Bloomlife's baby bump wearable tracks your contractions

It's meant to help expectant parents distinguish false alarms from actual labor pains.

While there are several ways to entertain your unborn child with the latest chart toppers, the kind of technology that's invaluable during pregnancy is typically reserved for hospitals and clinics. But a company called Bloomlife wants to bring one key piece of monitoring kit into the home. It's created a pregnancy wearable -- a small device that sticks to your baby bump -- which measures contractions by reading the electrical activity of uterine muscle. A companion app for iOS and Android receives this data, timing contractions in real time and promising a much more accurate reading than existing contraction calculators.

False alarms known as Braxton Hicks contractions are common during pregnancy, but any new sensation can be alarming when you're carrying a little one around. Bloomlife's wearable doesn't offer diagnoses of any kind, but by capturing the frequency and lengths of contractions, it's intended to help you learn more about your body and perhaps save you an unnecessary trip to the hospital. The app lets you look at past monitoring sessions too, so you should have a better idea of the difference between a false alarm and the more regular contraction patterns associated with labor.

Bloomlife has been testing its wearable for most of the past year, both with pregnant women and in clinical studies to ensure the device is comparable to hospital-grade equipment in terms of accuracy, safety and reliability. Now the company is ready to start offering pre-orders. Because the wearable is only useful for a limited time, the company is leasing the product instead of selling it. A one-month rental will set you back $149, with two- and three-month leases costing $249 and $299, respectively. The first deliveries are coming within the next few months, and expectant parents will be able to schedule an order so they only start paying when they need to.

Bloomlife didn't just develop the wearable for peace of mind, though. The company hopes that the data these devices collect could be used in the future to identify the early signs of complications during pregnancy, which could make the monitor much more valuable in the long run.

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