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Cincinnati-Area Mom Uses Count the Kicks, Saves Her Baby’s Life

March 10, 2021
Contacts:   ODH Office of Communications (614) 644-8562
Kimberly Isburg, Count the Kicks, (515) 494-5115  

Cincinnati-Area Mom Uses Count the Kicks, Saves Her Baby’s Life

COLUMBUS – Cathleen Wolff never expected that downloading the Count the Kicks app to monitor her baby’s movements during pregnancy would help save her daughter’s life. Cathleen learned about Count the Kicks through educational materials provided by the Ohio Department of Health and discussed the importance of tracking her baby’s movements with her doctor. Recently, she was in her eighth month of pregnancy when she noticed a change in her baby’s normal movements — a significant development that needed to be addressed.

After noticing it was taking her baby longer than usual to get to 10 movements and that her baby’s movements weren’t as strong as usual, Cathleen alerted her doctor who started testing right away and determined her baby would need to be delivered.

“It was immediately discovered that Margot had a complete knot in her cord, that the cord was wrapped around her neck two times, and her hands were also tethered by the cord. Thankfully, she was healthy and after a very brief stay in the NICU was able to come home to our family,” Cathleen said. “I am very fortunate that my OB office shared the Count the Kicks information with me - through posters on the room walls and a brochure, as it encouraged me to download and regularly use the Count the Kicks app, which is how I knew that my baby’s normal movement pattern had changed.”

Count the Kicks, an evidence-based public health campaign, educates and empowers expectant parents to track their baby’s movements in the third trimester of pregnancy. Research shows a change in a baby’s movements could be the earliest, and sometimes only indication that something may be wrong with a pregnancy. Thanks to a partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, nurses, doctors and hospital staff have been able to order free Count the Kicks brochures, app download reminder cards, and posters to place in offices that care for pregnant patients and to share with expectant parents since 2018.

Ohio Department of Health, along with many other organizations in Ohio, are committed to reducing stillbirths through increasing awareness and community intervention. This is the second baby that we know of to be saved in Ohio through the Count the Kicks awareness campaign.

“Count the Kicks is a powerful tool in helping mothers evaluate and track their baby’s movement,” said Ohio Department of Health Maternal, Child, and Family Health Bureau Chief Dyane Gogan Turner. “Mothers are in a unique position to feel changes in their pregnancy, and Count the Kicks empowers them with a method to better track and document these changes for health experts who may be able to help. We are so excited to know that these resources were able to help save a life and hope they will save many more.”

Research indicates that keeping a daily record of a baby’s movement — including kicks, rolls, punches and jabs — is an easy, free, reliable way to monitor a baby’s well-being in addition to regular prenatal visits. After a few sessions on the free Count the Kicks app, parents will start to notice a normal movement pattern for their baby.

Changes to that pattern can indicate potential issues with the pregnancy. Parents who notice a change should call their healthcare provider immediately. Every year in the U.S. 24,000 babies are born still, according to the CDC. Stillbirth affects every 1 in 167 pregnancies in the U.S.


For media interviews or to learn more about the Count the Kicks campaign, please contact Kimberly Isburg at 515-494-5115 or email isburg.kimberly@healthybirthday.org.

About Count the Kicks

Healthy Birth Day, Inc., the nonprofit that created Count the Kicks, currently has a growing network of supportive doctors, nurses, hospitals and clinics that give Count the Kicks materials to their patients. We have a free Count the Kicks app in Google Play and iOS app stores that is available in 12 languages and has been downloaded more than 130,000 times in all 50 U.S. states, and more 140 other countries. The app allows expectant parents to monitor their baby’s movement, record the history, set a daily reminder, count for twins and more. Count the Kicks has Ambassadors in 30 U.S. states (including Kari Davis, Heather Johnston Welliver, Jasmine Abraham and DaShonda Watkins in Ohio), plus Washington, D.C., Canada and India. We have appeared on Good Morning America, in O Magazine, and produced a national PSA that has generated more than 300 million viewer impressions.

In the first 10 years of the Count the Kicks campaign in Iowa (2008-2018), the state’s stillbirth rate decreased nearly 32 percent, according to the CDC. In the same timeframe, the stillbirth rate in the U.S. as a whole has remained stagnant. Learn more about our mission to save 7,500 babies every year and improve birth outcomes everywhere at CountTheKicks.org.