CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia mom says an app on her phone saved her baby’s life.

“He’s seven months now, he’s starting to crawl around and one of his little teeth is popping through,” said Alyssa Emroch, speaking of her baby, Araton.

Alyssa credits all of their priceless moments to a free app on her phone.

“I used the Count The Kicks app religiously,” she said.

The app is designed to prevent stillbirths.

“In the United States, we lose 21,000 babies in stillbirth each year, and in Virginia we lose just over 500,” said Dr. Cynthia Romer, director of the Brock Institute For Community and Global Health at EVMS.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation recently partnered with the program in Virginia and CHIP of South Hampton Roads, a home visitation program for low income high risk families, has been using it since March.

CHIP President and CEO Trish O’Brien told WAVY program nurses introduce the app to women in their third trimester, teach them how to count and record kicks, and when to call the doctor.

“We’re serving some very rural counties in Virginia — it’s a long way to go to the hospital from some of the places where some of our families live, so this is a little more security for the mother,” O’Brien said.

Dr. Romeo called it especially helpful for first-time moms, those who’ve experienced pregnancy loss before or who are in high risk pregnancies.

“Moms can be engaged during their pregnancy feel like they are bonding more with their baby and also reduce anxiety that might be coming,” Romero said.

When Emroch noticed a change in her baby’s kick pattern she sought help immediately.
Doctors discovered Aranton was at risk at delivered him within 24 hours.

“So thankfully, we got him out and he is perfectly fine now,” she said.

After delivering the baby, they also discovered he had a short umbilical chord that also put him at risk for stillbirth.

Count the Kicks started in Iowa and recent study shows the stillbirth rate decreased more than 30% in the first 10 years.

Count The Kicks reports more than 115 baby saves and has partnerships in 23 states including Virginia.