The third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy can be a dramatic experience for any expectant mother, but especially with a first pregnancy when it’s a brand new experience. I remember during my wife’s first pregnancy, we were excited and hopeful but there were lots of things going on with which we had no prior experience. When we got to the third trimester and my wife started experiencing contractions of varied intensity; there were many times when we just weren’t sure if it was the real thing. Most women in the U.S. have plentiful resources during pregnancy but few have someone on hand all the time to interpret everything that’s going on.
Bloom Life’s Belli is a monitoring device women put on their belly during the third trimester to measure contractions. We reported earlier on Priya, a fertility monitor from the same group. Belli communicates via Bluetooth with a smartphone to display the relative contraction strength and length and to keep count of the incidence and intervals. It can get confusing to differentiate between the baby moving, Braxton Hicks contractions, and real contractions that indicate labor is starting. During labor, Belli can help with counting and intervals so that you communicate the details to healthcare professionals. This will help you know when it’s time to get to the medical facility or call your midwife. The Belli sensor sticks to your belly like a bandaid under your clothing and syncs continuously with your smartphone. You can also use the application to report to your medical team. The sensor’s Bluetooth signal is 100 times lower power than a cell phone, according to Bloom, and it only monitors and signals the smart phone. Belli does not replace healthcare professionals for data interpretation but Bloom claims that in three clinical trials, Belli contraction measurement was as accurate as hospital measurement systems. Belli is available now from the company’s website. Because you don’t need the Belli unit after delivery it’s provided on a rental basis and comes with a prepaid return mailer.
As much as many women, and couples, would like to, you can’t control when labor will start unless the birth is going to be induced. Leading up to the “go” time and during actual labor, keeping track of number, intensity, duration, and intervals between contractions can provide important information to relay to health teams. There’s usually enough confusion when a pregnancy is about to come to term that anything that can help women with accurate, understandable data is a blessing. This also frees up husbands from the task of contraction record keeping so they can locate missing car keys and actually remember to put the “go-bag” suitcase in the car.