New App Lets Expecting Moms Listen to Fetal Heartbeat
Expectant moms can now listen to their baby’s heartbeat through an iPhone, thanks to an app called Bellabeat. With the device, moms can record and track the baby’s heartbeat per minute as well as the baby’s weight changes and number of kicks over time. In addition to keeping the baby’s stats, the app lets moms keep track on of their moods throughout the pregnancy in hopes that moms and doctors can catch early signs of depression. More from Mashable.com:
Bellabeat, the company behind the iPhone-enabled fetal heart-rate monitor, updated its iOS app on Thursday.
The latest version includes a new feature to help expectant mothers track changes in their mental health, in addition to the tools for keeping tabs on their own physical health and their baby’s development.
Bellabeat’s Connected System allows pregnant women to listen to their children’s heartbeats through a device that connects to a smartphone with an audio cable. It uses sound waves to find the baby’s heartbeat while the accompanying Bellabeat app records the audio.
The app tracks heartbeats per minute and gives users tools to track other important stats, like the number of times a baby kicks or how its weight changes over time.
The new mood-tracking feature is meant to help pregnant women recognize early symptoms of depression, said Bellabeat cofounder Urška Sršen.
“Depression disorders during pregnancy, which are very common, can lead to other health complications for the mother and the baby,” Sršen said in an interview with Mashable. “We decided to add this mood tracker to encourage women to keep notes on their mood day by day so they can recognize these symptoms quite early on.”
Users will be able to track changes in their moods and feelings throughout pregnancy by recording notes within the app. Additionally, once a month, users will be asked to answer two questions about their feelings and moods overall. If a pattern suggesting early signs of depression emerges, the app encourages users to seek help from their healthcare providers. The app also provides listings of nearby clinics to make it easier for women to find treatment.
Bellabeat, a Y Combinator-backed startup, first launched its $129 heart rate monitor in the United States in February after launching in Europe last fall.
Sršen said the company is in the process of developing more features and the app will eventually include blood pressure, nutrition and activity trackers.
The latest update is only available to the app’s iOS users. Sršen said a similar update would roll out to the Android version of the app, which is still in beta version, this summer.
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