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Maximizing Maternal Health: 11 Ways Texting Can Improve Patient Care and Support

new mother with baby dialog health

For maternal health providers, communication with patients is frequent. It's also of the utmost importance in ensuring positive pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal experiences. There is a lot that needs to go right and a lot that must not go wrong in the interest of delivering high-quality care and support that helps keep a mother and infant safe.

Considering the frequency of communications and the substantial amount of different information that must be shared with pregnant women and new mothers, it's no surprise to see maternal health providers increasingly turning to text messaging. Texting is often a, if not the, preferred mode of communication and has many advantages over other types of healthcare communication methods. It is a highly efficient and effective way for maternal health providers to achieve their communication goals and keep patients on the path to successful childbirth and recovery. Two-way texting is even more useful, as it allows the recipient of a text to reply to a message. This can help further streamline communication and get patients the information they want or need.

11 Maternal Health Texts: Messages You Should Send

A maternal health text messaging campaign can include numerous messages covering a wide variety of topics. Let's look at 11 of the best uses for maternal health texting

1. Appointment reminder and confirmation

As Cleveland Clinic notes, prenatal visits typically begin in week 4 and continue until delivery, with the frequency of visits increasing as the pregnancy moves further along. A few days prior to each appointment, send a text reminding patients about their next appointment and what they should do if they need to reschedule (e.g., call a provided number). With two-way texting, you can ask patients to confirm that they intend to make the appointment by responding to the text (e.g., YES/NO).

Appointment reminder and confirmation texts are also helpful for the many pregnancy screenings and tests that must or should occur.

2. Maternal health education

Maternal health providers deliver extensive education to their pregnant patients both pre- and post-childbirth. You can send texts that remind patients about some of the most important education covered during appointments and provide links to resources like infographics and videos that further support or supplement in-person education.

3. Maternal health frequently asked questions

Considering the wealth of information and education you will provide to your pregnant patients, it's typical for patients to have questions for you along their journey. Consider developing documents and/or videos sharing frequently asked questions and their answers that coincide with different periods of the pregnancy timeline. Then, automate the texting of links to these FAQs when a patient reaches each period in their journey. This is a proactive way to answer common questions before patients ask them while reducing the number of times patients may feel compelled to reach out to you.

4. Car seat reminder

When the expected date of delivery gets closer, or if delivery is planned, such as for a cesarean section, text a reminder to the patient to bring a rear-facing car seat to help with discharge compliance. In this text, you can include a link to car seat safety resources. With a two-way text message, you can also ask if the patient has acquired a car seat or needs assistance doing so.

5. Delivery arrival time and directions

For planned deliveries, send patients a text providing their arrival time, directions to follow upon arrival, and your address. A texted address will likely be hyperlinked, enabling the recipient to easily click it and load their preferred smartphone navigation app when it's time for them to make their way to your facility.

6. Child delivery safety compliance

Planned deliveries also enable maternal health providers to send compliance-related texts on topics like applying chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) wipes to the abdominal area and fasting (NPO) rules. While these are topics you will likely go over during in-person appointments, well-timed reminder text messages can only help ensure compliance and reduce risk.

7. Pain level, incision infection, and other health concerns

In the days following delivery, text messages are a great way to check in with a new mother and ask about subjects like pain level, signs of a post-cesarean infection or mastitis, or other health concerns. A two-way text about pain level can ask respondents to reply and rate their level, while a two-way message about possible infection can ask patients to respond with a "YES" or "NO" if they believe they see indicators. Based upon a mother's response, a maternal health provider can determine whether a follow-up discussion and health advice or treatment is warranted.

8. Infant feeding

A few days following delivery is also a great time to send a text to check in on a topic like infant feeding. This message can help identify whether a provider should have concerns. A two-way text can enable a new parent to easily answer whether they have encountered any problems, which would trigger further outreach by the provider.


9. Postpartum depression

CDC research shows that about 1 in 8 women with a recent live birth experience symptoms of postpartum depression. The postpartum period is filled with many emotional changes, and while these changes can be expected, some can point to the need for a new mother to receive additional mental health support. Such changes can include having continuous feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, lack of interest in the baby, being overly worried about the baby, or lack of interest in things the parent used to enjoy.

A two-way text message sent a few weeks following delivery asking whether the patient was experiencing any of these symptoms can help a maternal health provider determine whether their patient should receive further evaluation and possible treatment.

10. Experience survey and online reviews

Maternal health providers can lean on texting to conduct an experience survey. A two-way text message can ask patients questions about their experience, or the text could provide a link to an online survey. Information gathered can help providers identify opportunities for improvement. Using texting to engage with patients about taking surveys is less intrusive than making a phone call, and given the unusual sleep patterns and lower energy that often follows childbirth, a text will often be preferred.

In addition, for those new parents who identify in a survey that they had a positive experience, a subsequent text can ask them to provide an online review and include a link(s) to where they can provide their review (e.g., Google, Facebook). In a competitive market, a maternal health provider with a strong, positive online presence is likely to find itself at an advantage with attracting patients and staff.

11. Collections

When it comes time for a maternal health provider to collect any outstanding balance from a patient, a well-worded and polite text can help initiate the process. The text can identify the manner in which the patient can pay for services and include a link to an online bill pay website, if you offer such a payment mechanism. Using text messaging to secure payment is already familiar to most people, since many other industries (e.g., cell phone carriers, credit card companies) already use texting for payment prompts.

Improving Maternity Care Communications With Text Messaging

At Dialog Health, we are seeing maternity care providers nationwide relying upon our two-way texting solutions and supporting analytics to execute text message campaigns that improve patient safety, outcomes, and organization performance through ongoing engagement, timely touches, education, and streamlined communications. To learn about our maternal health texting campaigns, including our series designed specifically for individuals undergoing cesarean sections, fill out this form, email, or call 877.666.1132.



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