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Reducing Stillbirth: Count the Kicks Campaign

(509 Posts)
CarGirl Thu 14-Apr-11 19:50:39

I just want to promote "Count The Kicks"

Please read this, if it helps one Mum not suffer the agony of stillbirth it's worth it

Northernlurker Thu 14-Apr-11 21:56:13

Countthekicks is about awareness though - mothers need to know that babies can run in to trouble and reduced movements from normal is a sign of that. 'Current research' isn't exactly overflowing with ideas to reduce stillbirth in the UK so until something better comes up I think awareness raising is a good idea.

CarGirl Thu 14-Apr-11 21:56:31

If you read the site it clearly explains that you need to learn what is normal for your baby, it's not simply just "counting the kicks" my friend who has just had a baby following a previous stillbirth was told to complete kick charts............

Shuang Fri 15-Apr-11 01:49:32

Hi everyone,

Thanks for bringing up this topic. I wonder that apart from counting the kicks, will a fetal heart dopler help to monitor/reassure as well? What do you think?

Hope we all have a smooth and safe journey! xx

serendipity16 Fri 15-Apr-11 07:23:00

I've had a doppler since i was pregnant with my 2nd baby. I found it to be a lovely thing to be able to heart my babies heartbeating whilst relaxing at home.

However......... a doppler will give you reassurance BUT it may not pick up a potential problem.

I used a doppler through my pregnancy with my 2nd baby. At around 7am at 35+1 i woke up, was lying in bed watching my 1yr old playing with his dad. As i lay there for half an hour i realised my baby hadn't kicked which was unusual for her. They went for a bath & i used the doppler and heard ... nothing!!!!
My baby had died during the night, the sound of nothing was heartbreaking.... i knew then that she had died.

I have continued to use the doppler in my other pregnancies because it does give me a little bit of reassurance however it mustn't overtake your natural instincts. If you're worried baby isn't moving alot or are in any pain that doesn't feel right you must get yourself to your maternity unit asap.

ivykaty44 Fri 15-Apr-11 07:30:07

Can I ask, are you given a booklet to fill in the kicks? I was given a booklet and had to fill in the kicks I felt each day starting in the morning until I had felt at least 10 kicks - if not then the leaflet said to contact the hospital - this leaflet was given to me by the midwife.

I had thought it was standard practice to be given these sheets by midwife in uk

louisesh Fri 15-Apr-11 08:59:27

I agree with Serendipity16 i too had/have a dopppler i used with my DD Georgie however she too died overnight at 41 weeks.Georgie had never moved much and i NEVER felt her kick throughout the whole pregnancy however, my consultant said as that was normal for Georgie not to move much but when she died i couldn t hear anything on my doppler.I went for a shower tried again then went straight to hospital where her death was confirmed.
I think this campagin is a very good idea in hilighting just how common stillbirth is.What annoys me is all the health promotion out there on cot death however, less babies are lost to cot death than are stillborn but stillbirth is never mentioned until it happens.Throughout my ante natal classes stillbirth was NEVER mentioned.As a health professional I understand to discuss stillbirth would scare mothers to be however more information needs to be out there and discussed openly.Unfortunatley its a fear many of us have had to confront.
Its quite disgusting the UK has such high rates when we plough so much money in to research in to many ohter matters and 17 babies a day are stillborn.

NewMummy5July2011 Fri 15-Apr-11 11:11:40

Systemsaddict - what's a count the kicks bracelet and is it something you can buy?

JimmyChoo17 Fri 15-Apr-11 11:27:28

Have to admit now tho - I feel concerned about my own kicks...but realise this is down to reading this thread (Disclaimer - Im not blaming the thread, I chose to read and awareness is a brilliant thing! I think the site provided is a good start for info and also that Northerlurker makes a good point about research)

I am 26+6 and I go from being able to feel and SEE the kicks to not at all for quite awhile. The patterns are not always regular and now - like since yesterday the kicks are different and much less.

Now for some people this will be normal due to body mass, baby position and like myself - being a first time mum you might not have the experience to say well actually this is all normal. This information tho - is obtained from Forums, midwives on forums but not my actual midwife or health provider. So I do see why people will post about worries and accept the advice given - plus I see why posters offer that advice - to get a repsonse from baby.

