ODH urges stillbirth awareness

Staff report

The Ohio Department of Health has partnered with Count the Kicks, a proven stillbirth prevention public awareness campaign.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 167 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth.

Count the Kicks teaches a method for, and importance of, tracking fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. Scientific studies show the benefits of expectant moms tracking their baby’s movements once a day during the third trimester and learning how long it normally takes their baby to get to 10 movements. Moms will start to notice a pattern, a normal amount of time it takes their baby to get to 10 movements. If “normal” changes during the third trimester, this could be a sign of potential problems and an indication that the expectant mom should call her healthcare provider.

“Moms are the best evaluators of their baby’s status and educating them about kick counts is a path to preventing stillbirth,” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH. “Through this campaign, we are offering free Count the Kicks resources to expectant moms and the healthcare providers and other professionals who interact with them.”

The free resources include educational materials and a Count the Kicks phone app available in the Google Play and iTunes online stores. The app, which is available in 10 languages, allows an expectant mom to monitor her baby’s movement, record the history, set a daily reminder, and count for single babies and twins. Providers like maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, and social services agencies can order free Count the Kicks educational materials at www.countthekicks.org to use with expectant moms.

“After our daughter Harper was born still at 39 1/2 weeks, I became pregnant again,” said Ohio Count the Kicks Ambassador Kari Davis, a Richland County resident. “The Count the Kicks app was my lifeline, and actually a lot of fun. I counted the kicks during both of my subsequent pregnancies to make sure that my boys were healthy.”

Staff report