We live in exciting times.
Technology is finding unexpected solutions to age-old problems that expectant mothers and young parents, up to now, have had to accept.
Here we discuss some tech gadgets that can help with a range of issues.
Read about the device that tracks hormone levels for women who want to conceive; the device that can tell you if you are in labor; an award-winning baby monitor and the device that lets your doctor remotely examine your family; and the secret breast milk pump that can accompany you everywhere.
Proov™ by MFB Fertility Inc.
Are you struggling to conceive or carry full-term? IVF treatment too costly?
Proov by MBF Fertility Inc. may just be the answer for you.
Proov is the brainchild of MFB Fertility founder and CEO, Amy Beckley who developed the gadget after her own struggle to conceive and suffering multiple miscarriages.
She conceived her son after IVF treatment and wanted more children but couldn’t face another round of IVF.
That’s when she leveraged her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and expertise in hormone signaling to track her hormone levels. That’s how she discovered that her progesterone levels were too low.
Realizing that this was why she continued to miscarriage, she started taking hormone supplements and was able to conceive without the help of IVF treatment.
Progesterone is a hormone critical for ovulation, conception, and pregnancy. It’s the presence of this hormone that allows women to confirm that they have ovulated.
Some users have trouble getting clear results. Often times the strips keep showing a slight line which indicates a negative test, but when users have bloodwork done, their progesterone levels are fine.
The company is quick to respond to these kinds of reviews and help women to understand their test results better.
Especially for women who have POCS and have highly irregular cycles, this product has proven invaluable.
In addition, many women use it successfully to avoid pregnancy.
Bloomlife is a wearable device for pregnant women. The device monitors contractions.
In short, it helps you to know whether you are in labor or not.
According to the Bloomlife website, the clinically validated wearable goes beyond the usual contraction timer apps.
It has a sensor that automatically detects and tracks contractions and relays that information to an app. The app analyzes the frequency, duration and patterns of contractions.
The device brings an end to guessing whether you are in labor or just experiencing cramps or Braxton Hicks contractions. The latter doesn’t lead to labor.
The device is strapped around the stomach and connects to a disposable patch attached to the abdomen.
It is meant to be worn during the last trimester when contractions are more likely.
Admittedly, there are other contraction-tracking devices on the market, but they require you to track pains manually or on an app which is really hard when you’re busy coping with pain. Bloomlife does the work for you.
Users have reported frustration with disconnection that happens during sleep and “contractions” being recorded when they are actually just moving about.
Bloomlife is available online for rental only. The website and the Bloomlife helpline give different prices.
The Nanit Plus has already made a name for itself. The baby monitor was named one of 2018's best inventions by Time magazine.
The Nanit Plus is a beautiful, sleek device that won’t detract from any interior decorating style. It comes with a stand that is secured to the wall next to the cot. The camera sits on top of the stand.
The camera relays high-resolution video of your baby’s every move to your smartphone.
Whether you are somewhere in the house or at work, you can hear every sound your baby makes even if your phone is off or if you’re using other apps on your phone.
In the audio background mode, you can hear the baby even when the phone screen goes dark.
As an added benefit, the Nanit Plus comes with a multi-strand option so you can take it along when you travel with your baby.
The Nanit displays the temperature and humidity level in your baby's room, which helps you to adjust the room environment when needed.
Another feature is the two-way audio which allows you to soothe your baby, even sing a lullaby from the comfort of your own bed.
The real strength of the Nanit Plus is the data it generates. It uses smart sensors to monitor when your baby's sleeping or awake, how long it takes the infant to fall asleep and any movements it makes. It also notes when you visit your baby.
The insights gained from all this data is then displayed in sleep trends graphs and time-lapse videos to give you further insight into your baby’s sleeping patterns.
The one drawback of the Nanit Plus is its high price point at $279.00.
Also, it’s a bit hard on a phone’s battery. And if you don’t have reliable WiFi connectivity, you might run into problems.
Now here is a wearable that’s a bit different from your Fitbit – it’s a breast pump that’s worn inside a feeding bra.
And it’s such a welcome departure of the clumsy beast pumps of the past.
The cordless breast pump was developed by technology company Elvie, which was founded in 2013 by women's health expert Tania Boler and investor Alexander Asseily.
This innovative breast pump is compact and wire-free, so you can have milk pumped unobtrusively without having to be near a power source.
In fact, you could be slaving away at that report for this afternoon’s meeting while your baby’s milk is being collected.
Elvie describes its breast pump as “the world's first silent wearable breast pump”. The company’s technology manages to eliminate noise, so you can really keep your pumping actions secret.
Women have tested the device in public and in the company of friends and family who never noticed what was going on.
The device consists of the pump mechanism, with a reusable bottle that can hold 150 ml of milk.
The whole device is designed to fit flat and snuggly against the breast.
Every Elvie breast pump kit has two milk bottles.
Of course, there’s also the inevitable app. The pump connects to the Elvie Pump app that monitors milk volume in real time and breast pumping history for each breast.
Every parent will welcome this smart gadget. After all, how is a runoff-the-mill parent to know when stomach cramps may be a sign of appendix?
It is one of the worst frustrations of being a parent: not knowing whether an ailing child is really ill and needs to see a doctor or not.
Tyto aims to end this Neverland for parents.
Tyto claims to be your medical doctor and diagnostic tool on the run, sparing you unnecessary and expensive runs to the doctor for your children and the rest of your family.
The device is manufactured by Israeli company Tyto Care.
The device includes an app for communicating with your doctor and the Tyto device for conducting exams.
The Tyto features an at-home exam kit complete with a digital otoscope, stethoscope, tongue depressor and basal thermometer, which will indicate to the doctor the seriousness of the child’s symptoms.
The device has a touch screen that guides you through the examination process.
With you using it, a video of the exam can be streamed live to your doctor, allowing the doctor to evaluate the heart, lungs, throat, skin, ears and take body temperature.
Or you send a recorded version of the exam before a scheduled session for diagnosis.
The doctor makes a diagnosis, sends the prescription to the pharmacy, and you’ve saved on a trip to the hospital.
Tyto is currently offered through your provider or health system. The device has received FDA clearance.