• A pregnant woman using the Count the Kicks app to track her baby's movement.

Count the Kicks Campaign Launches in South Dakota

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 12.13.22

The Count the Kicks campaign is expanding to South Dakota! We are thrilled to share we are partnering with the South Dakota Department of Health to educate expectant parents in South Dakota about the importance of tracking a baby’s movements daily in the third trimester of pregnancy.

For South Dakota families, 1 in every 170 pregnancies end in stillbirth, and families in the state are 10 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS. Recent data shows the devastating impact of COVID-19 on placentas and babies. Doctors have discovered what they are calling SARS-CoV-2 placentitis, a condition in which the virus attacks the placenta and cuts off oxygen to the baby.

In the U.S, the annual number of stillbirths (defined as the loss of a baby at 20 weeks or greater during pregnancy) far exceeds the number of deaths among children aged 0-14 years from preterm birth, SIDS, accidents, drownings, guns, fire, and flu combined. Research shows that nearly 30% of stillbirths can be prevented when expectant parents are educated on the importance of tracking their baby’s movements daily starting at 28 weeks. By using the FREE Count the Kicks app expectant parents can increase the chances of their baby arriving safely.

Thanks to the partnership with SDDoH maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in South Dakota can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials to help them have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents. These materials include posters, brochures, and app download cards in English and Spanish. 

“The South Dakota Department of Health 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. 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,” said SDDoH representative.

According to CDC Wonder, approximately 71 South Dakota babies are stillborn each year. In nearby Iowa, where Count the Kicks began, the state’s stillbirth rate dropped by nearly 32 percent in the first 10 years of the campaign (2008-2018). Iowa’s rate went from 33rd worst in the country to one of the lowest, while the country’s stillbirth rate remained relatively flat. Through this collaboration, SD DOH is hoping to bring the same success to South Dakota, which would save approximately 23 babies in the state each year. 

The Count the Kicks app is available in 16 languages. App users can see their kick-counting history, rate the strength of their baby’s movements, set daily reminders and have the ability to count for single babies and twins. Hundreds of expectant parents have downloaded the app in South Dakota already.


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