By Molly Cogan, WLSA Team & the BRIM Agency (updated 11/25/14)
Pregnancy has gone high-tech with the inclusion of apps and wireless devices designed especially for moms to-be. With technology to guide the process of bringing life into the world, women and their partners can find new levels of confidence and joy along the journey.
Take a look at some of the coolest additions to pregnancy since pickles and ice cream.
DuoFertility – This little wireless device takes all the guesswork out of conception. Worn under the arm, it measures body temperature and other signals 20,000 times every day. Then, that data is sent via computer to the company’s center in Cambridge, England. DuoFertility can tell you up to 6 days in advance when you will be ovulating and at your peak for conceiving. Over 900 babies have been hatched to happy couples since the device’s debut.
I’m Expecting – A free app for your smartphone, I’m Expecting is the must-have app for mommies to-be. It helps you track your symptoms, gives you invaluable info on the changes your body is going through, shows you what baby looks like week by week, and can even keep track of doctor appointments and your due date. You can even add your own photos of your growing baby bump to create a personal, intimate record of your pregnancy in the form of an I’m Expecting slideshow.
Glow Nurture – From the makers of Glow, an app that allows you to track your cycle and better attempt to get (or not get) pregnant, Glow Nurture is made specifically for those with a bun in the oven. Similar to I’m Expecting, Glow provides important information about baby’s development and mom’s well-being, along with a community platform to connect with other expectant parents.
Pregnancy Buzz – Developed by The Bump.com, Pregnancy Buzz is like your own private prenatal support group. Not only does the app provide expert advice on everything from food cravings to baby’s development, but it allows you free access to the Bump.com community of other expectant and new moms. So, have a question you can’t find an answer to? Simply ask the community and receive almost instant feedback!
Baby Names – This app has both a paid and a free version. If you are serious about having an app to help you choose your new arrival’s moniker, you’ll want to invest in the paid edition. If you just want something to browse through while waiting at the OB/GYN’s office, download the free one. Why? Because the paid version gives in-depth information on name meanings, origins and other relevant info you may want to have before deciding on what to call your little one. The free version doesn’t provide nearly as much good stuff, and only gives you the country of origin, the gender, and how popular each name is this year.
FetalBeats – FetalBeats is perhaps the coolest item on the list. For well under $200, you can purchase your very own FetalBeats baby heart rate monitor, which connects directly into your smartphone. Listen to, record, and share your baby’s heart beat any time you want! While FetalBeats is definitely no replacement for regular prenatal checkups and ultrasounds, it’s a cool app perfect for peace of mind throughout high-risk pregnancies or simply to connect with and enjoy the sweet sound of your baby’s ticker.
Bloom-Life – Bloom Technologies, a consumer health start-up focused on helping moms have healthy babies, showcased the first wearable at the 2014 Samsung Developer Conference designed specifically for expectant mothers to measure contractions. Expecting moms have contractions throughout the 3rd trimester and previously relied on unreliable self-diagnosis to track contractions. The simple yet powerful wearable sensor is clinically accurate and will be submitted for FDA approval and commercially available in 2015. Upon release, the wearable will measure frequency, duration, and intensity of contractions. Bloom also plans to release algorithm updates to distinguish between Braxton Hicks and labor inducing contractions as well as track other parameters of fetal and maternal health. Bloom is a spin-off of the nanoelectronics research center imec. For more than 10 years, Bloom’s founders have developed advanced clinical grade wearable technologies at imec’s R&D team in Leuven (Belgium) and Eindhoven (the Netherlands). (Updated/Added: 11/25/2014)
Baby Bundle – This thing does just about everything except change the diapers and burp the baby. It has a nursing timer, a growth guide, a vaccination calendar, appointment reminders, and can track everything from how much baby is sleeping to how much baby weighs. You can even input all kinds of firsts for the first year, creating sort of a digital baby book. It also includes a pediatrician-created health and care guide for those times when you aren’t sure what to do or if you should panic or not. And the best part about Baby Bundle? It literally can handle a bundle of babies. It’s one of the few apps available that allows input on more than one child at a time. This makes it perfect for the multiples mom or for the mom with another child to keep track of.
Postpartum Depression – This app may be one-of-a-kind. It informs the new mom of the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, then gives tips and simple-to-understand cures for helping to deal with it should it rear its ugly head. While we may not like to think of the darkness and dangers of PPD in the light and loveliness of pregnancy and new motherhood, it is a very real condition and having an app to help you recognize it and help you through it is invaluable. This one should be downloaded and studied in those days before delivery so that every new mom and dad can be well-informed and well-prepared should PPD strike.
Sproutling – This might be your baby’s first piece of wearable tech. Developed by former Apple and Google employees, Sproutling delivers information to your iPhone about your baby’s heart rate and sleeping patterns. The wearable device is a simple strap that rests comfortably on baby’s ankle. The first shipment of this new device is already sold out and will be delivered in 2015.
Remember to keep your mom on speed dial, breathe and hopefully some of these connected health apps will help you spend more quality time with your new family.