A Glimpse Into the Future of Pregnancy
“When is the best time to have a baby?”
The answer for me (in hindsight): “When your product is in beta.”
I work for Bloomlife and our first product, the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker, helps expecting mamas connect with their bodies and their babies on a whole new level. Our challenge — simplify one of the most confusing sensations in all of pregnancy: contractions.
With baby number two cooking during Bloomlife’s development, I had a special 9 1/2 months to bond with both baby and our beta product.
Childbirth. The inevitable conclusion of pregnancy.
Just when you wrap your head around the crazy concept of growing a tiny human in your body for nearly a year, another thought hits you - some day soon, that tiny human will come tumbling, somewhat violently, into your world.
Anticipating labor becomes a special challenge during pregnancy. You can only learn so much about what you should feel and what you may feel before you start questioning every sensation in your body.
Sure, I work for the company, but I must admit, having Bloomlife on hand for my second pregnancy changed the game.
From “What was that?” to “I got this!”
Non-labor-inducing contractions can become apparent early in pregnancy, usually during the 2nd trimester, and lasting throughout the 3rd. These contractions take on the fun moniker “Braxton Hicks” named after the doctor who first described the phenomenon. Thanks a lot, Dr. Braxton Hicks.
Often, descriptions of Braxton Hicks call them painless, ‘warm-up’ contractions that prepare your body for the big day.
During my first pregnancy, I didn’t feel any Braxton Hicks contractions. None. I started to get frustrated at my body for skimping on its training regimen. I wanted a sign that I might actually have a baby at some point and the elusiveness of uterine activity stressed me to no end.
This time around, Bloomlife trained me. I could see a contraction in the app, pay attention to the feeling in my body, and label the sensation.
Baby movement? Nope, Braxton Hicks!
Abdominal twinge? Nope, Braxton Hicks!
Braxton Hicks? Yes! I win the prize!
I wore the Bloomlife tracker often, not just because I loved being an active part of the development of our product but because it provided an intelligent glimpse into the goings on in my body. This massive muscle of mine will never behave that way again (we’re done at two, Gabe) and I had an opportunity to experience an incredible new view into how it works.
It’s go time! Or is it?
Normally, when labor finally comes on, the problem shifts from understanding little blips here and there to timing and counting each pang. To determine whether or not contractions signal the beginning of labor and then determine your progression, new parents are taught to count contractions — record how long each contraction lasts, how much time elapses in between. Regularity suggests labor. Decreased time in between contractions suggests progression.
Seems simple on paper. Not so simple in reality. I mean, c’mon, you’re in freaking labor!
I wrote about my frustrating, rule-breaking first labor in an earlier post.
The beauty of Bloomlife is that it takes on the homework assignment for you. Automated contraction counting. Simple, accurate, clean information so that the laboring woman and her partner can feel confident in their decisions. An upgrade from a clunky-50-year-old-technology-only-available-in-hospitals to a sleek-medical-grade-system-available-to-all.
For me, the Bloomlife tracker meant freedom.
I understood my body so well this time around that, by the end, I knew exactly the moment when contractions shifted beyond Braxton Hicks.
My due date came and went and I was slowly dilating without actually going into labor for nearly a week. Having Bloomlife on hand gave my husband and I peace-of-mind to go about our day.
Ten days post due, we sat in a dark movie theater to distract ourselves from the fact that baby could arrive at any point. Periodically, I checked the app to see if the pangs I felt started to take on any kind of pattern to indicate labor may start soon. They didn’t.
We made it to the end of the movie. Contractions and all.
That night, my contractions went quiet. A few hours passed and then OUCH! They came back, full-on, with a newfound determination for baby expulsion.
My daughter was born at 5:22 am.
Want to try Bloomlife?
Three months have passed since my wee one arrived and Bloomlife has come a long way in that time.
We have started offering exclusive early access as a rental so that expecting mamas can give this incredible technology a try during their pregnancy too.
Feedback so far has been overwhelming and we look forward to a wider launch in the coming year. Stay tuned!
April, 2017 Update! Obviously some time has passed since this post. We are now shipping far and wide (well, far and wide in the U.S.). Check us out!