Raising North Dakota: Mother’s intuition and ‘Count the Kicks’ saves baby

“Hi,” coos Bianca Abrego.

Bianca Evelyn Abrego is the mother of a healthy, happy baby girl, 4-month-old Isla.

“Are you so smart,” Bianca asks her baby.

And while all is well today, her pregnancy had its challenges.

“I had really bad anxiety all through pregnancy,” Bianca explains. “if I felt Isla kick, if I didn’t…”

Knowing that stress was not good for her or her baby, Bianca started to monitor her baby’s movement by using an app her OB told her about, ‘Count the Kicks.’

“That was a huge lifesaver for me, it calmed my anxiety down by 100,” Bianca says with relief. “I was like ‘I have to use this,’ it was amazing.”

“Just relax, and think of the baby,” Nordell says.

Dr. Margaret Nordell has been an obstetrician for thirty-five years and has delivered hundreds of babies.

She has been advising expectant mothers to count their baby’s kicks for many years.

“The mother’s awareness of the baby’s movement is the oldest and most common way to assess fetal wellbeing,” Dr. Nordell shares.

And today, apps like ‘Count the Kicks’ make it that much easier to help expectant moms track that movement.

“Starting at twenty-eight-weeks, you should be very much aware of the baby’s movement,” Dr. Nordell explains. “And you want at least 10 movements in 2 hours.”

Bianca had been doing just that, and while she had gone to the hospital due to a lack of movement before, this time she knew something was different.

“At my thirty-seven-week mark, I knew something was very wrong because I hadn’t felt her kick for about, I wanna say, over 6 hours,” Bianca recalls. “I went to the hospital and I was having contractions, but I didn’ feel baby kick.”

A nonstress test was performed to evaluate baby’s health, and that is when Bianca’s OB agreed that something was not quite right.

“She listened to me and she’s like, ‘You know what, we haven’t seen baby kick, you haven’t felt baby kick, so maybe now is a good time to induce you,’” Bianca explains.

Bianca was having steady contractions, but then baby’s heart rate began to fluctuate, and the doctor recommended she deliver baby via c-section.

“Everything went great,” Bianca says. “The next day got a call that she had an infection in the placenta which could have been dangerous for us both.”

Ultimately, the simple action of counting baby’s kicks saved two lives that day.

“I want every mother to be that aware. Just realize it, like ‘hey, I’m not getting the movements I’m used to.’ Report that,” Dr. Nordell informs.

“Honestly, trust your instincts,” Biance advises, “because no one knows you better then yourself.”

Click here more information on ‘Count the Kicks’ campaign and app.