• An expectant mom reads a Count the Kicks brochure.

Count the Kicks named Best Practice by AMCHP

  • meganaucutt
  • 05.18.21

Earlier this year, Count the Kicks was honored to be designated as a Best Practice by The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), the leading association and partner for state public health leaders and others working to specifically improve the health of women, children, youth and families. 

AMCHP works with those in the highest level of state government across the nation to provide best practices and technical assistance to states and partners to ensure healthy women and children. AMCHP provides effective evidence-informed and based model practices and policies to state members through their Innovation Hub, and the Best Practice designation is the highest award, given only to those evidence-based practices that have been extensively evaluated and proven effective. 

Count the Kicks is a project of Healthy Birth Day, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing stillbirths through education and advocacy. Our organization was founded by five Central Iowa women who all experienced stillbirth or infant loss in the early 2000s.

They came together in their grief with one goal: To help save other families from experiencing the pain and trauma of losing a baby to stillbirth. Our founders knew the job was urgent and bigger than any one person or organization, so they enlisted the help of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Ms. Kimberly Noble Piper, Executive Officer, Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders & State Genetics Coordinator, quickly got involved in our efforts to save babies.

“Ms. Piper was one of the first people we reached out to with this idea and she was the one that provided us with the support we needed to get it off the ground. If she hadn’t believed in us, in the research and evidence behind maternal fetal movement monitoring, we might not be where we are today,” said Tiffan Yamen, one of the co-founders of Healthy Birth Day, Inc.

Ten years later, we have heard from more than 75 families who reached out to share how Count the Kicks helped save their baby. Our free kick counting app, which is available in 12 languages, has been downloaded more than 150,000 times.

We have distributed nearly 2 million pieces of educational material to providers across the U.S. and expanded our campaign beyond Iowa. We currently have partners in 13 U.S. states that make it possible to share Count the Kicks education and materials with expectant parents and providers in their states. 

It all started with one simple goal, and one strong partner, IDPH and Ms. Piper. 

“Thirty-two percent. The stillbirth rate has decreased 32% since the inception of Count the Kicks in Iowa. There has been no other public health campaign that could have made such an impact on the stillbirth rate here. We know this saves babies, we’ve seen it time and time again,” said Kimberly Piper. 

“Our goal is to save 7,500 babies from preventable stillbirth in the U.S., if every state launched Count the Kicks and we brought that 32% reduction to each state, we have a real opportunity to save 7,500 babies in the U.S. each year,” said Emily Price, Executive Director for Healthy Birth Day, Inc. 

We are beyond thrilled and grateful to be awarded the Best Practice Designation by AMCHP, and look forward to continuing to grow the reach of our campaign through partnerships in all 50 states. To learn more on how to implement Count the Kicks in your state please review this handout.

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