Georgia Invests in Campaign to Improve Birth Outcomes for Georgia Moms
Published 12:54 pm Friday, May 7, 2021
In recognition of Mother’s Day, Georgia Department of Public Health is partnering with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program. 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 to prevent stillbirth.
“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 that may indicate a problem.”
Count the Kicks teaches the method for, and importance of, tracking fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. Research shows the benefits of expectant moms tracking their baby’s movements daily and learning how long it normally takes their baby to get to 10 movements. If their baby’s “normal” changes during the third trimester, this could be a sign of a problem and indicate that the expectant mom should call her healthcare provider.
Thanks to this partnership, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social services agencies, childbirth educators and other providers across our state can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials (available at www.countthekicks.org) to help them have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents.
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 12 languages, including English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole, and its features include a kick-counting history, daily reminders and the ability to count for single babies and twins. More than 2,300 expectant women have downloaded the app in Georgia.
According to the CDC, Georgia loses approximately 1,000 babies to stillbirth each year. 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 hopes to see a similar large reduction in the number of stillbirths.
For more information on Count the Kicks, contact Georgia Strong Families at 706-321-6322.