A mom in Iowa couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of counting her unborn baby’s kicks using an app. She says it saved her baby’s life.
When Emily Eekhoff, of Waukee, hit the 28-week mark in her second pregnancy, she started using an app called “Count the Kicks” to monitor her baby’s movements, just like how she did for her first pregnancy.
She claims the app ultimately saved her baby’s life. “We could have been grieving instead of having a healthy baby,” she told InsideEdition.
Eekhoff had been making sure that she felt 10 movements from her baby every day within an hour. “I knew that the movement was important,” she told TODAY. “It indicated that the baby was alive and doing well, so it was reassuring to know that everything was OK when I reached the 10 several times a day. It was peace of mind.”
However, when she was 33 weeks pregnant, the movements lessened. Eekhoff quickly went to the hospital, where she underwent an emergency C-section.
When her daughter, Ruby, was born, doctors saw that the umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck three times.
“It’s very possible that this baby was not going to make it much longer,” Neil Mandsager, a medical director of the Perinatal Center of Iowa at Mercy, told ABC News.
“The app helped me to know her patterns of movement so when the pattern changed, I knew something was wrong, which did save her life,” Eekhoff said. “Because I might have waited longer had I not known her patterns or been using the app, and that could’ve been too late.”
Ruby spent 20 days in the hospital and was allowed to go home on June 19, 2017.
“It’s really great to have her home,” Eekhoff said. “She’s doing really well.”
Using her own experience, Eekhoff hoped that other pregnant moms would also pay close attention to their bodies.
“They need to just be aware of their body and their baby and notice and so that when things change that they can go and get help sooner rather than later,” she said.
The app was created in 2009 by a group of five women who had lost their children to stillbirth and early death. They hope the app can help prevent unnecessary loss of life, which it obviously did in this case.
Emily Price, the executive director of the app, said the app had decreased the stillborn rate in Iowa to 26 percent.
“It’s a life-saving tool [mothers] can get in the palm of their hands,” Price said. “We would like to get it in all 50 states.”