Make your home page

App aims to improve stillborn rates

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A phone app is launching in Indiana to improve stillborn rates through the partnership of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Anthem insurance and the Count the Kicks campaign.

The app will help expectant mothers monitor their babies movements.

Black and brown women are often at higher risk of experience stillbirths. For years, the Indiana Minority Health Coalition has focused on maternal and infant mortality. The coalition’s leaders said the free app could save dozens of babies and mothers.

Even though we’re deep into the 21st century, the issues of stillbirths, infant and maternal mortality haven’t been solved. But, supporters say they are taking steps to improve those odds.

“It was so vital for us to reduce the numbers. When you say women are more likely to experience a stillbirth two times more than white women, that is unacceptable,” said Lauren Lancaster, maternal child health manager with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition.

The coalition continues to expand its doula program to help guide expectant mothers safely through the birth process. But, the coalition is adding another tool to those services. It’s a free phone app called Count The Kicks.

“It just teaches you how to get to know your baby’s normal movement,” Kimberly Isburg said. “By having a daily counting section, it helps you count how long it takes to your baby to get to 10 movements and the strength of your babies movements.”

To work the app, mothers are advised to use it when their babies are most active. When those movement fall out of the norm, moms will know to take action. The app also was designed to be useful when advocating for yourself at the doctor’s office.

“It has that ability to empower a woman to take control of her health herself and her pregnancy, and some things she can do that she knows is going to help her outcome,” said Lori Riester, obstetric practice consultant at Anthem.

The partnership, in part, is providing the funding to keep Count the Kicks educational material accessible. The materials are valuable tools in minimizing stillbirth, and even maternal mortality.

“That could be your sister or your neighbor, your friend, your aunt. So, it’s always vital, any type of number down,” Lancaster said.

This app has already rolled out in Iowa, and in the last 10 years infant mortality rates dropped more than 30%.

The app is free and is available on Apple and Android devices, and it’s available in a dozen languages.