Goal to Save 321 Babies Every Year1
Amerigroup Foundation has partnered with Count the Kicks, an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program, to educate expectant parents in Georgia about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. Research shows that nearly 30% of stillbirths are preventable when expectant parents are educated on the importance of tracking their baby’s movements daily, starting at 28 weeks.
Count the Kicks has a free app available in the iOS and Google Play app stores that provides expectant parents a simple, non-invasive way to monitor their babies’ well-being every day. App users can see their kick-counting history, rate the strength of their baby’s movements, set daily reminders, and can count for both single babies and twins. Paper kick counting charts are also available on the Count the Kicks website for those without access to the app.
After monitoring their baby’s movements over several days, expectant parents will start noticing a consistent pattern, indicating the typical duration for their baby to complete ten movements. Any change to their baby’s “normal” during the third trimester may be a sign of potential problems, signaling the need for the mother to promptly contact her healthcare provider.
Stillbirth is a national public health crisis. In the U.S. the annual number of stillbirths (defined as the loss of a baby at 20 weeks or greater during pregnancy) far exceeds the number of deaths among children aged 0-14 years from preterm birth, SIDS, accidents, drownings, guns, fire and flu combined. For Georgia families, 1 in every 126 pregnancies end in stillbirth, and families in the state are 6.5 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS2
CDC data shows that every year in the U.S. approximately 860 women3 will die from childbirth complications, and over 21,00 babies will be stillborn. One in every 175 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth, and the risk is even greater for Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous expectant parents and their pregnancies. For Black women in the U.S., 1 in every 97 pregnancies ends in stillbirth.
Through the support of Amerigroup, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Georgia can order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials (available at www.CountTheKicks.org) to help them have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents. These materials include posters, brochures, and app download cards in English and Spanish.
Amerigroup and Count the Kicks will also work to address social determinants of health through a four -question survey for all expectant parents that use the free app. The questions focus on barriers to accessing resources and connects app users who need additional assistance and support to free or reduced cost resources in their local community. These resources include things like diaper banks, food banks, housing assistance, and more.
To celebrate their partnership, Count the Kicks joined Amerigroup at a Diaper Day event yesterday. During the event, new and expecting mothers in attendance received a training and demonstration about the app. Attendees not only received valuable knowledge on kick counting but also received essential supplies, including free diapers, baby items, and essential items.
In 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 flat. Through this collaboration, Amerigroup hopes to bring the same success to Georgia, saving approximately 321 babies in the state each year.4
1Number based on 5-year average stillbirth rate, multiplied by the 32% reduction seen in Iowa. Stillbirth data is from CDC Wonder. Note stillbirth rate is calculated by: Fetal Deaths/Total of Live Births + Fetal Deaths*1,000.
2Number based on dividing 1,000 by the 5-year average stillbirth rate. Stillbirth data is from CDC Wonder.
3Hoyert DL. Maternal mortality rates in the United States, 2020. NCHS Health E-Stats. 2022. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:113967
4Number based on 5-year average stillbirth rate, multiplied by the 32% reduction seen in Iowa. Stillbirth data is from CDC Wonder. Note stillbirth rate is calculated by: Fetal Deaths/Total of Live Births + Fetal Deaths*1,000.