancy; subscribing to SmartMom ensures they’re not missing anything,” stated Dr. Althea Hayden, medical health officer, Vancouver Coastal Health. “Like a lot of women, when I was pregnant, I discovered a whole new level of interest in pregnancy. There are a lot of sources out there and not all of them are reliable. SmartMom is a great way to receive information that we know has been verified by experts here in Canada.”
SmartMom was developed by Optimal Birth BC in partnership with BC Ministry of Health, Northern Health Authority, First Nations Health Authority, and Perinatal Services BC, and has been endorsed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. There is no charge for signing up and receiving texts, but standard data rates apply when accessing links and resources from a phone.
“SmartMom is an innovative, trusted tool for pregnant women that will help make a difference to future moms by providing information they need at their fingertips,” stated Vancouver Coastal Health president and chief executive officer Mary Ackenhusen. “SmartMom shows how we can harness technology to deliver better health outcomes to the patients and families we serve.”
People with concerns about pregnancy, labour and baby care can speak with their health care provider or contact HealthLink BC at 811 to speak with a registered nurse anytime of day or night.