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Community Link: Count the Kicks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each week in Community Link, Carolene Mays and Marco Dominguez take a look at an organization or business that is making a positive impact on the community.

This week, Mays and Dominguez were joined by Lauren Lancaster and Dr. Julie Keck to discuss Count the Kicks, a new statewide maternal health initiative being rolled out by the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and Anthem.

Count the Kicks uses an app by the same name to help prevent stillbirths in women in their third trimester of pregnancy.

Expectant mothers can download the app and record how long it takes for the baby to reach 10 fetal movements. By doing this every day when the baby is most active, the mother can determine an average amount of time it takes the baby to perform the movements.

If the strength of the movements or the amount of time they take begins to change, it’s time to get help, Lancaster says.

“Say, for instance, yesterday, it took the baby 15 minutes to kick 10 times, but today, it’s taken the baby two hours. The mother is then alerted that there might be some issue, so then, she can contact her OB or primary care provider to seek medical attention,” Lancaster said.

A similar program in Iowa caused the stillbirth rate there to drop by 32% and health leaders in Indiana decided the state needed a similar program, Dr. Keck says. Indiana loses just over 500 babies to stillbirth every year and Black women in Indiana are twice as likely to have a stillbirth than white women, according to Keck.

“Unfortunately, sometimes, Black women are not necessarily heard when they are sharing their concerns with their provider,” Keck said. “This app is a way for them to track and trend and say, ‘I’ve been tracking on this app, I know my counts are down, and I need you to know about this. I need you to hear me.'”

To watch the entire segment, click on the video.