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Sands. Sands response to MBRRACE-UK National Confidential Enquiry into antepartum term stillbirths. 2015. (accessed January 2021)

Raising awareness in a digital age

02 February 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 2


Despite the pandemic, Kicks Count is committed to providing key information to mums-to-be on baby movements

Kicks Count aims to reduce the UK's high stillbirth and neonatal death rate by raising awareness of baby movements. Kicks Count started out in 2009 under the name Count the Kicks and changed to Kicks Count in 2016 following consultations with midwives.

While there isn't one cause of stillbirth, a decrease in baby's movements can be a key warning sign that a baby is in distress and 50% of mothers who had a stillbirth noticed slowing down of baby's movements beforehand (Efkarpidis et al, 2004). When the baby is being deprived of oxygen, he or she will slow their movements to conserve oxygen. Cord compression, a failing placenta or a high intake of smoke may all lead to reduced movements and could be potentially fatal.

By raising awareness of baby's movements and encouraging mums to report any change in movement immediately, it is estimated that a third of stillbirths could be prevented (Sands, 2015). Kicks Count started out distributing leaflets with information about baby's movements and encouraging mums to be in a better position to report any reduction in movements. The movement information leaflets have been written in conjunction with the Department of Health, Public Health England, Tommy's, Sands and representatives from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Midwives to ensure information given out by all the main organisations is consistent. The leaflets are also available to download in a number of other languages. Approximately 60 000 leaflets are sent to midwives across the UK every three months.

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