Apps, gizmos heighten waiting game

Apps, gizmos heighten waiting game

You’ve probably got a smartphone or an iPad, you keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter, and your home life and work days are aided by all manner of gadgets, gizmos and devices.

So why shouldn’t the weeks and months leading up to your child’s birth be just as high tech?

From apps counting down to your delivery date to sophisticated tracking devices and monitors, you’ve got everything you need for your pregnancy, version 2.0.

To start, just about every expectant mother is eager to follow the month-by-month (and in later trimesters, the day-by-day) developments of her pregnancy. These days, you can do this on the go – and have the information always conveniently at your fingertips.

One popular choice is the comprehensive iPregnancy app ($4.99), which comes equipped with, among other features, a due date calculator; major milestone timeline; pregnancy progression bar; weight gain analysis; doctors visit reminders and trackers; and schematics of your developing baby. Ultimately, it’s designed to be interactive and become more and more personalized as you continue to input information about you and your baby, according to its website.

Other devices, such as Laks’ Baby Boom pregnancy clock, offer countdowns and due date information on wrist watches that can be worn by both mom and her partner.

Moms-to-be looking to share their progress with family and friends, meanwhile, can download widgets like Babystrology’s “Baby Ticker,” which features a realistic, ultrasound-like image that “grows” and changes each week as your baby does (or babies, if you’re expecting multiples) on your Facebook page, Twitter account, website, blog or email signature.

As for your growing child’s daily movements, you can keep tabs on those, too. One way to do so is the hand-held, wand-like device KickTrak ($29.99), which was designed, according to its website, to help protect against stillborn births, of which there are 70 a day in the United States.

How it works: Beginning at 24 weeks, once you feel movement in your belly, grab the device and press its tracking button to record and store the time it takes for your baby to complete 10 movements, including kicks, jabs, rolls, and turns, as recommended on KickTrak’s website. (They advise that this be done every day at around the same time to make sure your baby is healthy.) The device counts and times movements as they’re entered, stores and recalls your 10 most recent sessions, and, later, when the big day comes, can be used to time contractions.

Similarly, portable and convenient monitors can track fetal heart rate between doctor visits. The Hi Bebe Digital Fetal Heartbeat Monitor ($109 to $149), for instance, has a thin wand attached to a loudspeaker and LCD display. As recommended on the device’s website, starting at 10 to 12 weeks, place the wand to your stomach and monitor the results. You can also listen to the soothing sound of your child’s heartbeat – and you’ll be the first to know if anything is amiss.

Or maybe you’re looking to provide an experience the other way around – and give your unborn child its first exposure to the outside world. One popular way to do so is with Bellybuds ($49.99), which come with a set of discreet and easily coverable set of “Bellyphones” that adhere to your tummy, piping in whatever audio you choose from an mp3 player. Or you can opt to connect them to a set of headphones and commune with your growing child.

In any case, however you choose to keep track of your baby before its debut, your pregnancy will be anything but low-tech.

If you’re concerned your baby won’t enjoy your singing, Belly
Buds might be just what you need to introduce your soon-to-be-born
to the world of music.
KickTrak helps you time and record your unborn baby’s movements
and activity to help gauge its general health. It’s also handy for
timing contractions on the big day.

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