Communication Technologies and Maternal Interest in Health-Promotion Information about Postpartum Weight and Parenting Practices


  • Supported in part by the Luci B. Johnson Centennial Professorship. The authors thank Elizabeth Budd, Tim Walker, and Veronica Inchauste.

    The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.


Lorraine O. Walker, RN, EdD, MPH, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78701.



To describe postpartum women's access, perceived skill, confidence, and use of Internet and mobile technologies; their views about receiving health information about postpartum weight and parenting; and whether these factors varied by race/ethnicity or income level.


Health survey of a stratified random sample.


County in central Texas.


One hundred forty-five (145) White/Anglo, African American, or Hispanic women of higher and lower income.


Overall, 122 (84.1%) of respondents had access to a computer with an Internet connection at home and made daily use of the following: the Internet 77.6%, e-mail 75.4%, cell phone 97.1%, and text messaging 66.7%. Significant racial/ethnic and income differences occurred in home Internet access, frequency of Internet and e-mail use, and perceived confidence or skill favoring White/Anglo women over ethnic minority women, and those of higher over lower income. Overall, 35.9% of women expressed “a lot” of interest in an Internet-based weight loss program, 38.9% in a weight loss program sent by mail, 44.8% in an Internet-based parenting advice, and 38.6% in parenting advice sent by mail. Women of higher and lower income differed significantly in their interest in three of the four types of health-promotion information and methods of delivery.


Generally, women with lower income were more likely to express high interest in receiving health information related to parenting by mail than those of higher incomes, whereas women of higher incomes were more likely to express high interest in receiving weight loss and parenting information through the Internet.