Table 2

Examples of SMS messages delivered to each study group

ControlPrenatal visit remindersWeek 7, day 4Regular antenatal care visits are the best way to protect both you and your baby. For normal pregnancy, experts recommend 1 antenatal visit per month in the first 7 months, 1 visit every 2 weeks between eighth and ninth months, and weekly visits in the last month of pregnancy.
Care-seekingReminders of government programmesWeek 7, day 2Please pick up your free prenatal health management card from the county MCHC or township hospital within 3 months after pregnancy. With this card, you will receive 5 free prenatal examinations in the county MCHC during your pregnancy.
Recognition of danger signsWeek 9, day 7During pregnancy, if you ever experience high fever, dizziness, headache, vomiting (except morning sickness), blurred vision, vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, rupture, fetal abnormalities, etc, please go to see a doctor.
Good household prenatal practiceHealthy lifestyleWeek 11, day 2Calcium to promote bone development comes from the mother, so you may need calcium supplementation throughout your whole pregnancy. Milk, shrimp and soy products (if not allergic) are good sources of calcium. Please take advice if doctors suggest you supplement calcium, but be careful to avoid overdose.
Week 10, day 6Alcohol intake and smoking may cause birth defects, low intelligence and behavioural or learning disabilities. Please avoid smoking and any alcoholic drinks during pregnancy.
Mental healthWeek 6, day 6Do you feel moody or worried? This may be due to the hormonal changes in your body. Take a deep breath, smile, picture in your mind what the baby would look like and talk with friends. Participate in activities that can help reduce stress.
Non-medical pain managementWeek 15, day 6Breathing training can help you stay relaxed and calm during childbirth. Lamaze breathing exercise is the most commonly used way to reduce pain during labour. It's not so complicated! Just take a deep nasal breath with your nose, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Please consult the maternal and infant healthcare centre for details.
Labour knowledgeWeek 30, day 7Do you have confidence in delivery? Do you feel a little worried or panicked? Share your concerns with your doctor, and learn more information about labour in advance.
Week 33,day 7Many mothers said that the moment of childbirth feels like a bowel movement. During labour, if a doctor told you to push, you could just make effort as you do in a bowel movement.
Breast feedingWeek 39, day 7Breast feeding will be beneficial for you and your baby's health. The WHO recommends exclusive breast feeding for 6 months after birth, and continuing breast feeding for up to 2 years. Complementary feeding should start from 6 months of age.
  • MCHC, maternal and child health centre; SMS, short message service.