Mom hopes new app will prevent babies from dying in womb

(WFLA) – For tens of thousands of mothers each year, the joy of childbirth turns into heartbreak. Experts say around 26,000 babies die in the womb each year. And in some cases it’s easily preventable- you can tell the warning signs by counting the baby’s kicks.

A Tampa Bay mother is sharing her story to help others. Two years ago, Sarah Sirianni was pregnant with her third boy. This wasn’t her first rodeo. “I really felt like I had this down, I didn’t even have to worry,” she said.

But one night, motherly instincts kicked in. “His movements just weren’t as strong and something in my gut, something in my heart maybe, said this just feels different,” Sirianni said. She went to the doctor and immediately needed an emergency c-section. Turns out, her baby’s umbilical cord was tied in a knot. “We were told to be so thankful that we noticed and that we were counting kicks because his life was saved that day,” she said.

But Sirianni wanted to help other mothers. So she and a group of friends began raising awareness with a new app called ‘Count the Kicks.’ The app can keep track of a baby’s movements, and let you know if the child is behaving normally. “Fetal movement is the best indicator that we have of fetal well being, and it doesn’t cost anything,” said Renee Maietta who is Clinical Coordinator at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Maietta says during the third trimester, a mother should feel an average of ten movements every two hours. “If any mom feels decreased movement beyond 28 weeks of pregnancy, they really do need to come in for an evaluation,” Maietta explained.

Sirianni is glad she did, and now Ryan is a happy and healthy two year old boy. She hopes this message and this app can protect mothers from heartbreak.  “Counting kicks saves lives,” she said.

In the last three months of pregnancy, it’s vital to pay attention to a child’s movements. And along with ‘Count the kicks’ there are other apps to help too. Sarasota Memorial Hospital just unveiled their app called ‘SMH baby’, which can not only help monitor kicks, but also a contraction timer and a weekly update on the child’s growth. These apps can easily be found on the app store on your smartphone.

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