Count the Kicks launches in St. Joseph County, Indiana

  • KimberlyIsburg
  • 09.17.20

The St. Joseph County Department of Health (SJCDH) is partnering with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention public health campaign, to educate and empower pregnant women in St. Joseph County about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. One out of every 161 pregnancies in St. Joseph County ends in stillbirth, according to the St. Joseph County Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Program.

Count the Kicks raises awareness of the importance of tracking fetal movements during the third trimester of pregnancy and provides simple instructions on how to count. Research shows the benefit of mothers tracking their baby’s movements each day and learning how long it usually takes their baby to make 10 movements.

Mothers can record their baby’s daily movements on paper or use the free Count the Kicks app to track their baby’s activity. After a few days, moms will notice a pattern for the normal amount of time it takes their baby to get to 10 movements. If their baby’s “normal” pattern changes during the third trimester (last 3 months), of pregnancy, this could be a sign of potential problems and is an important reason for a pregnant woman to call her healthcare provider.

“We know that fetal movement is a good sign of fetal health. Count the Kicks is an easy, fun way for mothers to know what is normal for their baby so they can recognize if the baby is moving less often or with less strength,” said Sally Dixon, RN and coordinator of the FIMR Program in St. Joseph County. “We know from a study of stillbirths in our community that mothers often do notice a change to their baby’s patterns when something is going wrong. Using Count the Kicks each day can help women stay in touch with their baby’s patterns and feel confident that they should notify their doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner when they notice a change in their baby’s activity.”

Maternal health providers and birthing hospitals in St. Joseph County can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials to help have a conversation about counting kicks with expectant parents. The Count the Kicks phone app is available in the iOS and Google Play app stores and is a simple, non-invasive way for mothers to monitor their baby’s well-being every day.

Healthy Birth Day, Inc. is a nonprofit founded by five Iowa moms who each experienced a stillbirth or infant death in the early 2000s. The organization created the Count the Kicks campaign to help prevent other women and families from enduring this terrible loss,” said Emily Price, Executive Director of Healthy Birth Day, Inc.

In Iowa, where Count the Kicks began, the state stillbirth rate dropped by nearly 32 percent in the first 10 years of the campaign (2008-2018). The St. Joseph County Department of Health FIMR Program is hoping to bring the same success to our community for mothers, babies, and families.

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