Times are worrying, aren’t they?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, UK midwives are worried the stillbirth rate in the UK will rise - and we are too.
By raising awareness of baby' movements during pregnancy we help reduce the number of women who experience a stillbirth or neonatal death. Over half the women who have a stillbirth notice their baby's movements have changed beforehand. Mums recognising a change to normal movement and reporting it can save their baby's life.
In recent years the UK has finally seen a fall in the number of babies' dying - but the pandemic is posing a new threat.
Perhaps not for the reason you may initially think, the virus itself isn't a known cause for concern to mums and their babies. However, Maternity Units are noticing that fewer women are contacting them with urgent concerns and that's the threat.
The fear of burdening an already stretched NHS and concerns about going to the hospital during the pandemic are causing women to be reluctant. This means opportunities to save babies' can be missed and it's anticipated there will be an increase in stillbirth.
Take it from someone who knows
Midwife Fiona knows her fair share about pregnancy - she didn't expect to have to follow her own good advice! Her son Joseph's life was saved when she reported a reduction in his movement to her Maternity Unit. Here, she tells their story and why movement matters: https://www.kickscount.org.uk/blog/fionas-story
So what are we doing about it, and how will your support help?
The awareness we raise and encouragement we give is needed now, more than ever. We need to widen the reach of our campaign - we'll be carrying on doing what we always do, with a few tweaks:
Our online #KicksStillCount Campaign is raising the profile of baby movements and has been supported by midwives, Holly Willoughby, Kirsty-Leigh Porter and Kimberley Walsh. Your support will enable us to push this further. For example, we'll be able to use your donation for online advertising, targeted to the risk demographics that need to see it the most.
Most NHS Trusts have Kicks Count literature available in some capacity - it's a popular way for midwives to get information to mums. We've added a new COVID-19 specific poster to our range and need to distribute it to hospitals, GP surgeries and anywhere else in the community that pregnant women are still going. Your support will enable us to continue to provide this extra resource.
If you choose to support Kicks Count, thank you - know we’re as grateful as ever for every penny.
Elizabeth & Team Kicks Count x