Best Practice

Count the Kicks

State/Jurisdiction: National Iowa
Setting: Clinical Community Home
Population: Medical & Public Health Professionals Women & Maternal
Topic Area: Access to Quality Healthcare Equity & Anti-Racism Health Promotion & Communication

Our mom-focused campaign offers home visitors, social service agencies, community organizations, maternal health providers and our entire community a way to discuss the impact of stillbirth in an informative and empowering way. Count the Kicks is the leading U.S. resource for tracking fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. In the first five years of our campaign in Iowa, the stillbirth rate among Black women went down a promising 39 percent. Research shows that a change in baby’s movement can be a sign of potential problems and is an indication that a baby should be checked by a provider. Many doctors believe fetal movement is a vital sign and should be monitored closely in the third trimester. When expectant moms use the Count the Kicks app daily in the third trimester of pregnancy, they will get to know what is normal for their baby (how long it takes their baby to get to 10 movements each day), so they can call their provider right away if there is a change. In the first decade of Count the Kicks in Iowa when our non-profit organization worked closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health, the state’s stillbirth rate decreased nearly 32% while the rest of the country remained relatively stagnant. Iowa went from the 33rd worst stillbirth rate to one of the lowest in the nation. If every state implemented our Count the Kicks program, we have the potential of saving 7,500 babies from preventable stillbirths each year.

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