Count the Kicks is a campaign started in central Iowa by a group of 5 women who each lost a baby girl near the end of their pregnancies. Their goal was to start a movement as a tribute in memory of their babies, but also to help prevent other tragedies like theirs from occurring. Stillbirth occurs in 1 in every 150 pregnancies in the United States and by participating in a simple daily count of your baby’s kicks/movements, you can help prevent this from happening to you.
What is it?
Count the Kicks is a program aimed at women in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Starting around 28 weeks, moms should set aside time each day, around the same time of the day, to focus on their baby’s movement. If sufficient amount of movement isn’t detected within the time frame allowed, moms have cause for concern and should seek medical attention immediately.
The How To/What To Do
- Starting at 28 weeks, or 26 weeks if you’re high risk, choose a time each day to monitor baby movement
- Pick a time where the baby is generally active, or after a meal time (for me, Little M was most active in the early evening)
- Lay with your feet up or on your left side – if baby isn’t particularly active or is sleeping, try drinking a glass of cold water or orange juice or pushing gently on your belly to wake baby up!
- Count each time baby moves or kicks until you reach 10 movements
- Typically this will occur in less than a half hour (with M it usually only took 5-10 minutes), but can sometimes take up to 2 hours
- Chart baby’s movements – this will help you to identify a typical pattern and will more easily alert you to abnormalities in terms of movement (see the Count the Kicks website for a printable chart or a link to download their free kick app!)
- If you are unable to reach 10 movements within 2 hours, walk around, eat something and drink cold water and then try again. If you are still unable to detect movement, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY
Spread the Word
As of last fall, at least 15 babies have been saved thanks to the Count the Kicks campaign. These mamas detected a decrease or no movement at all during their kick count and sought medical attention. Thanks to their actions, their babies were delivered immediately and survived when they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. According to a published interview with a Count the Kicks Ambassador, at least 22 states and 6 countries currently support the program, with more requests for information every day. Help promote Count the Kicks in your community. Share this post. Like Count the Kicks on Facebook. Request materials to take to your prenatal care provider. Inform your friends and family. We can all do a part in helping to save the lives of babies everywhere.