For 27-year-old Kelly Densmore, the last month of pregnancy with her first child was filled with anxiety. She was never sure whether she was having a contraction or not, and once she ended up at the hospital thinking it was "time" when it really wasn't.
During her second pregnancy, she discovered a San Francisco-based start-up called Bloomlife, which was testing out its contraction-tracking device. She signed up to be a beta tester and used the product during her third trimester.
"It was so much better than my first pregnancy," Densmore said. "When I thought I was having a contraction, I didn't second guess myself and it saved me from going to the hospital when I didn't need to."
Bloomlife's wearable monitor is now available for rent, and will start shipping in February at $149 for a month. The device sticks onto the mother's belly and measures electrical signals from the uterus to help parents tell the difference between normal abdominal cramps and contractions. It records the duration and frequency of the contractions in an app to give parents a clinically proven second opinion about what they are feeling.