Baby was barely kicking as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck three times.
A smart phone app, focused on active babies instead of angry birds, saved the life of an Iowa infant earlier this month.
Five Iowan mothers who each suffered the stillbirth of their baby, collaborated on creating “Count the Kicks”, a free downloadable app for both Apple and Android phones. The app monitors a baby’s movements in the mother’s womb, and alerts the parents if movements become dangerously sluggish or infrequent.
Every year, stillbirth occurs approximately 24,000 times in the United States (about 1% of all U.S. pregnancies) according to the U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Count the Kicks” app saves the life of Baby Ruby
Emily Eekhoff, a Des Moines TV reporter who was 33 weeks pregnant, was using the Count the Kicks app when she noticed a discrepancy. Instead of the normal, healthy 10 kicks per 10 minutes that she was accustomed to, she could discern almost no movement at all by her baby. She shared her concern with her husband when he came home from work and the three of them immediately went to Des Moines Mercy Medical Center, where they soon learned that Ruby was indeed in trouble.
A doctor performed an emergency cesarean section, lifted Ruby out – and found that she had her umbilical cord wrapped three times around her neck. A physician experienced in high-risk pregnancies, Dr. Neil Mandsager, said if Ruby’s parents had not been made aware that Ruby was hardly moving, she would probably have died within a day or two.
The Count the Kicks app provided a much happier ending to this story. Although Ruby stayed several weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit, she’s now hearty and healthy.
How about using it in California?
The app is quite popular in Iowa, which may account for the fact that stillbirths in Iowa are down 26% over the last five years, while the rate for the rest of the country has remained the same.
Emily Price, the executive director of the Count the Kicks organization, said that about 3,000 new downloads of Count the Kicks occur every month, in places as far away as the South Pacific, the Middle East, and Russia.
Such a better use for a smartphone than taking endless selfies!
Let me know what you think. Thaïs
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