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Teaching mums to ‘count the kicks’

345. Elizabeth Hutton

Educating pregnant mums on how to ‘Count the Kicks’ of their unborn babies and working with healthcare professionals to help prevent the tragedy of stillbirth.

Elizabeth Hutton is Chief Executive of Count the Kicks, a charity set up in 2009 to educate mums on the importance of monitoring a baby’s movements and help them work with healthcare professionals to bring home a healthy baby. She now regularly receives messages from parents whose baby has been saved by the campaign.

Elizabeth was inspired to get involved with the charity after the loss of her second child Toby halfway through her pregnancy. She channeled her overwhelming feelings of loss and the energy she felt she should be putting into caring for a newborn, into raising awareness of the risks of stillbirth to help prevent other families suffering the same loss. 11 babies are stillborn in the UK every day and a baby’s movements can indicate its wellbeing. She works closely with the Department of Health and organisations such as the Royal College of Midwives, the SANDS Charity, Tommy’s, Surestart and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to bring about changes in public health messages around stillbirth and get the word out to mums about the importance of baby’s movements and of “counting the kicks”.

Count the Kicks’ materials are distributed to mothers through hospitals, events and social media, and the charity exhibits at all the major baby shows. Materials such as antenatal note stickers and kick counting wristbands provide important information about baby’s movements and help mums keep track of them, encouraging them to contact their midwife or antenatal ward if they notice any change in their baby’s regular pattern of movement.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“The work Elizabeth leads at Count the Kicks empowers women and equips them with knowledge and confidence to monitor their baby’s health throughout pregnancy. The simple wristband they provide to track a baby’s movement is innovative and important in helping mums to realise if their baby might need help. I’m delighted to be recognising her work with this Points of Light award.”

Elizabeth said:

“I am so overwhelmed to receive this award! The last 4 years I’ve spent working on this campaign have been a real challenge and to be having that work recognised by the Prime Minister is truly amazing. I’m inspired every day by stories of babies born sleeping and so while I carry out the work, they are the real points of light behind our campaign.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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