• A pregnant mom rests her hands on her belly.

Count the Kicks Campaign Launches in Arkansas

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 01.17.23

We are partnering with The Arkansas Department of Health and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to launch the Count the Kicks stillbirth prevention campaign in Arkansas. For Arkansas families, 1 in every 138 pregnancies end in stillbirth, and families in the state are 10 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS.

Research shows a change in a baby’s movements in the third trimester is an early red flag. By using the FREE Count the Kicks app, expectant parents can increase the chances of their baby arriving safely. After a few days using the app, expectant parents begin to see a pattern, a normal amount of time it takes their baby to get to 10 movements. If their baby’s “normal” changes during the third trimester, this could be a sign of potential problems and is an indication that the expectant parent should call her health care provider.

Meet Zelda

Fort Smith mom Elaina Murry knows first-hand the importance of paying attention to her baby’s movements. She was using the Count the Kicks app, and about a month before her due date, Murry noticed Zelda’s movements change significantly. Murry mentioned it to her health care provider, and after further testing, they made the decision to deliver Zelda early.

“Even though her nonstress test had looked OK, her decreased movements were a harbinger of fetal distress. She was found to have her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck two times, which was preventing her from turning out of breech position and would have likely led to significant complications had we delayed the delivery much longer,” Murry said. After delivery, Murry’s providers discovered an issue with her placenta that also was contributing to Zelda’s distress.

“Using the Count the Kicks app was definitely a good choice. The app was an important part of my final days of pregnancy and contributed to the overall picture of needing to deliver her early for both her health and mine.”

Free materials in Arkansas

Thanks to the partnership with ADH and UAMS, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, home visitors, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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 in our state have a healthy birth outcome,” said Dr. William Greenfield, MD, MBA, FACOG, medical director for family health at the Arkansas Department of Health and a professor in the UAMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“We are very excited to partner with the Department of Health and Count the Kicks to bring this program to Arkansas moms,” said Nirvana Manning, MD, NCMP, FACOG, UAMS Director for the Women and Infant’s Health Service Line at UAMS. “The smartphone app is very easy to use, and it provides tremendous peace of mind knowing that your baby is healthy in the final weeks of pregnancy. We hope to bring similar results to Arkansas like they’ve experienced in Iowa and reduce the number of stillbirths in our state.”

Goal: Save 86 babies each year

According to CDC Wonder, approximately 268 Arkansas babies are stillborn each year. 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). 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, ADH and UAMS are hoping to bring the same success to Arkansas, which would save approximately 86 babies in the state each year.

Free webinar

To learn more about this partnership, please join a free webinar at 12 p.m. CST on Feb. 2. To register for this free event visit bit.ly/ArkansasCTK. Continuing Education credit will be available.

About UAMS

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. The university has 3,240 students, 913 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 11,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.


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