Frequently asked questions

Are there any new MAMA developments?

MAMA guidelines
  • MAMA released new guidelines on message adaption and localization to promote effective engagement of underserved mothers in developing countries.
  • The guidelines will address areas of message development and targeted mobile communication, including message creation and system design and flow.
New Adaptable Messages
  • Following World AIDS Day 2012, MAMA rolled out new PMTCT adaptable messages, designed to be delivered via mobile phones to mothers living with HIV in low-income communities in developing countries.
Health Content Advisory Council
  • MAMA’s adaptable messages are based on WHO and UNICEF guidelines and have been developed in close collaboration with a group of global health experts who make up MAMA’s Health Content Advisory Council (HCAC).
  • MAMA's HCAC members lend their knowledge and expertise to ensure that MAMA’s messages reflect the most up to date, evidence-based global standards.
  • Members of MAMA’s HCAC include globally recognized specialists in the fields of maternal and child health, midwifery, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, nutrition, reproductive health and immunization.

How can I get involved in MAMA?

If you are interested in becoming a global partner, please email

Why is BabyCenter creating adaptable mobile messages for MAMA?

BabyCenter has grown over the last 15 years and now reaches 32 million new and expectant mothers every month in 22 countries around the world – we know our model works. BabyCenter has developed our "ages and stages" model, based on due date, which delivers "just the right content at just the right time". BabyCenter knows how important it is to first establish an emotional bond with the receiver of the message as this builds trust. We incorporate insights and delightful details alongside health messages, sending mothers week by week messages that tell her how her baby is growing, developing the emotional connection. Once you gain a mother's trust, she is much more likely to act on the vital health messages she is receiving.

Can we change the adaptable messages?

Absolutely yes, that is why we call them "adaptable messages". In fact, we actively encourage you to do this. The messages we have created have been designed to have universal application, rather than being specific to a certain culture. This means that the content is accurate as to the development of the fetus and the child, but not perfectly tailored to an individual audience or culture.

We developed this universal content by using research into health interventions based on the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, the Lancet Neonatal and Maternal Survival Series and the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP). We then added BabyCenter's experience of working in 20 countries and 22 markets around the world as an online content provider to new and expectant moms, and information gained at the International Congress of Midwives in South Africa in June 2011, where we collected health messages from over 500 midwives.

Our goal is to provide you with the raw content, ready for you to modify and adapt, keeping in mind the value of an emotional connection to invoke behavior change. Only you know how to make this content right for the women you are working with.

What timescale do the messages cover?

Our mobile content covers weeks 5 to 42 of pregnancy, and baby's first year from week 0 (newborn) to week 52.

What is the format of the program?

We have created text messages and scripts for audio messages.

The text program includes 3 text (SMS) messages a week for pregnancy and the first year of the baby's life. These regular messages build on each other throughout pregnancy and babyhood.

The audio scripts last one minute and cover the stage the mother is at with issues that may be affecting her and the baby's development. The core information of each message addresses a health issue and how to address it with many of them ending with a final reminder, "if you want to do one good thing for your baby this week…".

Who are the messages for?

We have prepared messages for pregnant women and for mothers of newborn babies.

In some cultures these messages may need to be adapted for other household decision-makers (such as the husband, mother, mother-in-law or village elder) especially if women do not have their own cellphones.