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Research by DMU, Harkin Institute affirms benefits of Count the Kicks app


A new research study by Des Moines University and the Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement is helping Healthy Birth Day Inc. to better serve its clients. The study analyzed how the non-profit’s Count the Kicks mobile app affected birth outcomes for more than 1,200 women who used the app during pregnancy. Preliminary results of the study were presented at this month’s American Public Health Association Virtual Annual Meeting and Expo. The researchers found that app users were more likely to contact their health care provider with concerns during the third trimester, and preliminary results show a reduced rate in stillbirth for the pregnancy in which they used the app compared to earlier pregnancies. “This project helped us better understand the significance of monitoring fetal movement as part of stillbirth prevention,” Dr. Pamela Duffy, associate professor and vice chair of DMU’s Department of Public Health, said in a release. “We hope this study will be an important contribution to the scientific literature on kick counting and in the reduction of health disparities associated with stillbirth.” Healthy Birth Day was founded in 2003 by five Central Iowa women who had each lost babies to stillbirth or infant death. The Count the Kicks app was launched in 2013.

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