Pregnancy technology is changing the game for parents

01/11/2018

Ask any parent: things can get stressful when not knowing what to expect prior to, during, and after the baby’s arrival. That being said, an increasing number of tech-savvy parents and parents-to-be are now turning to a whole new range of consumer gadgets designed to make things easier every step of the way.

From internet connected devices like wearable fertility tracking bracelets to self rocking cradles, this article looks at some of the most handy consumer gadgets and tools on the market.

How technology can help increase the odds of pregnancy

With more women in the US having kids after age 35, more and more couples are needing all the help they can get to conceive. Here are some gadgets and tools that may just make all the difference when it comes to increasing the odds of welcoming a new addition.

Predicting ovulation with an online ovulation calendar

Simple to use tools such as online ovulation calendars can be a great way to predict around what time during a woman’s menstrual cycle she will ovulate, and also helps identify her fertile period. Ovulation calendars work by counting backwards 14 days from the first day of the woman’s anticipated period. (14 days is the average duration of a woman’s luteal phase - the post-ovulatory portion of a woman’s cycle). Geared with this information, couples can then plan intercourse accordingly to increase their odds of conceiving.

The internet has a plethora of free online ovulation calendars available for women looking to predict when they will ovulate. One such tool is Pacific Prime’s ovulation calendar now running on their maternity insurance page. Anyone looking for their estimated fertile days and resulting due date will simply need to enter the date of their last period, the average length of their cycle, and indicate whether they’ve got a regular or irregular cycle.

Tracking female fertility with wearables

Wondering when it’s the optimal time to conceive? The new Ava bracelet may just be the answer to the dreams of many hopeful parents out there. This wearable bracelet device collects data on different physiological parameters to detect when the woman’s fertile period begins, and when it ends. Shown to detect fertile days at 89% accuracy, the wearable is synced to a dedicated app to provide effortless insight on the woman’s menstrual phase, sleep, stress and resting pulse rate.

Looking at sperm health and male fertility

About a third of all fertility issues are attributed to men, e.g. low sperm count. As such, the ability to conveniently measure and improve sperm health is very important for men with sperm disorders. Hailed the “FitBit for sperm”, the Trak Male Fertility Testing System is a sperm test that can be conducted at home, and allows men to easily identify whether their sperm concentrations are low, moderate, or optimal.

The testing system also works with the free Trak: Sperm Health & Fertility app so users can log and measure their sperm results over time, and see whether they’ve made progress. The app also features a health questionnaire built by leading urologists in male reproductive health to give users a “sperm friendly score” from 0 to 100. The app further features personalized tips for improving the user’s sperm health.

Making life easier during the course of pregnancy

From portable ultrasound scanners to pregnancy wearables, there are a growing number of gadgets and devices that cater to expectant parents by delivering key information on the pregnancy and how their baby is growing in the womb.

Connected ultrasound scanner for parents

There have been significant advancements in ultrasound technology over the past decade. Now, medical facilities can capture 3D stills and 4D moving images of babies in the womb. Coming soon to the pregnancy tech market is Ultra Stan, a portable ultrasound scanner that allows expectant parents to see and hear their baby in the womb, wherever and whenever they want. Parents can also use its connected app to calibrate the audio and focus the image, as well as record video, still images and audio.

Tracking contractions during the third trimester

Tracking and timing contractions is very important, as many women experience “false alarm” Braxton Hicks contractions which do not dilate or thin the cervix like real active labor contractions. It can be difficult to keep track of the timings of every contraction, so for peace of mind a pregnancy wearable like Bloomlife can come in handy.

Bloomlife safely tracks contractions in real time so users can learn how it corresponds to the sensations they feel via its dedicated app. It also has a “history mode” which allows users to review their past contractions and how this pattern is changing throughout the later stages of their pregnancy.

Taking care of your newborn child

It can be hard to care for a newborn child, especially if you’re a first time parent. Combined with the fact that newborns have weaker immune systems than adults, it’s not easy to tell when a child is not feeling well when their primary mode of communication is crying. To help alleviate some of the worry from taking care of a newborn child, below are a few tech gadgets that may just make things a lot easier for new parents.

Taking the baby’s temperature

It can be hard for busy parents to take a baby’s temperature all the time to ensure that they don’t have a fever. That’s where “smart pacifiers” can help. For example, Pacif-i, a Bluetooth low energy pacifier with a built-in thermometer continuously monitors the baby’s temperature without waking them up. Parents can also track the effects of medication on their baby’s temperature by analyzing the timestamped log on its dedicated app.

Eliminate restless nights with a self rocking cradle

Ever heard of a rocking cradle that adapts its swinging and responds to the baby’s needs? The SNOO Smart Sleeper does just that. To help parents get a good night’s sleep (for once), the self rocking cradle gently rocks to help the baby sleep better. It also features 3 different types of white noise sounds designed to calm crying or boost sleep.

Concluding remarks: Don’t forget maternity insurance

While technological advancements and pregnancy gadgets are definitely making life easier for parents and parents-to-be, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to obtain maternity insurance to be truly prepared for welcoming a new addition, as it can really help offset the high cost of healthcare in the US.

One fact that a lot of people don’t know is that, in most cases, maternity insurance comes with a waiting period of 10 months or more. This means that policyholders will need to wait a specific duration of time before their plan covers pregnancy, birth and/ or newborn coverage. Therefore, to receive coverage the policy will need to be secured before conception.

—This information provided courtesy of Pacific Prime Insurance Brokers, - a global health insurance advisor - known for reputable and trusted maternity insurance plans.  Visit www.pacificprime.com for more information.

Original Publish Date: May 2017

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