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A Free Pregnancy App Helped Save a Woman’s Unborn Baby

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There’s an app for everything these days, but very few of them are literally lifesaving. A free pregnancy app can now make that claim after an expectant mother noticed a change in her baby’s movements thanks to a kick-counting app she’d been using regularly.

Emily Eekhoff of Iowa was a regular user of Count the Kicks, an app that helps expectant parents monitor the well-being of their babies. The app suggests parents use it every day to track a baby’s movement patterns. When Eekhoff was 33 weeks pregnant, she noticed something was a little off with her baby. “I was aware just of how much she usually moved during the day with the app’s help,” Eekhoff said on Good Morning America. “The kicks were not happening as frequently as they usually did and when she did move, it was really, like, soft, subtle, not, like, hard kicks like normal.”

Eekhoff went to the hospital to get her baby checked out, and it’s a good thing she did: tests revealed that Emily’s baby was in distress, and her obstetrician immediately rushed her into an emergency c-section. The director of the perinatal center where Eekhoff delivered, Neil Mandsager, told ABC that “We knew the baby was in trouble and we alerted the obstetric emergency doctor and advised him to get the baby delivered. They found an umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck three times. It’s very possible that this baby was not going to make it much longer.”

Thankfully, sweet baby Ruby was delivered in time, and after a 10-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, is now home.

Count the Kicks was started by five mothers who all lost a baby to stillbirth. They’ve been working since 2004 to help prevent stillbirth in the state of Iowa, and they created their app in 2009. One of the founders, Emily Price, told ABC, “We are so grateful that Count the Kicks empowered Emily and helped save Ruby. When moms have the Count the Kicks app in their hands they have a lifesaving tool.”

Eekhoff had no idea just how close she came to losing Ruby until doctors told her that going to the hospital just one day later would’ve been too late. She had the chance to meet with some of the founders of Count the Kicks. “I’m thankful for them for doing something out of their loss and saving my own because I don’t know if I would’ve caught it had I not been using the app,” Eekhoff said.

Thank goodness Ruby is going to be okay!

(Image: iStock / shironosov)