App aims to improve infant mortality rates – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A phone app is being launched in Indiana to improve infant mortality rates through the partnership of the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Anthem Insurance and the Count the hits countryside.

The app will help expectant mothers to monitor their baby’s movements.

Black and brown women are often more at risk of experiencing infant mortality. For years the Indiana Minority Health Coalition focused on maternal and infant mortality. Coalition leaders say the free app could save dozens of babies and mothers.

Even though we are at the heart of the 21st century, the problems of infant and maternal mortality are not solved. But, supporters say they are taking steps to improve those odds.

“It was so vital for us to downsize. When you say women are twice as likely to have a stillbirth as white women, that’s unacceptable,” said Lauren Lancaster, maternal and child health manager at the Indiana Minority Health Coalition.

The coalition continues to expand its doula program to help guide pregnant women safely through the birthing process. But the coalition adds another tool to these services. It’s a free phone app called Count The Kicks.

“It just teaches you to know your baby’s normal movements,” Kimberly Isburg said. “Having a daily count section helps you count how long it takes your baby to get to 10 moves and how hard your baby moves.”

To make the app work, mothers are advised to use it when their baby is most active. When these movements are out of the norm, moms will know how to act. The app was also designed to be useful when defending yourself at the doctor’s office.

“It has this ability to empower a woman to take control of her health and her pregnancy on her own, and some things that she can do that she knows will help her,” said Lori Riester, midwifery consultant at Anthem.

The partnership provides part of the funding needed to keep Count the Kicks educational materials accessible. The materials are valuable tools for minimizing infant mortality and even maternal mortality.

“It could be your sister or your neighbor, your friend, your aunt. So it’s always vital, any kind of number down,” Lancaster said.

This app has already been rolled out in Iowa, and over the past 10 years infant mortality rates have dropped by more than 30%.

The app is free and available on Apple and Android devices, and it’s available in a dozen languages.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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