The education and resources being made available by Amerigroup are expected to save approximately 155 babies every year.
OLYMPIA, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Amerigroup–The Amerigroup Foundation has announced the launch of a new, multi-year campaign that is expected to save the lives of hundreds of babies each year across Washington state. It has funded a statewide Count the Kicks campaign, which is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program that uses technology, education and information to promote healthy pregnancies and births. Count the Kicks programing makes educational material and resources available to healthcare providers to help them engage in lifesaving conversations with expectant parents. The campaign also raises awareness about the Count the Kicks app, which helps families monitor their baby’s movements during the third trimester of pregnancy, and helps them recognize when there may be a concern that should be discussed with a medical professional.
“The CDC reports that approximately 484 Washington babies are stillborn each year, and research demonstrates that stillbirths could be reduced by 30 percent when there is daily monitoring of fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy – which is exactly what the Count the Kicks campaign advocates,” said Dr. Shawn Akavan, Amerigroup Washington Medical Director. “Amerigroup is continually innovating, supporting and implementing solutions that optimize health outcomes, and every time our efforts improve or save lives, it is a tremendous success. Our work through Count the Kicks programing is expected to save hundreds of babies, so we look forward to seeing amazing outcomes and celebrating lots of healthy birthdays across our state.”
The Count the Kicks app provides expectant parents a simple, non-invasive way to monitor their babies’ movement patterns and can help increase the chances of their babies arriving safely. It helps track babies’ movement history as well as the rate and strength of babies’ movements. It also allows users to set daily reminders and can help users track single babies or twins. This app can be downloaded on iOS or Android devices and is available in 16 languages.
“Evidence shows that a change in a baby’s movements in the third trimester is an early red flag,” said Emily Price, Chief Executive Officer for Healthy Birth Day, Inc. “After a few days of using the Count the Kicks app, expectant parents begin to see a pattern – a normal amount of time it takes their baby to get to 10 movements. If their baby’s ‘normal’ changes during the third trimester, this could be a sign of potential problems and is an indication that the expectant parent should call their healthcare provider.”
Tacoma mom, Christine Sorteberg, knows first-hand the importance of paying attention to her baby’s movements. She was using the Count the Kicks app, and in the eighth month of her pregnancy, Christine noticed that her son, Abel, wasn’t moving like he normally did. She headed to labor and delivery, where testing revealed that her baby was in distress and his heart rate was dangerously fast. He arrived safely via C-section just three hours after arriving at the hospital.
“While in the NICU, Abel was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome and we learned the culprit of his issues in the womb,” Christine said. “His heart had been racing at 300 bpm, unable to slow down. I want to share Abel’s story because I know it is easy to dismiss your intuition and not want to be a bother to hospital staff. It still haunts me to think that Abel could have gone into heart failure or worse if I had kept pushing my worries aside or hadn’t even been paying attention at all. I’m so grateful to all the nurses and doctors who delivered Abel safely, to Count the Kicks and to those who share their ‘baby save’ stories.”
Amerigroup’s Foundation grant and support is helping maternal health providers, birthing hospitals, social service agencies, childbirth educators and other providers across Washington to access Count the Kicks educational materials at no cost, including posters, brochures and app download cards in English and Spanish. Hundreds of expectant parents in Washington have already downloaded the Count the Kicks app, and those who work with expectant parents are encouraged to order free Count the Kicks educational materials. For more information, visit www.CountTheKicks.org.
ABOUT AMERIGROUP FOUNDATION
The Amerigroup Foundation is a philanthropic arm of the Elevance Health Foundation. The Foundation works to address health equity by focusing on improving the health of the socially vulnerable through strategic partnerships and programs in our communities with an emphasis on maternal child health; mental health; and food as medicine. Additionally, the Foundation also responds to disasters when our communities need us the most. The Foundation coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Amerigroup Foundation, please visit www.elevancehealth.foundation and its blog at www.medium.com/elevancehealthfoundation.
ABOUT COUNT THE KICKS
Count the Kicks is a program of Healthy Birth Day, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of stillbirth. The free Count the Kicks app is available in 16 languages in the Google Play and iOS app stores, and has been downloaded more than 225,000 times in all 50 U.S. states, and more than 140 other countries. We have appeared on Good Morning America, The Washington Post, Sunday Night Football, and in O Magazine, and produced a national PSA that has generated more than 300 million viewer impressions. Learn more about our vision to save 7,500 babies every year and improve birth outcomes everywhere at www.CountTheKicks.org.
Dionisia Malecki, Amerigroup Public Relations
Kimberly Isburg, Count the Kicks/Healthy Birth Day, Inc. Communications