State launches effort using phone app to reduce stillbirths

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio is using education and technology in a campaign to prevent stillbirths.

The new effort is a partnership between the Ohio Department of Health and Count the Kicks, a public awareness campaign that includes a smartphone app for tracking fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Federal statistics show one in 167 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth.

Ohio's health director says the campaign targets expectant mothers because they're best positioned to evaluate their babies' health status. The Count the Kicks phone app, available in 10 languages, helps them learn their baby's normal movement patterns so potential variations can be quickly identified. It's available free online.

Other free educational materials can be ordered by hospitals, maternal health care providers and social services agencies that work with expectant mothers.

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