Count the Kicks Academy

Count the Kicks Academy for Providers is a suite of educational videos, guides, and resources to help maternal healthcare professionals implement our successful evidence-based campaign and have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents.


Help Save Babies With Us

Count the Kicks cares about the health of expectant moms and their babies. We are committed to preventing stillbirths and eliminating disparities, but we can’t do it without the help of dedicated healthcare professionals like you. 

As healthcare providers continue to navigate this public health crisis, we know there may be changes to regular prenatal appointment schedules and more of a reliance on telehealth options, and the last thing any of us wants is a crisis birth. Count the Kicks Academy for Providers will help you learn more about our stillbirth prevention campaign, and how you can use it as a tool to talk to expectant moms about fetal movement. 

Together, we can help you deliver what you really want to deliver — more healthy babies.


About Our Campaign

Count the Kicks teaches expectant parents the method for, and importance of, tracking fetal movement daily during the third trimester of pregnancy. Our educational materials, including brochures, posters, app reminder cards and a free kick counting app, provide material healthcare providers a simple and effective way to talk to expectant moms about tracking fetal movement. 

Tools Available to Providers

Why is now an important time to utilize Count the Kicks?

With changes to regularly scheduled prenatal appointments and an increased reliance on telehealth options, now is an especially important time for expectant moms to get to know what’s normal for their baby. Count the Kicks, and our free kick counting app, act as an early warning system for expectant moms, helping them to get to know their baby’s normal movement pattern, and empowering them to speak up and contact their provider if they notice a change. Kick-counting data can even be shared directly from the app via text or email, so expectant moms can send their kick counting history directly to their provider.

Provider Data

“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

How to Implement Count the Kicks 

Teaching patients to Count the Kicks is simple. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it could save a baby’s life. Watch this video to learn more about the resources available through our campaign and how you can implement Count the Kicks in your practice.

Get Started
  1. Order Count the Kicks educational materials, including posters, brochures, and app reminder cards, available in English and Spanish. → Order materials
  2. Register for our CE Training to learn more about our evidence-based campaign and ways to respond if a patient reports reduced fetal movement. 
  3. Start talking to expectant moms about Count the Kicks during their glucose screening, and at every appointment in the third trimester. 
  4. Invite expectant moms to download the FREE Count the Kicks app and encourage them to share kick counting data with you before every appointment. 
  5. Educate your patients on how to get in touch with your office in the event that they notice a change in movement.  

Tools for Telehealth Appointments

The Count the Kicks app is a helpful tool for maternal healthcare providers and expectant moms, helping them to have a data-driven conversation about fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy. The FREE Count the Kicks app, which is available in 12 languages, has the ability to send kick counting data directly to a provider via text or email. This data can serve as a helpful resource to determine the next best steps for mom and baby. 

Learn more about how you can use Count the Kicks as a powerful tool to inform conversations during prenatal telehealth appointments in this resource.

telehealth
Resources to share with patients: 

Tools for Childbirth Educators

Showing parents-to-be how to Count the Kicks should be as common as teaching them the importance of taking a prenatal vitamin or having a car seat installed before their baby arrives.

Every patient needs to learn how to Count the Kicks — not just high-risk moms, which is why childbirth education classes are a vital time to educate expectant parents about Count the Kicks

The best time to teach Count the Kicks is at the beginning of the third trimester so parents-to-be can get started right away. 

“In all of our prenatal classes at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, we teach our families about the importance of tracking baby’s movements in the 3rd trimester and counting their kicks. I hear several stories from our moms at MercyOne about how much of a difference Count the Kicks has made in their life, whether it was peace of mind knowing that their baby was healthy and strong, a good conversation starter with their physician at their prenatal appointments, or it was a baby save story because mom realized that baby’s movements had suddenly changed and they came into our OB ED right away to be seen by a physician. I proudly stand with Count the Kicks to continue saving babies and educating all of our expecting moms for years to come here at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center!”

Jenn Callahan, Manager of Childbirth Education and Doula Services for MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

CE Training: Save Babies With Us

In our Continuing Education training “Save Babies with Us: A Healthcare Professional’s Guide on Talking to Expectant Parents about Count the Kicks and Fetal Monitoring!” you will develop a deeper understanding of our evidence-based program and learn proven strategies for how to talk to expectant parents about fetal movement. 

