August 30, 2023

Count the Kicks with Shawn Soumilas

*TW: Stillbirth

Feeling your baby kick for the first time can be an incredibly special moment for you and your family. Baby’s kicks can feel different for every pregnant person from butterflies to the literal feeling of being kicked, but did you know that counting the kicks during your third trimester is a proven way to track both you and your baby’s health? 

On today’s episode of Yoga| Birth | Babies I speak with Count the Kicks ambassador Shawn Soumilas. We discuss the evidence based prevention campaign, resources and support for parents to be and parents who’ve experienced loss, as well as Shawn’s personal experience with stillbirth. 

I so appreciate Shawn sharing her story. She also does an incredible job talking about the research on counting kicks as a preventative measure. Shawn also highlights the racial disparities for birthing parents in the United States. Our country ranks among one of the most expensive places in the world to have a baby, however our outcomes for babies and parents don’t match these costs. 

I hope that the knowledge shared by Shawn and Counting the Kicks empowers you to trust your body and your baby. In knowing what to look for and by giving yourself the chance to turn inward and find the patterns you are taking a massive preventative measure benefitting you and baby.  

In this episode you will learn:

  • About Shawn and how they got involved in Count the Kicks.
  • About Count the Kicks.
  • Research from Count the Kicks.
  • Research founded in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology as a reliable method to prevent stillbirth.
  • Ways to find standard parent education, as Count the Kick’s website states it is not a standardized approach to teach the parents to count the kicks.
  • Know when it’s time to start counting kicks.
  • The realm of normal kicks for a parent to be reassured.
  • The recommended protocol if someone is doing kick counts and they don’t feel the kick or count as many as they should.
  • Outside factors and variables that could play a role in stillbirth.
  • The racial disparities in stillbirth.
  • One final tip or piece of advice Shawn would like to offer new or expectant parents.
  • Get connected with Count the Kicks.

About Shawn:

Shawn Soumilas is a maternal health advocate with a passion for improving birth outcomes. She is driven by her own personal experience of her son’s full term stillbirth in 2010. Shawn has been the Arizona Ambassador for Count the Kicks since 2013 and is involved with advocating for federal stillbirth legislation on behalf of Healthy Birthday, Inc. She is also a member of the Arizona State University Maternal and Child Health Translational Research Team. Her latest project is interning with the Arizona Department of Health Services to help write the Fetal Infant Mortality Action Plan for the state of Arizona.

Connect with Count the Kicks:


  • Don’t forget to grab your FREE guide, 5 Simple Solutions to the Most Common Pregnancy Pains HERE 
  • If you love what you’ve been listening to, please leave a rating and review! Yoga| Birth|Babies (Apple) or on Spotify!

To connect with Deb and the PYC Community: 

Instagram & Facebook: @prenatalyogacenter

Youtube: Prenatal Yoga Center




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