Stillbirth, the death of a baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy or greater, is a major health problem that is under-appreciated. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), approximately 1 out of every 160 deliveries in the United States ends in stillbirth. As medical providers, we see the lasting devastation that women and their families experience from the loss of a baby during this period.
For these reasons we support First Candle’s Kicks Count! campaign, designed to raise awareness about stillbirth. The primary goal of the campaign is to educate and encourage expectant parents and medical providers to use kick counting to help monitor a baby’s movements beginning at the 28th week of pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of stillbirth.
Although additional scientific research is needed to more clearly understand the causes of stillbirth, there is currently a growing body of evidence that supports kick counting as a proactive strategy to help reduce the risk of stillbirth. This is what we know:
We can make a difference NOW in reducing the risk of stillbirth in this country and we ask that you join our efforts. You can lend your support by advocating for more research, distributing educational materials and talking to your own provider and family members about kick counting.
For additional information and to download or order Kicks Count brochures at no cost, please call Dana Kaplin at 1-800-221-7437.
|Ruth C. Fretts, MD||Diep M. Nguyen, MD|
|Obstetrics & Gynecology
Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates
Harvard Medical School
|Obstetrics & Gynecology
Southern CA Kaiser Permanente Medical School
1. National Center for Health Statistics. www.nchs.org
2. Julie Victoria Holm Tveit, Eli Saastad, Babill Stray-Pedersen, Per E Børdahl, Vicki Flenady, Ruth Fretts and J Frederik Frøen, 2009. Reduction of late stillbirth with the introduction of fetal movement information and guidelines – a clinical quality improvement. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.
3. O’Sullivan, O, Stephen, G., Martindale, E. and Heazell, A.E.P. Predicting poor perinatal outcome in women who present with decreased fetal movements. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, November 2009; 29(8): 705-710.
4. Willinger M, Ko C-W, Reddy UM. 2009. Racial disparities in stillbirth risk across gestation in the United States. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology [published online ahead of print on September 17, 2009.]
Last Updated: Oct 12, 2010