• Pregnant woman looks at her belly and bonds with her baby

Count the Kicks partners with UnitedHealthcare to expand campaign in Ohio

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 10.03.22

Grant from UnitedHealthcare will help expand stillbirth prevention campaign throughout Ohio

In conjunction with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, we are partnering with UnitedHealthcare to expand our campaign in Ohio. We will work together to educate expectant parents in Ohio about the importance of tracking movement daily in the third trimester of pregnancy. Our goal is to reduce the state’s stillbirth rate by 32 percent as we have done in Iowa, which would save 283 Ohio babies each year.‬

Through the partnership, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Ohio can order free Count the Kicks educational materials to help them have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents. These materials also include picture-based brochures for expectant parents who may speak another language.

Impact of Stillbirth in Ohio

Stillbirth is a national public health crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Ohio families, 1 in every 159 pregnancies end in stillbirth, and families in the state are 10 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS.

“UnitedHealthcare is committed to improving birth outcomes for families in our state, and we believe Count the Kicks provides a solution to help save babies now,” said Dr. Gary Grosel, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare in Ohio. “We encourage anyone who works with expectant parents to order free Count the Kicks educational materials to share with the communities you serve. Together we can help more families have a healthy birth outcome.”

Count the Kicks originally launched in Ohio in 2018 with the Ohio Department of Health, and the campaign is credited with already saving the lives of four Ohio babies. We’re grateful to UnitedHealthcare for taking this significant step to improve birth outcomes and save babies in the state of Ohio, and look forward to partnering with them to expand our impact in the Buckeye state.

Our Ohio Ambassadors are an essential part of our efforts to share Count the Kicks education with expectant parents and providers throughout the Buckeye state. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Jasmine Abraham, Kari Davis, Heather Johnston Welliver and Dashonda Watkins to improve birth outcomes and save babies in their state through their work with our campaign.

Why We Count

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a change in a baby’s movements as one of its 15 urgent maternal warning signs. Count the Kicks helps improve birth outcomes by teaching expectant parents the method for and importance of monitoring their babies’ movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. Research shows that babies can be saved from preventable stillbirth when expectant parents track their babies’ movements daily and learn how long it normally takes their baby to get to 10 movements.

“The Count the Kicks app is a powerful tool to help expectant parents be more in tune with their bodies and their babies,” said Emily Price, executive director for Healthy Birth Day, Inc., the nonprofit organization that created the Count the Kicks campaign. “We are grateful to be partnering with UnitedHealthcare to ensure parents and providers in Ohio have the tools and resources they need to have an ongoing conversation about fetal movement throughout the third trimester.”

In the United States, stillbirth is defined as the loss of a baby at 20 weeks or greater during pregnancy. According to the CDC, nearly 23,500 babies are born still each year. Every year in the U.S., more babies are stillborn than the number of deaths among children aged 0-14 years from preterm birth (3,679), SIDS (1,334), accidents (1,208), drownings (689), guns (305), fire (291) and flu (142) combined.

Impact of Count the Kicks

In Iowa, where Count the Kicks began, the state’s stillbirth rate dropped by nearly 32% in the first 10 years of the campaign (2008-2018) and in the first five years the African American rate decreased nearly 39%; all while the rest of the country remained relatively stagnant.

This October, UnitedHealthcare invites Ohioans to help raise awareness about the impact of stillbirth in the U.S. and help save babies in our state through the evidence-based Count the Kicks campaign.


Easy Delivery!

Sign up for our newsletter for the simplest way to stay in touch with the latest information about our mission, events, volunteer opportunities, and more.