WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — UnityPoint Health and former Hawkeye kicker, Keith Duncan, launched a new initiative, Every Kick Counts, to help raise awareness on the importance of recording fetal movements.

Every Kick Counts is a part of the Count the Kicks public health campaign that aims to educate expectant mothers and medical providers on the importance of monitoring fetal movements, like kicking, in the third trimester.

Every Kick Counts partners with kickers and punters to raise funds and awareness to the campaign. For every punt or kick the athlete makes in the upcoming season, money will be donated to Count the Kicks.

Athletes are able to sign up and collect pledges from supporters. An estimated guess on how many “points” the athlete thinks they’ll make in the season is submitted to the Every Kick Counts donation page. This estimate is used to calculate how much money a donor will provide. Donors also have the option to make a flat donation.

In the United States approximately 23,500 babies are stillborn every year according to the Center for Disease control. The stillbirth rate in Iowa decreased by 32 percent during the first ten years of the campaign according to the Count the Kicks website.

The public health campaign lists three steps on how to count fetal kicks in the third trimester and when to see a doctor.

  • Step 1: Time how long it takes for you to feel ten fetal movements.
  • Step 2: Pick a time when baby is active, preferably the same time everyday.
  • Step 3: Find patterns between each movement recording.

According to Count the Kicks, if there are any significant changes in the amount of time it takes to get to ten movements, you should contact your provider.