Count the Kicks Academy for parents is a suite of educational videos, guides, and resources to help expectant parents get their baby here safely.
Get to know what’s normal for your baby
We know you are navigating a new normal due to COVID-19, and now is an especially important time for expectant parents to:
- Know the importance of kick counting in the third trimester
- Get to know what’s normal for your baby (the amount of time it takes your baby to get to 10 movements) using the free Count the Kicks app.
- Speak up and contact your provider if you notice a change.
This information will help you navigate this season with the peace of mind to know when things are OK and when you need to contact your provider. Congrats on your little kicker!
Counting kicks, jabs, pokes and rolls is a free, noninvasive way to check on your baby’s well-being. It’s also a great way to bond with your baby during pregnancy. A change in movement, whether a decrease or rapid increase, is sometimes the earliest or only indication that your baby should be checked by your provider. It’s also important to pay attention to the strength of your baby’s movements and notify your provider if your baby’s movements become weaker.
About Our Campaign
What is Count the Kicks? We are an evidence-based stillbirth prevention and awareness campaign that teaches expectant parents the method for, and importance of, tracking fetal movement daily during the third trimester of pregnancy. You may find our bright yellow educational materials, including brochures, posters and app reminder cards in your doctor’s office. You will also find the FREE Count the Kicks app in the app store on your phone or tablet. The app is available in 12 languages, and you can even count for twins!
Third trimester? Don’t delay! Counting kicks is what moms should do. It’s important and easy too! To get started, download the FREE Count the Kicks app and start counting daily in the third trimester (28 weeks, or 26 weeks if you’re high-risk or counting for multiples).
VIDEO: How to Count the Kicks
We also have paper kick counting charts available. Download your copy today!
A Tool for Telehealth Appointments
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be changes to your regularly scheduled prenatal visits and an increase in telehealth appointments, which means you may not see your provider in person as often. By paying attention to your baby’s movements every day in the third trimester, you will have the peace of mind to know when things are OK and when things have changed. It’s like having a data download for your motherly intuition!
With the Count the Kicks app, you can even download and share data via text or email directly with your healthcare provider (watch this video to learn how to do it). This data can serve as a helpful tool for discussing your baby’s movement with your healthcare provider, especially during telehealth appointments. Watch this video to learn more about how the Count the Kicks app acts as an early warning system for moms and providers.
Features of the Count the Kicks App
The FREE Count the Kicks app is available in the Google Play and iTunes app stores, and has been downloaded more than 100,000 times by expectant moms in all 50 states and 140 countries. It’s an easy-to-use tool for expectant parents to monitor their baby’s well-being in addition to regular prenatal visits.
What Count the Kicks app users have to say:
“Love this app! Easy to use and haven’t had any trouble with it! It’s SO VERY important to count your baby’s kicks and this makes it easy and effortless. My little girl is a KICKER and almost always finishes her sets of kicks within 3 minutes! LOL.”
“It’s very user friendly and it’s so simple to use. I have my hands full between being a full time working mom of a toddler, that I need extra help to take care and watch the baby in my womb. This app makes that happen.”Cinita Z.
“This has been such a helpful app during my pregnancy. It’s so simple and easy to use and relieves some of my stress about the baby. I really like the reminder to count if it’s been 24 hours since the last session.”Lisa V.
“Super CONVENIENT! Can easily keep track of the kicks, everything is set up very organized so I can pull it up at a moment’s notice for my doctor.”Tara G.
“I think this is a good tool to be aware of the baby’s movements. This is my fifth child and I tend to forget to pay attention since the other children are 9 and under. So many things to do, but it is good to have an alarm that reminds you to pay attention and to bond with the new baby. Thank you.”
When should I contact my provider?
Call your provider right away if you notice a change in the strength of your baby’s movements or how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements. Count the Kicks encourages all moms to listen to their gut and to not stay silent if their baby’s movements change. Watch this video for advice on how to SPEAK UP if you notice a change!
