Kicks Count aims to reduce the UKs shockingly high stillbirth and neonatal death rate by raising awareness of baby’s movements.
What are the UK’s stillbirth and neo-natal death rates?
Sadly, the death of a baby isn’t rare. The UK ranks 33rd out of 35 high income countries, making it the 3rd highest stillbirth rate in the developed world.
In 2015, the latest given statistics, around 9 babies were stillborn every day. In the same year, around 6 babies were lost to neonatal death every day. Around a third of stillbirths happen after 37 weeks, when the baby is deemed full term.
Stillbirth is 10 times more common than cot death. Stillbirths account for more than half of the death of infants under one year in the UK and more babies die at, or just before, birth than they do from cot death, road deaths and meningitis combined.
There is a common misconception that stillbirths only happen in high risk pregnancies or when there is a known problem. However, stillbirth can affect any mum at any time.
Why are baby’s movements so important?
The majority of women experiencing a stillbirth (67%) perceived a reduction in fetal movement prior to diagnosis.
While there isn’t one cause of stillbirth, a decrease in fetal movement can be a key warning sign that a baby is in distress and early delivery could save nearly a third of stillborn babies.
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.
The Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy found that lack of prompt management to reduced fetal movement was a contributing factor to stillbirth.
A ‘Kicks Count’ campaign in Norway saw the rates of stillbirth halved and in the UK a similar awareness campaign in the 1980’s around cot death saw rates of sudden infant deaths fall by a massive 70%.
How do we do it?
- Midwife Resources – We provide free resources to midwives including leaflets, maternity note inserts, stickers, posters and banners
- Website – Our website is a valuable resource for up to date fetal movement and pregnancy information. All information on the site is intended to complement advice or information from your healthcare professional, not replace it.
- Social Media – Our popular social media channels allow us to reach 2 million people per week
- App – Our free mobile app helps women to keep track of their baby’s movements and identify a change in pattern
- Media – Articles in national press and online allow us to raise more awareness of Kicks Count and our work
- Businesses- We work with a number of businesses that help us reach their customers with our message.
On the 26th January 2016 we changed our name from Count the Kicks to Kicks Count.
This was an important step for us and reflects feedback we have had over the years from Midwives and healthcare professionals. Some midwives told us that the name felt like it was advocating the Count to 10 method, even though the information we provided was to get to know the baby’s regular pattern of movement. By changing the name we hope to clarify our message and help us to reach more expectant parents with our advice on baby movement.
Kicks Count advocates the importance of understanding a baby’s movement patterns during pregnancy and we want to ensure that pregnant women understand our advice clearly. All the information in our leaflets has been written in conjunction with Department of Health, Public Health England, Tommys, Sands and representatives from RCOG and RCM.
Our key message is, and always has been, that there is no set number of kicks or movements that expectant mums should expect to feel.
The current rate of stillbirth in the UK is one of the worst in the developed world with 16 stillborn and neonatal deaths every single day. The UK Government has recently pledged to cut this figure by half. Kicks Count fully supports this ambition and will continue to campaign until stillbirths become a rarity in the UK.
Our new web address is kickscount.org.uk although countthekicks.org.uk will continue to redirect to this site indefinitely. This means that any literature or products still in circulation with the old web address will continue to give the most up to date and relevant advice. Our facebook page has also changed over to kicks count.
You can contact us by Post, email or on social media.
The trustees of our charity are Julie Rae, Barry Davies, Danielle Guettier and Helen Mallison. You can find out more about our trustees on the Trustees page
This website is run by the charity Kicks Count, registration number 1145073.
Named author of the site is Elizabeth Hutton BSc (Hons), CEO of Kicks Count. Details of contributors and medical advisors can be found here