Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

New parents receive three text messages a week adapted to the infant’s age and stage of development.

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The UBC Faculty of Medicine’s School of Population and Public Health has released a text-based support program for new parents.

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The program is called SmartParent and is the idea of ​​UBC professor Dr. Patricia Janssen.

In a prepared statement, Janssen said research from the Canadian Public Health Agency showed that parents often struggle to find the information they need and that this had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We also know that access to postnatal care and resources is complicated by many other factors, including education level, stigma and discrimination, language, income, whether parents live in rural or remote areas, and of course isolation due to COVID -19 pandemic . The idea behind SmartParent is to remove these barriers, ”said Janssen.

Once signed up for SmartParent, users receive three messages a week that link to more information online and are tailored to the infant’s age and developmental stages.

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The information ranges from growth and development milestones, infant safety, feeding and sleep and information on vaccines.

It also provides information on self-care and mental health — and how to deal with fatigue.

The information comes from Optimal Birth BC, BC Ministry of Health and BC health authorities, pregnant and new parents, general practitioners, doctors, midwives and maternal and child health experts.

SmartParent follows the launch of SmartMom, a prenatal text messaging program also created by Janssen.

“We designed the two programs to work together,” Janssen said. “SmartMom supports mothers with information in each week of their pregnancy, while SmartParent continues that support for parents from the birth of their child to the crucial first year of life.”

Parents can register by texting the keyword smartparent to 12424 or by signing up at smartparentcanada.ca. Those interested in SmartMom can text 12323 or visit smartmomcanada.ca.

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