Chattanooga resident Meghan Hughes Petty has a very personal reason to help spread the message about a new app for mothers.
In September 2012, Petty was pregnant and realized something must be wrong because her baby was moving less frequently.
On her child's due date, at a regularly scheduled appointment, she found out her son—Miles Fergusson Petty—had died. After delivery, doctors confirmed an umbilical cord accident caused his death.
"This is the single most devastating thing that could happen to a parent—to lose their child," Petty said Monday. "It's one of those that is rarely talked about."
After she lost Miles, she did a lot of research about what could have prevented the accident; and she reached out to leaders at CountTheKicks.org, which is a campaign that originated in Iowa with five moms who all lost daughters to late-term, still birth or infant death.
Now, she's Tennessee's Count the Kicks ambassador. Each state has an ambassador who is working to spread the word of a new app that helps mothers track their baby's movements.
"Kick charts were not recommended to me until after our baby’s death," Petty said. "I was not sent for additional testing when I reported decreased fetal movement and concern. Though I do not blame my providers for my son's death, it is my wholehearted belief that what happened to our son was preventable."
The app, called Count the Kicks!, is available for free now in the Android and Apple online stores, but leaders are centering the official launch and publicity push around Mother's Day.
Expectant mothers can use the app daily to log how often their child kicks. They can also see what is normal for their baby and whether the baby's movement pattern is changing.
Count the Kicks leaders said they urge expectant moms to contact their health care provider immediately if they see significant changes in their baby’s movement patterns.
The app comes with a daily reminder that expectant moms can set to their convenience.
Petty has worked with leaders at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department to promote the app.
Click here for more information about Count the Kicks.