We aim to empower Mums with knowledge and confidence throughout pregnancy in the hope that this will result in a reduction in the UK’s Stillbirth and Neonatal deaths. We have a small team of passionate volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure COUNT THE KICKS™ can continue to spread their life saving message. Here are a few of the people who keep the cogs turning:
Following the loss of my first baby Chloe in 2009 (read Chloe’s story)I decided to start a campaign to empower and inform expectant Mothers throughout pregnancy. During my pregnancy I would always turn to Pregnancy magazines or Websites for advice, rather than my Midwife or hospital because I always felt they were too busy and under pressure so my questions would be a waste of time. But in the end this was the reason I lost my baby and I was determined to stop other expectant Mums from making the same mistake. Today we have raised well over £30’000 (2010) to fund over 1 million stickers, leaflets and posters which have reached expectant Mums right across the UK. I receive emails constantly thanking us because after reading our information Mums went to hospital to be checked when they noticed a change or became worried and now have happy, healthy babies. My role in COUNT THE KICKS™ involves regularly meeting and working with other charities, government officials and companies to develop and share our aims. I represent the charity at many regional and national events. I do a lot of presentations for symposiums and conferences along with all the management, Marketing and design aspects of running the charity. COUNT THE KICKS™ has become a legacy to my daughter, although I don’t want to concentrate on our loss I do feel this has given her death meaning. If I hadn’t lost Chloe and gone on to build this amazing charity and empower myself with so much knowledge and confidence, I truly believe I would not have my little “Rainbow Baby” George here today. I recognized a reduction in George’s movements went straight to the hospital where I was admitted for an emergency C-section – my placenta was failing! George is the proof – Awareness really does Save Lives!
(Read George’s story)
Elizabeth Hutton BSc (Hons) – Acting CEO
I have been a supporter of Count the Kicks since its infancy and have watched it grow over the years. I always wanted to be part of something I felt could have a real impact on the shocking stillbirth statistics in the UK and I know Count the Kicks will do just that. Following a chance meeting with Sophia, who I recognised from the campaign, I got the opportunity to be more heavily involved. I am now heading up the charity, working closely with Sophia and the team of volunteers. I am so proud to be a part of a charity I am confident will have a positive impact on stillbirth statistics. With a degree in Retail Management and experience in management and administration I feel I can help to drive the charity towards its goals and get the message out there.
I live in Aberdeen Scotland. I got involved with COUNT THE KICKS™ after meeting Sophia on an online support forum after the loss of my daughter in 2009. Sophia had just lost Chloe and had come up with an idea to try to raise awareness and help other mums; it was so inspiring and really gave me something positive to concentrate on. I started off helping out with the initial sticker requests and have watched COUNT THE KICKS™ slowly grow and flourish and now I head up a small team as Distribution Manager. We distribute stickers to individuals, business’s, charity events, antenatal groups and medical professionals. The requests for literature has multiplied greatly over the past few years and my hope is that one day we will be supplying every midwife and maternity hospital in Britain with our CTK literature.
Kellie Strudwick - Administrator
I first heard about COUNT THE KICKS™ during my first pregnancy. After around 25 weeks I was noticing erratic movement patterns and sometimes no movement at all so was continually monitored at my local hospital with CTGs and scans to make sure my baby was growing well. Fortunately the baby was completely fine and the problems were put down to my placenta being at the front of my tummy and cushioning the kicks. Id often forget if id felt baby move and was having to find bits of paper to try and write down times/movements etc. After the delivery of my baby by emergency c-section due to foetal distress, I decided to read more about Sophia’s story & saw they were looking for people to help out and I felt I just had to get involved. I wish Id had the courage to get get in touch before as I have learnt so much and I want every mum to have the type of information I was in desperate need of. COUNT THE KICKS™ should be a saying on every expectant mums lips and I want to help us achieve that!
I came across COUNT THE KICKS™ in January 2011, via the online auctions that were being held. I instantly felt something from within to want to join this campaign. As a mother of two, one of which was induced and the other c-sectioned early due to my persistence, i knew how important a charity Count The Kicks has to become. After contacting Sophia i took up the role of Membership manager, and i get so much delight in watching our member totals rise. I also send out our e-newsletters which is so much fun putting together. Becoming a trustee was the icing on the cake and i am so proud to be part of this amazing team and charity. I wear my COUNT THE KICKS Pin Badge with pride and I am always looking out for new ways to continue fundraising. I’m so proud when we get messages about babies lives we have saved just by spreading the word about Count The Kicks.
Katie Gilbert - Trustee,Support & Fundraising Manager I came across count the kicks in may 2010. Someone had posted a picture of a kick counting wristband on a social networking site. I followed the link and read about the campaign and why it was founded. I ordered a kick counting wristband as I had lost my fourth baby at 19weeks. I was pregnant again and Alfie arrived safely in December 2010. I Found so much encouragement and empowerment through the campaign, and signed up as a volunteer not long after I got my kick counter and raised funds in the Hertfordshire area. This campaign taught me to enjoy my pregnancy and gave me the confidence to approach my midwife whenever I felt concerned with any pregnancy aspect. I climbed mount snowdon in memory of Chloe in March 2011, and discovered I was pregnant 2 days later! I hope to do many more fundraisers for the campaign and hope some of you will be joining me to save more babies.
