KICKS COUNT – WHY UNDERSTANDING YOUR BABY’S MOVEMENTS IN PREGNANCY IS IMPORTANT
By Elizabeth Hutton, CEO, Kicks Count
There are lots of myths and half-truths that float around when you’re pregnant, usually from well- meaning people who think they know all about babies and pregnancy.
Here at Kicks Count, we have made it our mission to educate people about baby movement so that expectant mums can seek help if they need to and avoid the tragedy of stillbirth that 15 women every day still go through.
Understanding your baby’s movements during pregnancy is so important for a successful pregnancy and healthy birth.
Our Kicks Count campaign uses social media, print and broadcast media together with campaign leaflets and partnerships with other like-minded organisations, to spread the word and empower women with the knowledge and confidence to understand their baby’s movements during pregnancy and help to prevent needless loss of life.
Our key message to expectant mums is that it is important to pay attention to your baby’s pattern of movement and talk to your midwife or obstetrician if they slow down or stop.
The message to all pregnant women is and always has been, that there is no set number of kicks or movements that expectant mums should expect to feel.
The movements differ with each baby and no set of movements is the same.
As long as your baby is moving at a similar rate every day right up to birth, that is what counts.
By telling mums that kicks count, the charity can help to dispel some of the myths that surround baby movements.
I don’t want any woman to have to go through the experience of losing a child before it is born. It was a terrible experience for me both emotionally and physically.
I got involved with the charity because I wanted to make sure that other women did not have to suffer in the same way. My message to all pregnant women is get to know your baby and his or her pattern of movement.
You will start to feel movements from around 16- 24 weeks and will gradually get to know your baby’s pattern. If you find it hard to keep track we supply kick counter wristbands on our website that you can use to monitor how often your baby moves.
As a charity I’m proud to say that Kicks Count has achieved great things over the last few years including getting into Bounty Packs, becoming the official charity for the Baby show, achieving a Guinness World Record title, co-writing a Hollyoaks storyline and having our work recognized by David Cameron with a Point of Light award.
We remain a small team but we are growing all the time. I am determined that fewer and fewer people will join us in this baby loss community.
We want every pregnant woman to understand the importance of monitoring their baby’s movements and ensure they all contact their midwife if they notice a change in their baby’s regular pattern.
While there are many reasons a baby may be stillborn, many of the causes will result in a baby reducing their movement.
So while research is going on to find more information about the causes of stillbirth we want to highlight what can be done now.
We hear from thousands of women every year who have experienced reduced fetal movements, sought help and gone on to successfully have a healthy baby.
Without exception, they have been helped by Kicks Count and the work that it does.
The more that can be done to spread the word about the Kicks Count message, the more little lives can be saved.
To find out more about Kicks Count, please visit our website: www.kickscount.org.uk or our very active Facebook community online.