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Kansas Health Officials Urging Pregnant Moms To ‘Count The Kicks’

Bri Stoterau
flickr, Creative Commons

Every year, 232 women in Kansas endure the heartache of losing a baby to stillbirth or infant death.

To help reduce that rate, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment began a partnership with "Count the Kicks," an Iowa-based stillbirth prevention awareness campaign.

The program teaches expectant women to count their babies’ movements daily in the third trimester. That way, women will know to call their doctor if there is a change in the baby’s normal pattern.

“We are excited to provide physicians, partners and pregnant women across the state full access to Count the Kicks materials,” Rachel Sisson, KDHE Bureau of Family Health director, said in a new release. “KDHE’s Bureau of Family Health remains committed to collaborative efforts to support the healthiest outcome for mothers and infants.”

In the first five years Count the Kicks was used in Iowa, the state’s stillbirth rate decreased 26 percent. Iowa went from the 33rd worst to the third best stillbirth rate in the country.

Count the Kicks also has a free mobile app available in English and Spanish. The app allows expectant women to monitor their baby’s movement, record the history, set a daily reminder and count for single babies and twins.

The campaign seeks to save 60 babies every year by decreasing Kansas' stillbirth rate by 26 percent.

This project is supported by KDHE with funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Count the Kicks started in 2009.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.