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New app aims to reduce stillbirths in Great Lakes Bay Region

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are recruiting...
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health are recruiting expectant mothers and families to join two new studies designed to help experts better understand the causes of two of the most common chronic diseases in children: childhood asthma and childhood food allergies.(123RF)
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:46 AM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A new tool for expecting mothers that helps monitor babies in their third trimester is coming to the region.

Covenant HealthCare and Transforming Health Regionally in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) announced a partnership with Count the Kicks, a stillbirth prevention campaign that educates expecting parents about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Count the Kids gives access to an app for mothers to monitor their baby’s well-being. The program currently operates in 15 other states across the nation.

The app is on the iOS and Google Play app stores. It gives expecting moms a non-invasive way to monitor their baby’s well-being every day. The app will give mothers information to seek medical attention if necessary.

In addition to reducing stillbirths, 84 percent of Count the Kicks app users who count daily report the method helped with bonding during pregnancy, and 77 percent reported the method helps reduce anxiety.

Through the partnership, maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social services agencies, childbirth educators and other providers in Michigan can order free educational materials to help expecting parents.

“We are proud to lend support to this important initiative,” said Beth Charlton, president and CEO of Covenant HealthCare. “As a regional medical destination for high-risk pregnancies and neonatal intensive care, we know the impact early prenatal care and interventions have on health outcomes. We believe that every expectant mother should have access to health information that can help them and their baby.”

The region is the first community in Michigan to offer the Count the Kicks initiative. Nationally, 23,500 babies are born still each year and Michigan’s average is 622 stillbirths annually.