No more guessing games when it comes to labor. A new pregancy device worn directly on an expectant mother’s bump will monitor contractions and judge when it’s time to hit the hospital. This could mean fewer unnecessary trips to the emergency room and potentially fewer preterm births.
Bloomlife, a San Francisco startup, designed this wearable monitor to measure electrical signals from the uterus, alerting moms-to-be when they’re experiencing bona fide contractions (and not just heavy cramping). The device calculates frequency, duration and time between contractions, while keeping track of contraction history to identify patterns through the Bloomlife app. Because Bloomlife is able to detect even the tiniest contractions, it has the potential to identify preterm labor, encouraging women to seek medical attention sooner.
Once the sensor is snapped into its adhesive patch, it’s applied under your belly button. All the data collected will sync to your phone through Bluetooth low energy radio waves (no wifi required).
Available for rental in February, Bloomlife will cost $149 for the first month of use. Its website says it’s intended for use up to six weeks before a woman’s due date.
Thanks to beta testers, there have already been success stories. First-time mom Megan, for example, used it to relieve anxiety after her hospital sent her home, instructing her to come back when contractions were stronger.
“I would feel a twinge and immediately think, ‘Was that a contraction? Was that not a contraction?’ she writes. “With Bloomlife, we could just look at the app and see that it was a normal little thing and calm down. We even compared it to the hospital monitor when I went in for an appointment and it completely matched.”
Do you need a wearable monitor to assure you it’s time for labor? Certainly not. But we’re all about peace of mind for pregnant women. Regardless, these are the signs of labor to look for—and a contraction calculator to help you determine if it’s truly go-time.