Emily Schettler

Representatives from Healthy Birth Day, Inc., and The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement were on Capitol Hill Friday to share details of a valuable public health campaign that has helped reduce Iowa’s stillbirth rate by 26 percent.

Healthy Birth Day, Inc., created the Count the Kicks campaign, which have proven effective in educating and empowering moms to track movement in utero in the third trimester. Iowa went from 33rd worst stillbirth rate in the country to the third lowest in just five years.

“Today, we were able to share Iowa’s success with representatives from across the country and show them how effective such a campaign could be for families in their states as well,” said Emily Price, Executive Director of Healthy Birth Day, Inc.

Healthy Birth Day and The Harkin Institute have partnered to expand research and educational opportunities surrounding the campaign and reducing the rate of stillbirths in Iowa and across America. Stillbirth happens in 1 out of every 167 pregnancies in the United States.

“The work of Healthy Birth Day, Inc., and the Count the Kicks campaign align directly with The Harkin Institute’s mission of improve the lives of all Americans by sharing high-quality information and engaging citizens,” said Lyndi Buckingham-Schutt, associate director of wellness and nutrition policy at The Harkin Institute.

The partnership is an extension of retired Senator Tom Harkin’s work to help Iowa create the nation’s first stillbirth registry. Other states soon looked to Iowa on how to create their own stillbirth registries.

“We are deeply grateful for this partnership with The Harkin Institute,” Price said. “Sen. Harkin’s leadership and passion on prevention and wellness issues were a trademark of his time in public office and this partnership is just one example of how he continues to make a powerful difference in the lives of so many across the country.

More information about the Count the Kicks campaign is available at


Healthy Birth Day, Inc., is dedicated to the prevention of stillbirth and infant death through education, advocacy and support. Count the Kicks is a public health and awareness campaign of Health Birth Day which seeks to reduce the stillbirth rate.

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University exists to inform citizens, inspire creative cooperation, and catalyze change on issues of social justice, fairness, and opportunity. Founded on the premise that good public policy is best achieved when policymakers have access to high quality information, political processes are open and well-understood, and citizens are informed and active participants, The Harkin Institute offers programing, experiences, research, and connectivity focused on the areas that defined Senator Harkin’s career—people with disabilities, retirement security, wellness and nutrition, and labor and employment.

Address: 2429 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311 Phone: 515-271-3623 Fax Number: 515-271-3631 Email: Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.