One out of every 160 births in the US is a stillbirth. The five women behind Count the Kicks, who each suffered stillbirths themselves, are working to reduce stillbirth rates by helping expectant moms monitor baby’s movements in the third trimester with their new FREE Count the Kicks app…
From the first moment we learn have a new life growing inside of us, the worrying begins. We want to do everything we can to protect and nurture our baby.
We remove alcohol and potentially dangerous foods from our diets. We avoid harmful chemicals — and even try to not stand too close to the microwave oven. And we hope every single second that our babies are growing strong and healthy.
Once we get to the “kick mommy” stage, we breathe a sigh of relief. We have proof that our baby is indeed “alive and kicking.” Each kick is a little message to us, “I am in here — get ready!”
My Story — My Olivia
After losing my second baby to a miscarriage at the end of my first trimester and struggling to get pregnant again, by the time my daughter Olivia was in my womb, I was very nervous I would lose her too.
In fact, at seven weeks, after a weekend of severe cramping, I thought I had lost her. When I had an ultrasound and found out that she was alive, I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe she was still with us. I couldn’t believe I still might get my baby.
Throughout my pregnancy I worried. The loss of our second baby had been so hard and confusing for our son and now, at five and a half years old, he was very aware (and completely thrilled) that he was finally going to become a big brother.
By the time I was in my third trimester, I was ecstatic! We had made it this far. This baby might really make it.
But my belly was small and the doctor was concerned that I didn’t have enough fluid. So I had regular ultrasounds to watch our progress.
Two and half weeks before my due date I started to have contractions. They lasted for most of a day – but I was busy preparing for my new baby and refused to pay too much attention. Then a couple days later, standing in a store, I doubled over in pain and wondered if the full moon outside was going to bring this baby early.
But by the time I got home, the pain had stopped and I went back to busy mom life. Except that I started to notice my baby wasn’t getting back to her busy ways.
I had been monitoring my baby’s kicks every night and I noticed she wasn’t up to her usual tricks.
After a couple days of reduced movement, I started to get concerned. My weekly ultrasound was due the next day, but I didn’t feel comfortable waiting.
I phoned my doctor and she told me to come in. After examining me, she decided she wanted that baby out. She told me was going to sweep my membranes. After, she sent me to the ER for monitoring, while also booking me for an inducement the next morning if I didn’t go into labor.
Within two hours, I was in labor and soon my baby girl, Olivia Jenae, arrived safe and kicking!
But I was so grateful to have been monitoring my baby’s activity so that I could tell when there had been a significant change and do something about it.
Help to Count Kicks
While I am finished having babies myself, when I heard about the Count the Kicks app, I wanted to make sure I let other moms know about it.
Having an app to help expectant moms to count and monitor their baby’s kicks and movement is a wonderful idea.
The women who developed the Count the Kicks program and app all lost their babies to stillbirths. Motivated to save other babies, since 2009 they have been helping spread the message about monitoring babies movements in the third trimester.
Their work over the past five years has saved babies lives and now they are continuing that work with the launch of the FREE Count the Kicks app available for download in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
To find out more about the Count the Kicks app and the women behind Count the Kicks, watch the video below and download the free app at CounttheKicks.org.
Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.