For my service learning project, I am currently with Newborn Enhanced Support Team (NEST) to update their text messaging system. When families with new babies are enrolled in the system, they receive breastfeeding support. My main goal is to help encourage families to continue to breastfeed and to give ideas on local baby foods when it’s age-appropriate. Currently, the system isn’t sending out any text messages to families with babies between four and six months old so I am trying to fill this gap. This past week I met with NEST’s lactation consultants and Family Resource Specialists to assess the needs in the program and come up with some ideas. Here is what I have so far. It is coded right now to pull information from the system (they are pretty straightforward) but I will write an example out too. The days refer to the day the text message will get sent out.
Day 119: 1/2 Hi %ppt_id%! Its %counselor_name% from NEST. As %baby_name% is getting older, we will be sending some messages about first foods and when to start. Keep an eye out for them. Please text me if you have any questions.
Example of text message seen by client:
1/2 Hi Lauren! Its Leina from NEST. As Curren is getting older, we will be sending some messages about first foods and when to start. Keep an eye out for them. Please text me if you have any questions.
(I put “1/2” at the beginning of every message because if the text goes over a certain character limit, it gets split into two messages)
Day 126: 1/2 Did you know the breastmilk is all %baby_name% needs until %baby_gender% is six months old? Babies used to get food earlier, and some doctors still say it’s ok, but now the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both agree that it’s best to start solids at six months old. Almost there!
Day 133: 1/2 Although %baby_name% will be ready for solids soon, we encourage you to still continue breastfeeding. Babies still get plenty of nutrition and love from nursing and solids should be seen as complementary to breastmilk, not a substitute.
Day 140: 1/2 Hi %mother_name%! Besides being six months old, there are some other signs to look for to know that %baby_name% is ready for solids. If they can hold their head upright without support, can sit upright supported or unsupported, and can grasp objects and bring them to their mouth, they may be well on their way.
Day 147: 1/2 Have you started to think about what %baby_name%’s first food will be? There are many local options that you may even have in your kitchen already! Here’s a link to some great first food ideas: (link to Fresh Foods First PDF or http://www.mothering.com/articles/first-foods-for-baby-easy-homemade-solutions/)
Day 154: 1/2 Have you heard of baby led weaning? It’s little misleading because, in this case, weaning means adding foods, not quitting nursing. BLW is all about encouraging %baby_name% to self-feed real foods. It’s easy and great for baby. You can learn more here: https://www.mamanatural.com/baby-led-weaning/
Day 161: 1/2 Many babies in Hawaii have poi as their first food. There are lots of great local foods that are good for babies including sweet potato, ʻulu, and bananas. ʻOpihi, ha’uke’uke (shingle urchins), and sardines are great for little ones too. It is easy to modify foods for babies by adding a little breastmilk to it.