9 Pregnancy Gadgets

From the practical to the peculiar, here's a list of gadgets that may help you through the next nine months, or at least help make your pregnancy even more interesting.

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BabyDaze

Courtesy of Baby Daze

BabyDaze

Pregnancy often causes some sleepless nights, and not only because sleeping for some is just downright uncomfortable. Sometimes the lack of zzz's is a result of anxiety about the next day's to-do list, a baby's room that's not complete, or questions for the doctor that pop into your sleepy head. BabyDaze has a lighted pen and log book for expectant, or new, sleep-deprived moms, allowing them to write down anything that's lingering in their minds in the middle of the night, without waking anyone else in the room. The eight-section organizer has pertinent sections with worksheets. So, instead of lying awake thinking all night, knowing you'll forget it all in the morning, you can jot it down and get some much-needed rest.

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Bellybuds

Courtesy of Bellybuds

Bellybuds

Why should you have all the fun rocking out to your favorite tunes? Why not share the music or other soothing sounds with your baby? Studies have shown that babies can remember music that was played to them in the womb for up to a year after birth, and that was the motivating force behind Bellybuds. The inventor designed these pregnancy headphones for his wife to use with their first child. Bellybuds, which are compatible with an iPod and other music players, have adhesive rings that stick to the belly, a splitter that connects mom to the same music, and a "fixed-safe" maximum volume that doesn't blast the baby. They also fit comfortably under clothing. So from Mozart to M?tley Cr?e, you and your baby can share a dance.

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kickTrak

Courtesy of Baby Kick

kickTrak

There are a number of ways to monitor your baby's well-being during pregnancy without the help of a doctor, and counting their kicks and movements is one that's recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Some women choose to do this on their own, but the gadget-lovers out there can use the kickTrack, a device that counts and times movements, and keeps a log. It also serves as a pregnancy counter for the last 99 days, and can be used to time contractions when labor begins.

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Elle Tens Machine

Courtesy of Baby Cartens

Elle Tens Machine

Looking for ways to eliminate or reduce pain during labor? Who isn't?! The Elle Tens Machine, used frequently in the U.K., claims to be your answer. Its electrode pads are strapped on to your back and connected to a device about the size of a television remote. When contractions strike, you push a button that delivers small electrical pulses, said to stimulate the muscles and nerves, combating the back pain associated with labor. The key here is to practice with settings ahead of time to ensure the proper zap, and to discuss this gadget with your doctor before you purchase or rent one. Many positive online reviews indicate that, if nothing else, the small vibrations can serve as a stimulating focal point during labor.

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Digi Time Capsule

Courtesy of Digi Time Capsule

Digi Time Capsule

Most of us intend to create a comprehensive baby book for our children, yet years later we find the dust-covered relic still empty. But the Digi Time Capsule -- serving as a keepsake, digital baby book, and a pretty decent-looking necklace to boot -- makes the process relatively simple. Use this silver and diamond-covered heart-shaped USB pen/necklace to document your pregnancy and your child's life (up to age five) online through journal entries, photos, and videos. The heart pendant opens up to reveal the USB port that, when plugged into your computer, automatically accesses the time capsule software. After documenting memories in mere moments, you can keep them nicely tucked away around your neck or sitting by your computer for future use. And the necklace serves as a great keepsake to be passed on to your child later on in life.

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Big Day Books Digital Baby Book

Courtesy of Big Day Books Digital Baby Book

Big Day Books Digital Baby Book

If the USB necklace route doesn't sound quite right for you, here's another take on a digital baby book. After you receive a hard-covered baby book with your choice of cover patterns, you create the inside pages using an online account. Guided by practical questions that pertain to pregnancy and early childhood milestones, you can fill in the pages online, include digital photos, and even receive email reminders to fill in certain pages as your baby grows. Print pages out as you go, and insert them into the book. Voil?! Your baby book is complete.

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The Pinard Stethoscope

The Pinard Stethoscope

This little trumpet-shaped device, also known as the acoustic stethoscope, has traditionally been used by midwives to listen to a baby's heartbeat; its good acoustics come from its shape. It may take a little time to detect the fetal heart rate, and to differentiate it from yours, but once you find it, it's fun to listen to. The Pinard stethoscope isn't a fancy-schmancy electronic device, but this handy and inexpensive gadget may give you and your partner some listening entertainment and relief during the nine months ahead.

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Hi Bebe Sound Fetal Doppler

Courtesy of Health Check Systems

Hi Bebe Sound Fetal Doppler

When you're pregnant, it can be hard to wait a whole month between doctor visits to get a read on the baby's heart rate. A more high-tech listening device than the old stethoscope, the Hi Bebe BT200 is an FDA-approved gadget that serves as a hand-held Doppler fetal heart rate monitor. The machine, used from 10 to 12 weeks into pregnancy, allows you to hear the heartbeat and displays the rate on an LCD screen. Not only can you listen to the beats in the comfort of your home, but you can also play a fetal heart-rate concert for friends and family from afar.

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Bio Bands

Courtesy of Bio Bands

Bio Bands

Having trouble keeping breakfast down (or eating at all) during the early stages of pregnancy? Up to 80 percent of pregnant women suffer from some form of morning sickness, ranging from nausea only to lunch-losing moments throughout the day. The Bio Band is a drug- and chemical-free wristband that uses pressure points (acupressure) on the wrist that are said to relieve nausea. Studies have shown that these types of motion sickness gadgets can be effective, and for those who are really suffering, the inexpensive Bio Bands are probably worth a try.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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