DES MOINES, Iowa — More than a decade’s worth of work by the local non-profit “Healthy Birth Day” has helped to decrease Iowa’s stillbirth rate by 32%. The organization’s goal is to improve birth outcomes for all mothers but especially for mothers of color.
Healthy Birth Day and Count the Kicks launched the #WhyWeCount” campaign, an effort to draw attention to the effort of making birth outcomes more equitable.
“#WhyWeCount is a play on words in a way, not just why women should count their baby’s kicks but it’s why we count as black women and why black women should be taken seriously when they speak up and notice a change in baby fetal movements,” says Emily Price, executive director of Healthy Birth Day.
Black women in Iowa are twice as likely to experience a stillbirth compared to other mothers. The Count the Kicks app is for expectant mothers to track their baby’s fetal movements. It’s asking for mothers to share their stories of kick counting to social media by using the #WhyWeCount.
“We want more women to share their stories. We want to hear from them. That’s how all this work started was by listening to women of color about their concerns, their experiences and hopefully, at the end of the day, they are the heroes of their own stories and saved their babies. We hope they’ve been empowered and feel empowered, taken seriously and their baby gets here healthy and alive,” says Price.
The organization hopes to save 7,500 babies nationwide, every year.