Medical Advisors & Patrons
Dr Beattie is an accredited subspecialist Consultant in Fetal Medicine based at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. He was responsible for setting up the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit at the University Hospital of Wales. He holds the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists / Royal College of Radiologists Joint Diploma in Advanced Obstetric Ultrasound and is accredited by the RCOG as being Subspecialty Trained in Fetal Medicine. He has been performing obstetric ultrasound scans for over 18 years and is a Director of the BUMPS, now MUMS, and UK Network. www.innermostsecrets.com
RESEARCH: Doppler ultrasound in normal and high risk pregnancy. Stem Cell Research
Dr Alexander Heazell is a clinical lecturer working at the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester. He became interested in Obstetrics (care of women in pregnancy, labour and after delivery) after his first son, Jack, was stillborn in 2001. “One of our research projects has shown that reduced fetal movement is linked to placental problems; yet often women are accused of fussing when they say their babies are moving less.” “In my role as a specialist in obstetrics, I am trying to raise awareness of this seemingly taboo subject. Stillbirth is about 10 times more common than cot death. Yet people know far more about cot death than stillbirths – everyone knows about the importance of laying a baby to sleep on its back, for example. So why the disparity? I believe it is because we are still not good enough at preventing stillbirths. Unlike cot death, which has declined dramatically, stillbirth rates are no better than they were 20 years ago. We don’t have all the answers and, in this modern age, we are very uncomfortable with that.” “After my son died, my first job as part of my GP training was in obstetrics and gynaecology. I told my manager that I wasn’t up to it psychologically. He just told me to get on with it. I’m glad he did. It’s my personal experience of loss that has motivated me to do the work I’m doing; as part of a maternal and fetal health team at Manchester University I’m researching different aspects of stillbirth, looking at both prevention and support for parents. I don’t have any other children but, at 34, I am hoping to start a family soon. But I’ll never forget my son. What happened all those years ago is something I still think about every day”.
Jo Littler RM ADM BSc – Midwife/Medical Advisor
Jo is a qualified midwife who after 13 years in the NHS has a wealth of knowledge regarding you and your pregnancy. After a short stint in the hospital, then as a community midwife, Jo was selected to develop a teenage pregnancy service for a nearby NHS trust, passionately ensuring young mums were not overlooked and had the resources and correct care they deserved. For the last 3 years, she has worked in one of the busiest high risk maternity units in the UK and is now taking a secondment. This means she has time to devote to our charity, to help us reassure and empower women. ‘ Sadly I have spent many moments in my career comforting parents during and after the loss of their baby. It seems strange, but I’m truly honoured I was there, I’m glad I could help them, even in a small way. When I found out about Sophia and her fantastic charity, I knew I wanted to be involved. In many cases, I have seen the baby’s movements were an indicator that things were wrong. Of course, this is not the case all the time. If I can be of any help to reassure women and empower them to seek help when unsure or worried. If that helps save one life, then that’s a wonderful ending.’
Michelle Heaton - Patron of Count The Kicks
Following the birth of her first baby, Michelle Heaton chose to support COUNT THE KICKS. The ex Liberty X singer, model and TV personality gave birth to baby, Faith in January 2012.
Michelle says “ COUNT THE KICKS is an amazing new charity, working to empower mums-to-be with knowledge and confidence throughout their pregnancy. During my own pregnancy I often felt confused by all the contradiction in advice, and hearing lots of old wives tales. There’s so much to learn and being a first time mum you don’t really know what to expect.
“COUNT THE KICKS encourages mums to follow their instincts and most importantly to listen to their babies by being aware of their movement and progress and to report any changes. The charity aims to standardise information to ensure all healthcare professionals, antenatal teachers and maternity companies are offering the same, correct information to mums throughout the UK.”
“We are thrilled to have the support from Michelle, she was so positive throughout her pregnancy, often tweeting about her progress and encouraging other expectant Mums to be to remain active and eat healthily. She is a great ambassador and inspiration to expectant Mums” says COUNT THE KICKS founder Sophia.
Michelle Heaton Patron of Count The kicks encourages mums to listen to Baby. Michelle recently spoke to Sophia about her pregnancy and the importance of the work of Count The Kicks click here to watch the video.
John Andon – Chairman
Daniel Lo Russo – Treasurer
Michelle Jardine - Secretary
I have had various secretarial roles including legal and medical, and I currently work as a Headteacher’s PA in a local secondary school in Guildford – the same school where I first met Sophia!
I live in Godalming with my boyfriend and four cats, and we are currently expecting our first baby, a little boy, in March 2013.
I am really excited to have been given this opportunity to get involved with Count the Kicks, and I look forward to learning this new role.
Jennifer Mason - Trustee
Daniel Wyatt – Trustee
Would you like to join our team?
We are always looking for dynamic, enthusiastic and passionate people to join our small team, we have several voluntary positions available, ideal for any Mums-To-Be or new Mums who are looking to keep their minds active while on Maternity Leave, or those chosing not to return to work. Charity volunteering is also ideal for those seeking paid work. Did You Know: You are able to volunteer up to 16 hours per week if you are recieving Job Seekers Allowance! When you do apply for jobs and get invited to interviews you can add your voluntary work to your CV. We are also more than happy to write references for anyone kind enough to volunteer for us. Click here for more information about our voluntary roles. Other positions we are currently looking to fill: Grant Fundraising Manager