FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 5, 2019
Contact: Office of Communications (614) 644-8562
Stillbirth Prevention Public Awareness Campaign Launches in Ohio
Stillbirth Prevention Education, Phone App Can Help Save Ohio Babies
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is partnering with Count the Kicks, a proven stillbirth prevention public awareness campaign. One out of every 167 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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.”
Davis and DaShonda Watkins, a Hamilton County resident who also lost her daughter to a stillbirth, are Ohio’s local ambassadors for Count the Kicks and are available for interviews.
NOTE TO NEWS MEDIA – B-Roll of the Count the Kicks app in use is available upon request. An ODH representative and the Ohio Count the Kicks Ambassadors who are stillbirth prevention advocates and users of the app are available for interviews.
Healthy Birth Day, Inc. is the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that created the Count the Kicks public health campaign. There are Count the Kicks Ambassadors in 23 states, including Kari Davis of Lexington, OH who lost her daughter Harper to stillbirth in 2013, and DaShonda Watkins of Cincinnati, OH who lost her daughter Aubrey one year ago today. Kari and DaShonda are happy to give interviews on the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester. Count the Kicks has been featured on Good Morning America, Inside Edition and in O Magazine. More than 80,000 expectant parents have downloaded the Count the Kicks app so far. For media interviews or to learn more about the Count the Kicks campaign, please contact Emily Price at 515-505-0319 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.