• A young, interracial couple who is expecting a baby sit together on the sofa.

Count the Kicks Program Expands to Washington state

  • Kimberly Isburg
  • 07.05.23

Count the Kicks has partnered with the Amerigroup Foundation to launch a new, multi-year campaign that is expected to save the lives of hundreds of babies each year across Washington state. Through the partnership, Amerigroup and Count the Kicks will work together to use technology, education and information to promote healthy pregnancies and births.

Count the Kicks programing makes educational material and resources available to healthcare providers to help them engage in lifesaving conversations with expectant parents. The campaign also raises awareness about the Count the Kicks app, which helps families monitor their baby’s movements during the third trimester of pregnancy, and helps them recognize when there may be a concern that should be discussed with a medical professional.

“The CDC reports that approximately 484 Washington babies are stillborn each year, and research demonstrates that stillbirths could be reduced by 30 percent when there is daily monitoring of fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy – which is exactly what the Count the Kicks campaign advocates,” said Dr. Shawn Akavan, Amerigroup Washington Medical Director. “Amerigroup is continually innovating, supporting and implementing solutions that optimize health outcomes, and every time our efforts improve or save lives, it is a tremendous success. Our work through Count the Kicks programing is expected to save hundreds of babies, so we look forward to seeing amazing outcomes and celebrating lots of healthy birthdays across our state.”

“Evidence shows that a change in a baby’s movements in the third trimester is an early red flag,” said, Emily Price, Chief Executive Officer for Healthy Birth Day, Inc. “After a few days of using the Count the Kicks 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 their healthcare provider.”

Tacoma mom, Christine Sorteberg, knows first-hand the importance of paying attention to her baby’s movements. She was using the Count the Kicks app, and in the eighth month of her pregnancy, Christine noticed that her son, Abel, wasn’t moving like he normally did. She headed to labor and delivery, where testing revealed that her baby was in distress and his heart rate was dangerously fast. He arrived safely via C-section just three hours after arriving at the hospital. 

“While in the NICU, Abel was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome and we learned the culprit of his issues in the womb,” Christine said. “His heart had been racing at 300 bpm, unable to slow down. I want to share Abel’s story because I know it is easy to dismiss your intuition and not want to be a bother to hospital staff. It still haunts me to think that Abel could have gone into heart failure or worse if I had kept pushing my worries aside or hadn’t even been paying attention at all. I’m so grateful to all the nurses and doctors who delivered Abel safely, to Count the Kicks and to those who share their ‘baby save’ stories.”

Amerigroup’s Foundation grant and support is helping maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers across Washington to access Count the Kicks educational materials at no cost, including posters, brochures and app download cards in English and Spanish. Hundreds of expectant parents in Washington have already downloaded the Count the Kicks app. Those who work with expectant parents are encouraged to order free Count the Kicks educational materials.


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