There are a lot of things to keep track of when it comes to being a new mom. Pregnancy brings a whole new set of guidelines, changes and unsolicited advice from experts and know-it-alls who want to prepare you for every possible circumstance.
Some advice that should be taken seriously, however, is that of the American Pregnancy Association (APA) which recommends pregnant women start counting the number of kicks or movements their baby makes as soon as they start feeling them.
That’s because even from inside the womb, babies are able to alert the mama of any major changes that are brought on by pregnancy.
It’s ultimately what saved the life of Emily Eekhoff’s second child, Ruby, who alerted her mama that something wasn’t right.
Thanks to the help of a cell phone app called Count the Kicks, Emily didn’t have to rely on a pen and paper. She just simply tapped the button every time Ruby kicked.
One day Emily noticed her baby’s movements had rapidly decreased.
“As the day went on and things weren’t picking up…you know because some days would be quieter…but this was, like, there was no picking up at all,” Emily told WHO-TV. “Even the kicks that felt were really soft, subtle.”
Four hours passed and the movements had not improved, so Emily was rushed to the hospital where doctors confirmed the baby was in distress.
Her change in movement and kicks was a result of the umbilical cord wrapping three times around Ruby’s neck.
Doctors performed an emergency C-section at just 33-weeks to safely deliver baby Ruby. She spent 20 days growing and recovering in the NICU before going home with her family.
Emily says if it hadn’t been for the Count the Kicks app, Ruby wouldn’t be alive today.
“I haven’t let my mind go there,” she admitted. “They could have been burying our baby instead.”
According to the APA, moms should feel at least 10 movements—“kicks, flutters, swishes or rolls”—within a two hour period. They say that most women will feel 10 movements in less time than that. But if not, they recommend waiting a few hours and counting again. If there’s less than 10 movements in a two hour period, she should contact her doctor immediately.
Motherhood is all about experience and instincts. Share Emily’s story with an expectant mother today—it’s one piece of unsolicited advice she’ll be glad to have.