- During your prenatal appointments, be sure to ask your provider how to contact them if you have concerns and when you should go directly to the hospital.
- Just because a provider doesn’t talk to you about fetal movement it doesn’t mean it’s not important. Tracking your baby’s movement is important whether you heard about it from your provider or not. It’s OK to bring up Count the Kicks with your provider and ask to send them your kick counting data.
- If you contact your provider and don’t hear back quickly, you should contact the triage nurse at your birthing hospital or go directly to your nearest OB/Emergency Department for evaluation.
- Hospitals are open 24/7 and are ready to help expectant moms who are concerned about their baby’s movement. A change in movement is too important to ignore.
- Take into consideration the distance to your birthing hospital. If you have a long drive to your chosen birthing hospital, you may want to locate a closer location to have as a backup if needed.
Five Steps to Speaking Up During COVID
- Speak Up: Contact your provider right away if you notice a change in the strength of your baby’s movements or how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements.
- Trust your Instincts: Your baby’s movements are an important vital sign, and YOU know your baby best! Trust your gut.
- Don’t Delay: There is no bad time to call or go in. If your provider’s office is closed, hospitals are open 24/7, ready to serve YOU.
- Speak Louder: YOU have a choice. Your provider is there to listen to YOU. If your provider isn’t listening, speak louder until they do.
- Hours and Minutes Matter: Don’t hesitate. A change in movement is often the first or only indication a baby is in distress. Don’t let fear of COVID stop you from going in. The risks of not speaking up outweigh the risk of going in.
If you need to Speak Up, try this:
“I am counting my kicks and I noticed reduced fetal movement.”
“I am counting my kicks and I noticed a change in my baby’s movement.”
“I am counting my kicks and my baby is not moving like normal.”
PRO TIP: During your prenatal appointments, be sure to ask your provider how to contact them if you have concerns, and when you should go directly to the hospital.
Advice from Providers
“It’s too important to ignore. If your baby’s movements change, speak up!”Dr. Alexandra Hubbell, Family Medicine Physician, UnityPoint Health
“Speak up for your baby. And if the provider isn’t listening, speak louder until they do. After all, your baby’s life may depend on it.”Dr. Neil Mandsager, Medical Director, MercyOne Perinatal Center and Count the Kicks Medical Advisory Board Member
“When a mom is worried, we’re worried, so it’s really important for a mom to know she can reach out to us and that we want her to reach out to us. As maternal OB care providers, we consider the perception of fetal movement as an important vital sign. We rely solely on the moms to tell us that. When they’re away from this office or away from the hospital, the only way we know about the baby’s well-being is by the feedback we get from the mother, so I think it’s important for them to not be afraid to reach out to us.”Dr. Tami Fahnlander, Ob/Gyn with UnityPoint Health
Advice from Moms
“During my third trimester of pregnancy my doctor routinely advised me to track Mila’s fetal movements. At 37 weeks I noticed a drastic decrease in Mila’s kicks and made the decision to call my doctor. Ultrasounds and further testing revealed Mila was in distress and a couple of hours later I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby. I am immensely grateful to my doctor for recommending I count her kicks, but I am also sad to learn that most of my mom-friends had not been told the same by their doctors. Count the Kicks provides doctors the resources they need to educate moms and to save babies’ lives.”Kaley Boudreax, Count the Kicks Louisiana Ambassador
“This is important to me because my daughter, Amelia, was born sleeping on Aug. 25, 2019. I had a very normal pregnancy with no concerns. At my 36-week doctor’s appointment I was asked about movement and indicated I had noticed a change at night but not during the day. My doctor was unconcerned by this change. Amelia passed away two days later. After four babies I was in shock that I was never shown or told what ‘counting kicks’ meant and looked like. I have realized there is a big gap of knowledge regarding the importance of babies’ movements amongst moms and medical professionals and I am passionate about changing that so babies’ lives can be saved.”Tausha Patterson, Count the Kicks Minnesota Ambassador
Myths about Movement
Baby should have 10 movements in 2 hours
This advice is outdated. Current research indicates expectant moms should be focusing on understanding the normal amount of time each day it takes their baby to get to 10. Every baby is different, and by counting kicks daily in the third trimester, you can get to know what’s normal for your baby (the average amount of time each day it takes to get to 10 movements) so you can alert your doctor if there is a change.
