• An expectant couple bonds while feeling their baby move in the mom's belly.

Count the Kicks Launches in the State of Massachusetts

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 06.06.23

We are excited to announce our partnership to launch our proven stillbirth prevention program with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Through the partnership, we will work together to educate expectant parents in Massachusetts about how to use Count the Kicks tools and resources, including the FREE Count the Kicks app, to get to know their baby’s normal movement patterns in the third trimester of pregnancy.

For Massachusetts families, 1 in every 238 pregnancies end in stillbirth,[1] and families in the state are 6.5 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS. 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.

According to DPH, approximately 285 Massachusetts babies are stillborn each year.[2] New research[3] published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology shows a more than 30% reduction in Iowa’s stillbirth rate in the first 10 years of the Count the Kicks stillbirth prevention program at a time when America’s stillbirth rate remained stagnant. The results have led researchers to call for urgent action to address the stillbirth crisis in the U.S. and to study Count the Kicks on a national level.

Thanks to the partnership with DPH, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Massachusetts can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials to help them have a conversation about fetal movement patterns with expectant parents. These materials include posters, brochures, and app download cards in English and Spanish.

Expectant parents in Massachusetts can also download the FREE Count the Kicks app, which is available in 16 languages. Through this collaboration, DPH is hoping to bring the same success to Massachusetts as we have seen in Iowa, which would save approximately 91 babies in the state each year.[4]

“The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is committed to improving birth outcomes for families in our state, especially those who have been historically and traditionally marginalized and disproportionately affected by stillbirth,” said Elaine Fitzgerald Lewis, Director of the DPH Bureau of Family Health & Nutrition. “We encourage anyone who works with expectant parents to order free Count the Kicks educational materials to share with the communities you serve. Through our collective and inclusive efforts, together we can help more families have healthy birth outcomes.”

With the Count the Kicks app, expectant parents can get to know their baby’s normal movement patterns, see their kick-counting history, rate the strength of their baby’s movements, and set daily reminders. The app allows users to count for single babies or twins. Hundreds of expectant parents have downloaded the app in Massachusetts already.

[1]  Number based on dividing 1,000 by the 5-year average stillbirth rate. MA stillbirth data is from Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.

[2] Number based on the 5-year average stillbirth numbers, MA stillbirth data is from Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.

[3] Heazell, AEP, Holland, F, Wilkinson, J. Information about fetal movements and stillbirth trends: Analysis of time series data. BJOG. 2023; 00: 1– 10. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.17426

[4] Note stillbirth rate is calculated by: Fetal Deaths/Total of Live Births  + Fetal Deaths*1,000. MA stillbirth data is from Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Contact [email protected] for questions on data.


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