With this training, you will: 

  • Learn how to have the kick counting conversation with expectant parents.
  • Understand how to use the features of the Count the Kicks app.
  • Learn how to best utilize the free tools and resources available for providers.
  • Learn ways to respond if an expectant mother says they are experiencing reduced fetal movement.
  • Be able to answer the most frequently asked questions related to kick counting.
  • Earn 1.5 Continuing Education credits.
  • Truly be impacting the lives of your expectant parents.

“I just wanted you to know that I completed the Count the Kicks provider training. It was excellent! I wish all providers would take the time to view this!  The format is very easy to follow and at the end I could only ask ‘Why isn’t everyone talking about this to mothers?’!!!!  Let’s hope they do! AND SOON!  Thank you so much for sharing!  I will bring this information to my colleagues at work.”

Louise Reiter, Miami, Florida Nurse and Childbirth Educator

Provider Testimonials

Hear what maternal healthcare providers have to say about how they utilize Count the Kicks and the impact of our campaign.

“Let me talk about what life was like before Count the Kicks. We knew as physicians that tracking baby’s movement in the third trimester was important. But we didn’t have the ability to get that word out on a consistent basis to both patients and physicians. So we did our best within our office to get that information out to patients, but we didn’t have the app, or the brochures to put up in our office and to hand to patients. There is no doubt that Count the Kicks was critically important in reducing the stillbirth rate here in Iowa and I am sure it’s going to do the same across the country and around the world.”

Dr. Neil Mandsager, Medical Director, MercyOne Perinatal Center

“If both the patient and the physician utilized the Count the Kicks program, the way it’s designed to be utilized, I think there would be a significant reduction in the number of stillbirths across the country.”

Dr. Stephen Hunter, Associate Director of the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program

“We are so thankful for ALL the work that Count the Kicks has done and continues to do. They are committed to providing education to expectant mothers to help save newborn’s lives. It is amazing what started in Iowa to help prevent stillbirths, has made such an impact in not only our state but also at a national level.”

Sarah Copple, MSN, RNC-MNN Iowa AWHONN

The Impact of Stillbirth in the U.S.

Every year in the U.S. approximately 24,000 babies are born still, according to the CDC. A disproportionate number of babies are born still to African American, Hispanic and Native American women. According to the CDC, a black woman is more than twice as likely to lose her baby to stillbirth than her white neighbor, colleague, friend. Approximately 6,900 African American babies are lost to stillbirth each year in our country.

  • 1:167 of all pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth
  • 1:204 pregnant white women endure a stillbirth
  • 1:94 pregnant black women lose their baby to stillbirth in the U.S.
  • Families are 10 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than they are to SIDS.

*All national and Iowa total stillbirth statistics come from the CDC.

Kimberly Noble Piper, the Executive Officer for the Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders and the State Genetics Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Public Health, discusses the impact that stillbirth has on families and medical providers.


The Research on Fetal Movement
Iowa Stillbirth

The Count the Kicks campaign was created based on public health research in Norway that demonstrated a 30 percent reduction in stillbirth by teaching pregnant women how to monitor fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy by doing kick counts on a daily basis. In the first 10 years of the Count the Kicks campaign in Iowa, the state’s stillbirth rate has decreased nearly 32 percent, while the rest of the country had remained relatively stagnant. If we can reach a 32 percent reduction in all 50 states, as we have seen in Iowa, we will be saving 7,500 babies each year. 

Visit our Research page to read the latest research on fetal movement and stillbirth.

In this video, Dr. Ruth Fretts discusses the research on fetal movement monitoring, and why it’s important to educate patients on movement. She also discusses changes to prenatal appointment schedules and how moms and providers can work together to monitor a baby’s well-being using Count the Kicks.

“A healthy baby is an active baby.”

Dr. Ruth Fretts, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Harvard Medical School and a member of our Medical Advisory Board

Become a State Partner

Count the Kicks educational materials are available for free thanks to the generous support of our state partners in 10 states, including Iowa, Illinois, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia. If you would like more information on bringing Count the Kicks to your state, please reach out to price.emily@healthybirthday.org. We appreciate connections to volunteers, donors, grant makers and funders who will help spread the word about the power of kick counting.