//‘Count the Kicks’ plans to reduce stillbirths in Georgia

‘Count the Kicks’ plans to reduce stillbirths in Georgia

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With the goal to save more than 300 babies each year, the Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia Strong Families are partnering with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention public health campaign.  The Count the Kicks campaign hopes to educate expectant parents in Georgia about the importance of tracking their baby’s movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. 

“One out of every 125 pregnancies in Georgia ends in stillbirth, according to Georgia vital statistics,” says Kiara Loud, District Child Health Coordinator for the West Central Health District. “We must get these numbers down, and this campaign will help expectant moms look for changes in their baby’s movements.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, expectant moms have reported an increase in telehealth visits rather than their regular prenatal visits. Now is an especially important time for expectant women to track their baby’s movements every day in the third trimester. By doing so, expectant moms will know when things are normal and when things have changed. 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 mom should call her healthcare provider. 

In Iowa, where Count the Kicks began, the state’s stillbirth rate dropped by nearly 32 percent in the first 10 years of the campaign (2008-2018). Iowa’s rate went from 33rd worst in the country to one of the lowest, while the country’s rate remained relatively stagnant. The Georgia Department of Public Health is hoping to bring the same success to Georgia, which would save 334 babies in the state each year. 

Thanks to the partnership with the Georgia Strong Families maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, home visitors, social services agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Columbus can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials from www.CountTheKicks.org.

Count the Kicks also has a free app available in the iOS and Google Play app stores that provides expectant moms a simple, non-invasive way to monitor their baby’s well-being every day. The app is available in Spanish and 11 other languages, and features a kick-counting history, daily reminders and the ability to count for single babies and twins. More than 2,300 expectant parents have already downloaded the app in Georgia. 

For more information on Count the Kicks, contact Georgia Strong Families at 706-321-6322.