Ain’t That a Kick

How one nonprofit is preventing stillbirth with an app that teaches parents to track fetal movement.

Photograph by Foto Duets via

There might be nothing more devastating than having a stillborn baby, a truth that Cincinnati mom, teacher, and Count the Kicks Ambassador DaShonda Watkins knows all too well after the loss of her angel baby, Aubrey Elise. Since she passed, she credits the app and organization Count the Kicks with giving her the confidence that her rainbow boys Weston and Winston would have a “healthy birthday Earthside.”

The free app was created through Healthy Birth Day Inc., a nonprofit focusing on stillbirth prevention that teaches parents how to track fetal movement daily in the third trimester of pregnancy. Five Iowa moms who lost daughters to stillbirth or infant death in the early 2000s created the tool. Tracking fetal movement has been connected to a 30 percent decrease in stillbirths, according to research from Norway.

The app empowers parents to have a kick-counting session daily, and to learn the average amount of time it should take to get to 10 movements. It also helps parents learn about the strength of their movements, and can help count for single babies or twins.

“Count the Kicks’s App has impacted me personally by giving me the opportunity to bond with our rainbow baby boys before they were born,” Watkins says.

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