I do hate that whilst I have a contact number for midwife and regular check ups now im past 26 weeks - that really. I feel if I am calling her each time I feel like may be too often and could be like crying wolf. Pregnancy is really just one long worry (Ihave had 2 early losses and took 2.5 years to conceive)

Im not sure if I have come across how I mean to but I guess whilst the awareness is great - some times you can get obsessed with these things. I know thats down to individuals but even tho Im feeling some movement its lighter than normal and at different times of the day BUT the doppler is picking up the heart beat and plenty of those screeching noises which I guess are movement. Anyone know when baby sets up its regular routine and sticks to it? Or does that never happen?

Needless to say I have downloaded the kick print offs.

It is frightening to read the above stories ladies I am so sorry you have gone through that and I really hope I never have to and also with increased awareness - others dont either.

systemsaddict Fri 15-Apr-11 11:49:36

Hi Newmummy it's a bracelet you wear and move a marker up a notch each time you feel a kick, you can get different sorts, found some here, the one I had was wooden beads and an elastic band marker but I haven't found that online. It helped me realise she had normally kicked 10 times by lunchtime and didn't one day so I spotted a change quickly.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 15-Apr-11 12:03:32

forgive me if this comes across as deeply insensitive but I am genuinely interested in the answers to the following questions...

I thought that miscarriage/stillbirth was natures way of removing a foetus that could never survive?

If by kick counting (or whatever) you identify a problem, can anything actually be done?

Is it not better to focus on the potential causes of stillbirth and try and eliminate those, rather than obsess about whether or not something is wrong with your baby.

Those of you who have lost your babies, I cannot imagine how horrific that would be, and I am sorry for your loss.

systemsaddict Fri 15-Apr-11 12:10:21

Not necessarily IAGTBF. Lots of stillbirths are unexplained, and kicks slowing down in the late stages of pregnancy can indicate distress (eg from cord round neck, something going wrong with placenta, infection) which if caught in time baby can be saved, eg with an emergency section. Hence the need to be aware if movements change from what is normal for your baby. Sadly in other cases there are no signs of anything being wrong and/or nothing can be done and you are right that more research is needed.

caramelwaffle Fri 15-Apr-11 12:53:24


Substandard Fri 15-Apr-11 13:09:46

IAGTBA It is that kind of ignorance that leads to people belittling the bereaved and saying things like 'it just wasn't meant be' or 'it's god's way'.
For your information there was absolutely nothing 'wrong' with my daughter. An extensive post mortem proved that. She was less than week from her due date. I had a perfect pregnancy and yet in the space of 12 hours severe pre-eclampsia developed, a spike in blood pressure blew the placenta off the uterus wall and Hellp syndrome developed. The internal bleeding disguised the blood pressure rise. My poor girl effectively suffocated to death with barely an outward sign.
And for the record I neither smoked nor drank, I wasn't overweight or 'old' - other myths peddled to comfort the uninformed when the spectre of stillbirth is raised.
No one else I have personally heard of stillbirth happening to was because the 'foetus' was defective'. By the way those 'foetuses' are our children.

janedoe25 Fri 15-Apr-11 13:53:17

substandard i couldnt have said better myself!

"I thought that miscarriage/stillbirth was natures way of removing a foetus that could never survive?"

IAGTBA My perfect baby daughter (not foetus) was still birn 6 weeks ago at 41 wks with no know reason. Your ignorance and comments have deeply saddened me.

grumblinalong Fri 15-Apr-11 14:04:57

IAGTBA It does come across as deeply insensitive and very very ignorant. It is because of this general ignorance surrounding stillbirth that the figures are so high.

If by noticing that kicks have decreased, you go into hospital and they find that the placenta has failed or like substandard your blood pressure has changed a stillbirth could be averted. That's not obsessing, it's common sense!

If this information was more widely published it may bring the shocking figure of 17 stillbirths a day down. Identifying it can mean the difference between taking a child home or not. This is not 'natures way', its about missing vital medical warning signs. In some cases there is unexplained stillbirth but as you say more research would find a cause I'm sure.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 15-Apr-11 14:28:35

I am truly sorry for any offence caused, and hold my hands up to be completely ignorant. I have been fortunate enough to not know anyone who has gone through this.

Despite my apparent insensitivity I am impressed that you felt able to answer my questions, and you have entirely changed my mind.

Kick count charts seem such a simple and inexpensive thing - I cannot understand why they are not used more widely.

Regarding the use of the word foetus, that was crass and I apologise. I was trying so hard to word my questions in the least offensive way and obviously I failed spectacularly.

Again I apologise for asking these questions on this thread - if its any consolation I have learnt a lot, and I am so sorry blush

janedoe25 Fri 15-Apr-11 14:37:21

IAGTBF Thank you for your apology, i should apologise to you also, things are still so very raw for me and i am sorry for jumping down your throat.

