Racial Disparities in Stillbirth

We’re working to reduce racial disparities Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Indigenous expectant parents and their pregnancies
Expectant woman uses Count the Kicks app.

Every year in the U.S. an average of 21,745 babies are born still, according to the CDC. A disproportionate number of babies are born still to Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Black, and American Indian or Alaska Native families. According to the CDC:

  • 1 in 175 of all pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander pregnancies have a 1 in 101 chance of ending in stillbirth.
  • Black pregnancies have a 1 in 101 chance of ending in stillbirth.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native pregnancies have a 1 in 133 chance of ending in stillbirth.
  • White pregnancies have a 1 in 206 chance of ending in stillbirth.
  • Hispanic pregnancies have a 1 in 207 chance of ending in stillbirth.
  • Asian pregnancies have a 1 in 253 chance of ending in stillbirth.

Research from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) shows there are several contributing factors to the racial health disparities in stillbirth. Researchers point to the following as causes for the disparities:

  • Systemic racism, or the way that society fosters racial discrimination through mutually reinforcing systems of housing, education, employment, earnings, media perception, health care, and criminal justice. These patterns and practices reinforce discriminatory beliefs, values, and distribution of resources that can negatively impact health outcomes. [Source]
  • Epigenetics explains how early experiences, both positive and negative, can have lifelong impacts. This type of scientific research shows how environmental influences can affect the expression of genes. Life experiences can rearrange the epigenetic marks that govern gene expression; they can change whether and how genes release the information. [Source]
  • Expectant parents of color are more predisposed to conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia
  • Access to healthcare can impact early concerns or diagnosis of conditions and treatment
  • Socioeconomic barriers
  • Education is NOT a determining factor. A college educated Black woman is still more likely to lose her baby than a high school educated white woman. [Source]

Health Equity Statement

Our Commitment

We believe knowledge is power, and when we make the world a safer place for reproductive and maternal health care, everyone wins. We have an intentional focus to reduce the racial disparities affecting Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Indigenous expectant parents and their pregnancies.


To Healthy Birth Day, Inc., health equity is defined as accessible and responsive healthcare treatment and resources for a person regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, medical history, or socioeconomic status.


Our immediate goal is to address the disproportionately high rate of stillbirth affecting Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Black families. To improve these outcomes we are committed to growing in our understanding of effective, evidence-based prevention strategies, to breaking down systemic maternal and reproductive health care barriers and biases, and to connecting and collaborating with clinical and community allies to work hand in hand in creating change.


Our ultimate goal is to make meaningful, sustainable, and systemic change that will lead to a world where the impacts of racism, discrimination, socioeconomic status, and access to healthcare are no longer predictors of stillbirth.

Racial Disparities

Research has revealed that expectant parents of color are more likely to experience the tragedy of stillbirth.

  • 1 in 101

    According to the CDC, Black pregnancies have a 1 in 101 chance of ending in stillbirth.

  • 5,000

    More than 5,000 Black babies are lost to stillbirth each year in our country.

  • 39%

    Stillbirth rates for Black families in Iowa dropped a promising 39% in the first five years of Count the Kicks.

Feel the Beat

Feel the Beat follows an expectant couple as they make a tradition of dancing with their daughter and counting her kicks using the free Count the Kicks app.

Help us improve birth outcomes by sharing this video and the free Count the Kicks app with the people you love.

Baby Saves

Families who helped save their babies using Count the Kicks tell us how important it is to trust your instincts and speak up if you notice a change.

More Resources

Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program that provides educational resources to healthcare providers and expectant parents.

  • Academy for Providers

    Free resources for healthcare providers to keep expectant parents informed.

    Provider Academy
  • Academy for Parents

    Free resources to help expectant parents learn more about kick counting.

    Parent Academy


Counting kicks is a simple way to monitor your baby’s well-being. Expectant parents should begin counting daily at the start of the third trimester.

  • Start a timer to track baby's movements


    Start a timer and record the time it takes for you to feel 10 movements.

  • Count baby's kicks every day around the same time


    Pick a time when baby is active to start counting, preferably the same time every day.

  • Compare kick session to previous times


    After each day's counting session, compare that time with your past sessions.

  • Contact

    Go to the hospital right away if you notice a change in your baby's movement patterns.

Download the App

Use our free pregnancy app daily in the third trimester! It helps you record how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements, tracks changes over time, and reminds you to count every day.

Get the App
A woman's hand holds a smartphone with the Count the Kicks app on screen.

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Use of this information should be done in accordance with your healthcare provider.