Effective communication and support of expecting and recent mothers is a central, but very difficult, component of successful public health interventions for improving maternal and child health. It is particularly difficult among rural and resource restricted communities, like those in South Central Indiana. Furthermore, this resource restricted population, both in terms of income and of social support, is the most vulnerable to maternal complications and infant death within the first year. Text based messaging interventions aimed at improving maternal and child health are generally centered on prenatal behaviors (Tamrat & Kachnowski, 2012) and are also a mostly one-size-fits-all approach which lacks the adequate tailoring of health messages which is necessary to make them effective agents of support (Rotheram-Borus, Tomlinson, Swendeman, Lee, & Jones, 2012). Therefore, there is a critical need to provide socially and culturally adequate messages, especially extending into the postpartum period. Additionally, the specific needs and desires for this type of communication among mothers from resource restricted communities in the South Central Indiana have not been assessed. The Mothers’ Information Technology for Education (MITE) project will provide an initial evaluation of needs and desires of expecting and recent mothers from resource restricted communities, with the goal of designing a mobile technology application which will provide supportive and effective messages to improve their health and that of their infant child.
Rotheram-Borus, M. J., Tomlinson, M., Swendeman, D., Lee, A., & Jones, E. (2012). Standardized functions for smartphone applications: examples from maternal and child health. International journal of telemedicine and applications, 2012, 21.
Tamrat, T., & Kachnowski, S. (2012). Special delivery: an analysis of mHealth in maternal and newborn health programs and their outcomes around the world. Maternal and child health journal, 16(5), 1092-1101.