My baby moves a lot, so I don’t need to count kicks.
Counting baby’s kicks every day helps you establish how long it typically takes your baby to get to 10 movements. Knowing what’s ‘normal’ for your baby will help you notice if there are any significant changes. Also pay attention to the strength of your baby’s movements and alert your provider if the kicks, jabs and rolls become weaker.
Babies run out of room at the end of pregnancy.
Babies do not slow down or “run out of room” at the end of pregnancy. While the types of movement may change (more jabs, fewer somersaults), babies should move up to and even during labor.
I can just use my home Doppler device to monitor my baby’s health.
Only trained professionals should use a Doppler device. A change in the baby’s heartbeat is one of the last things that occurs when a baby is in distress. By the time the heartbeat slows it may be too late. Moms often mistake their own heartbeat for their baby’s.
Why Counting Kicks is Important
Each year in the U.S., 24,000 babies are born still, or 1 in every 167 pregnancies, making it 10 times more common than SIDS. According to the CDC, a black woman is more than twice as likely to lose her baby to stillbirth (1 in 94 pregnancies) than her white neighbor, colleague, or friend. Research shows that a change in movement is sometimes the only indication that a baby is in distress and needs to be checked by your doctor.
The Impact of Count the Kicks
Through the Count the Kicks campaign we have a community of moms who are in tune with their bodies and their babies, letting providers know when something feels off. Time and time again this system works — and babies are being saved across the country. In the first 10 years of our campaign in Iowa, the state’s stillbirth rate has decreased nearly 32 percent while the rest of the country remained stagnant.
Two babies were recently saved during the COVID-19 pandemic, one in Iowa and one in Alabama. Their moms noticed a change in their movement in the final weeks of pregnancy.
Both women hesitated to say anything when they noticed a change because they didn’t want to go into a clinic or hospital that may have had COVID-19 patients inside. Luckily, they listened to their bodies and their babies, spoke up to their doctors, and went in to get checked. After their doctors ran the appropriate tests, the decision was made to deliver both babies via emergency C-section.
Baby Everett was saved in Iowa in March. His mom, Amanda, joined us to share her story and why it’s more important than ever for moms to Count the Kicks daily in the third trimester of pregnancy.
“Even though it is scary, and it’s a lot of unknown, and it’s a lot of what you don’t expect your pregnancy and your delivery to look like, it’s still worth it in the end. We still got to come home with a healthy baby boy, and the outcome could have been very different if I let my fear of this pandemic stop me from going in that day.”Amanda R., Baby Save Everett’s mom
Baby Thatcher was saved in Alabama in April. His mom, Shelley, joined us to share her story and why it’s more important than ever for moms to Count the Kicks daily in the third trimester of pregnancy.
“Hours and minutes matter. Once you notice, go in! Don’t wait.”Shelley P., Baby Save Thatcher’s mom
Meet our Baby Saves
Moms from around the country have written in to share their personal stories about how they used the cutting-edge Count the Kicks app to help save their baby. We currently have more than 60 baby save success stories from 17 states and three countries! Read their stories.
“I firmly believe that every time we share our stories, we help save lives. Although counting kicks would not have saved my daughters, every day when I discharge a pregnant mom from the hospital, my girls help me save a baby. I honor them every day by telling their story, by telling the story of my older two children and how oblivious I was to the things that could go wrong so quickly.”Miranda Coker, Count the Kicks Missouri Ambassador
Frequently Asked Questions
Find more answers to your frequently asked questions here.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Use of this information should be done in accordance with your healthcare provider.