The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department’s IRIS Project (Increasing the Rate of Infant Survival) has partnered with local Count the Kicks ambassador Meghan Petty to educate women about the importance of tracking fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. In addition to regular prenatal visits, studies indicate kick counting (a daily record of a baby’s movements, kicks, rolls, punches, and jabs) during the third trimester of pregnancy is an easy, free, and reliable way to monitor a baby’s well-being.
“The launch coincides with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on Oct. 15,” said Lisa Vincent, IRIS Umbrella Project program coordinator at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department. “This day honors pregnancy loss and infant death which includes miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or the death of a newborn. Our goal is to spread this easy to follow message and help reduce the rate of stillbirth in our community."
Ambassador Sarah Firianni of Florida saved her baby boy's life by noticing a change in his movements through kick counting. Count the Kick ambassadors, including Ms. Petty, will be the ‘feet on the street’, connecting with healthcare providers and expectant parents in their communities to spread Count the Kicks' life-saving message.
“The Count the Kicks program and materials have been so creatively developed by the Healthy Birth Day organization. The counting is something that mothers can easily do and understand; it can make a difference in the outcomes of pregnancies,” said Ms. Vincent.
Healthy Birth Day is a non-profit organization formed by five Iowa mothers who each lost a baby due to late-term stillbirth or infant death. They launched the Count the Kicks campaign after learning that Norway had effectively reduced its stillbirth rates by one-third through a public health campaign on kick counting.
“The Health Department will add Count the Kick materials to its outreach efforts and distribute information to obstetric provider’s offices,” said Ms. Vincent.
To learn more, visit http://health.hamiltontn.org/ClinicalServices/InfantMortality.aspx.