PARENTS

'Kicks Count' Launch App For Pregnant Women To Track Their Baby's Movements And Help Prevent Stillbirths

'Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well.'

11/04/2016 17:05 | Updated 12 April 2016

pregnancy and stillbirth charity has launched an app to help expectant mothers track their baby's movements.

Kicks Count said the launch is part of their drive to "educate and empower" mums-to-be about preventing stillbirth. 

The app allows mums to log their baby’s movements and displays graphs so women can see patterns of regularity. 

All it requires is a simple tap of the screen each time an episode of movement is felt - so you're not counting every single kick, but rather periods of activity.

KicksCount

"Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well," Elizabeth Hutton, CEO of Kicks Count told The Huffington Post UK

"Our app aims to give pregnant women another way to keep track of their baby’s movements.

"It is not intended to replace maternal instinct and mums-to-be should always report it if they feel their baby’s movements have changed.

"We became aware mums were using apps more and more.

"However most foetal movement apps counted to 10, which is not recommended.

"We therefore knew we needed to design an app that would help a mum track her own baby's movements.

"The key to our app is it doesn't stop at 10, instead it will help you determine your baby's individual pattern.

"We feel it will make a real difference to women who want to keep track of their baby’s progress."

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists concurs that there is "no specific number of movements which is normal" during pregnancy.

They advise women to be aware of their baby's movements on a daily basis from 18-20 weeks pregnant. 

"You need to be aware of your baby’s individual pattern of movements," their advice leaflet states.

"A reduction or a change in your baby’s movements is what is important.

"It is important for you to track these patterns throughout your pregnancy and you should seek immediate help if you feel that the movements are reduced."

Kicks Count

The free app, compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices, includes an easy-to-use "counter", where you tap the screen during each session of your baby kicking, then "save" when it stops. 

This number will accumulate and be logged on the total number of kicks that day.

There are also seven and 14-day graphs to see your baby's movements at a glance and see if there are any drastic changes to the baby's regular movements. 

This enables mums-to-be to focus on their own baby's movements and any drastic changes, rather than a set number of kicks that they should feel each day.

"Our key message is and always has been, that there is no set number of kicks or movements that expectant mums should expect to feel," Hutton said

"The movements differ with each baby and no set of movements is the same. As long as your baby is moving at a similar rate every day right up to birth, that is what counts."          

Kicks Count

The app launch comes after a landmark report in January 2016 revealed that the UK had made "slow progress" on preventing and reducing the number of stillbirths compared to most other high-income countries.

The Ending Preventable Stillbirth research, published in The Lancet, revealed the UK ranks 21st out of 186 countries in the world for stillbirth rates, with 2.9 stillbirths per 1,000 births. 

Researchers noted there is still little awareness of stillbirth in British society, meaning many parents end up suffering in silence.

Series co-lead, professor Joy Lawn from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "The message is loud and clear - shockingly slow progress on stillbirths is unacceptable."

A similar app was launched in March 2016 to give parents the opportunity to count and record when their baby kicks.

Baby Kicks Monitor uses a session counter and displays the total number of kicks per day. The app also includes a countdown for expectant mothers until their due date. 

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