I am glad that this thread is successful in raising the awarenss of stillbirths.

Substandard Fri 15-Apr-11 14:49:56

Thank you for the apology IAGTBF, very gracious

serendipity16 Fri 15-Apr-11 14:53:17

My daughter was stillborn in 2002 so not as raw as janedoes loss but my god that comment hurt. Yes i know you've said sorry but it only takes 2 seconds to type into google "stillbirth' and within a few minutes you'd have lots of information on stillbirth so you can be informed.

My daughter was perfect, nothing wrong with her at all.
I had a concealed abruption, no signs or anything that my baby was dying inside me. I didn't have high BP, wasn't old, didn't smoke, drink or do drugs either.

A stillborn baby is a baby...... would you call a 6lb 8oz baby a miscarriage?
No because she was a fully formed, perfect baby who died due to the placenta coming away.

sarahmia Fri 15-Apr-11 16:34:19

can i ask, from when should you be counting kicks from? im 26 weeks today.

janedoe25 Fri 15-Apr-11 16:59:51

sarahmia see this link

louisesh Fri 15-Apr-11 17:23:23

IAGTBF you are very lucky if you haven t suffered a stillbirth or even known anyone who has.It is certainly not a way of "nature's way of removing a foteus that couldn t survive".
My daughter was born a healthy 7lb 12 oz and the only reason she died was due to E coil which is a bacteria we ALL have inside us [vagina,rectum etc...] as i had my 2 nd sweep and lost my mucus plug it allowed the E coli to infiltrate the placenta causing a lack of oxygen so Georgie died of Hypoxia at 41 weeks.On the PM she was totally and utterly perfect .My daughter's death was a result of bad timing and bad luck and could happen to anyone as a pure fluke.We re just incredibly unlucky it happened to us.
Platitudes are quite annoying i ve "dared" anyone to say to me "it ,s happened for a reason" or any other crap like that.
I attended everyone of my appointments [had extra due to previous history of MCs] , was on Aspirin,had twice weekly hormone injections up to 13 weeks, scanned every 2 weeks in the first trimester.Had 2 private scans,don t smoke,didn t drink but still my daughter died.I feel also as a result of being allowed to go over by a week I feel my placenta was comprised.
Up to 41 weeks my daughter's heartbeat was loud and strong.Then it stopped.So very sad and unessacary .
I hope some of your queries have been addressed and you realise stillbirth can and does happen to anyone no one is excluded and it truely is the worst thing that can ever happen.Myself and my DH certainly can t imagine anything worst we will ever have to face.That also goes for all my family,friends and colleagues who also have all suffered the loss of our gorgeous Georgie.

CarGirl Fri 15-Apr-11 19:35:12

My friend whose stillbirth led to me finding out countthekicks, again absolutely no reason found through the postmortem, she didn't drink, had never smoked, was fit and healthy. It was heartbreaking and if we could half the number of 17 deaths per day it would be so fantastic.

I think the danger of using a doppler yourself is that you are not necessarily well enough trained/informed to notice that the heart rate isn't what it should be and can lead you to ignore other signs.

In isolation counting the kicks means nothing you need to know what is normal for your baby. With one of my pregnancies my baby was very quiet one morning so unusual for her - I was drinking iced water as quickly as I could, I was so fortunate she was obviously having a very quiet morning and it was a one off and the rest of the day she kicked as normal. Times like that should never be ignored.

Anyway a shameless bump.

onlyonehazelnut Fri 15-Apr-11 20:05:24

IAGTBF My son was perfect. All his medical problems are due to oxygen starvation. For some reason his blood hemorrhaged through the placenta into my bloodstream. This isn't uncommon, but usually it happens slowly and the baby simply replaces the lost blood the way a blood donor would. My son lost almost all his blood and couldn't replace it fast enough. His movements slowed but were still there. He was born by emcs soon after I arrived at the hospital, was transfused and given oxygen. Babies like him can and do survive if the mother goes to the hospital. Placental and cord problems at term are incomparable in terms of treatment to major organs not developing in the first 12 weeks.

My son's heartrate wasn't too bad. There were a few dips over the period I was monitored but it probably wouldn't have been picked up by a doppler.

I was a low risk pregnancy, young, non smoker, not overweight, don't drink, normal BP, previous healthy dcs.

CarGirl Fri 15-Apr-11 21:01:02


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