Friends & Supporters | Count The Kicks™

Following a perfectly healthy and ‘normal low risk’ pregnancy in November 2009 the charity’s founder, Sophia Mason, called her maternity ward to report her baby’s lack of movement. Tragically Sophia’s efforts were too late and her baby, Chloe, was delivered stillborn by caesarean section 3 days before her due date. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around Chloe’s neck, and the cause of her death was officially registered as unexplained. In the months following Chloe’s death, Sophia set up the charity Count The Kicks to raise awareness of the risks that can occur in the later stages of pregnancy.

A lancet report published in April 2011 shows that the statistics surrounding stillbirth and infant loss in the UK are staggering and among the highest in Europe – 6,500 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every year in the UK, that’s 17 each day. 70% of these deaths are classed as unexplained and the report concludes that a substantial amount of stillbirths are potentially preventable.

The aim of Count The Kicks is to reduce these shocking statistics by empowering Mums with knowledge and confidence throughout pregnancy. We want to ensure Mums work with their midwives and health care providers so they have the confidence to ask for advice if they are ever worried at all.

Our website provides facts, signs and symptoms on the conditions associated with stillbirth. We provide free antenatal note stickers to enable Mums-to-be to have the number of their local maternity ward close to hand and to remind them to seek advice from their midwife if they have any concerns. Our strap line is “If you’re worried at all – make the call”.

We also produce movement monitoring charts and wrist bands for Mums to help keep track of their baby’s movements. By monitoring a baby’s regular pattern and movements, Mums will become very aware of a problem if the movements change and will then be able to provide the appropriate information to the health professionals so fast action can be taken if required. In our first year alone we have had a number of testimonies believing our campaign saved their baby’s life as they knew what signs to look out for and were able to get their baby delivered quickly and safely.

As well as information on our website, Count The Kicks is launching the “Empowering Mums-2-B” phone app which will offer pregnancy support with particular focus on movement/kick tracking. It will also feature life saving facts and information every Mum-to-be should be made aware of throughout her pregnancy. This will be a first of its kind and we believe it will make a huge impact on preventing stillbirths. Be sure to look out for it when it becomes available at the end of the year!

As a young charity we are constantly looking for people to partner with who can either help spread awareness, or bring in the vital funds needed to keep this campaign growing. If you’re interested in helping in any way you can email: support@countthekicks.org.uk or come and talk to us as at one of the many baby shows we’re appearing at throughout 2011.

For your free Antenatal Notes Sticker, please email stickers@countthekicks.org.uk

For more information and updates please visit our website, facebook page or follow us on twitter.

Devan McGuinness

is the founder and executive director of the award-winning resource Unspoken Grief .

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