How excited did you feel the first time you felt your baby move? What begins like a small flutter in the early stages of pregnancy often progresses to full blown kicks (and punches!) by the third trimester. While it can be great fun for parents to feel or see their baby moving around, paying close attention to those kicks can also help ensure that your baby remains healthy. 

That is why the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is partnering with Count the Kicks to educate expectant parents about the importance of tracking fetal movement daily in the third trimester of pregnancy. According to CDC Wonder, one out of every 171 pregnancies in Arizona ends in stillbirth. By teaching expectant parents how to become familiar with their baby’s normal movement patterns and empowering them to speak up if they notice a change, we can save many of these babies.‬

Expectant parents can track their baby’s daily movements using the free Count the Kicks app or paper chart tools. The app allows them to rate the strength of their baby’s movements and take notes on each day’s kick counting session. Parents will begin to see a pattern to these movements and can see how long it takes for their baby to get to 10 daily movements. If their baby’s “normal” changes during the third trimester, this could be an early sign of potential problems⁠—and is an indication that the expectant mom should call her healthcare provider.  

Thanks to the partnership with Count the Kicks, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social services agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Arizona will also be able to  order FREE Count the Kicks educational materials, including brochures, posters, and app reminder cards in English, Spanish, Diné, Swahili, and Dari. These materials educate expectant parents on how to count kicks and help healthcare professionals have conversations about the importance of kick counting. 

In Iowa, Count the Kicks contributed to more than 30% drop in the state’s stillbirth rate during the first 10 years of the campaign (2008-2018). If Arizona is able to achieve the same success with our Count the Kicks partnership, we could save 155 babies each year. 

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