For women who are considering the home-birth route, or for those who simply want to track their baby’s in0vitro progress a little more closely, there is now the Bellabeat. Bellabeat is a fetal heart monitor which is plugged into a smart phone’s headphone jack, allowing mothers to hear their child’s heartbeat outside of the doctor’s office. The Bellabeat, which retails for $129 and comes with an accompanying app for iOS and Android, allows mothers to keep track of their baby’s progress, keep track of doctor’s appointments and milestones, and share their readings with other expectant mothers, as well as friends and family.
While the app offers women greater autonomy over their pregnancy, doctors caution that the Bellabeat should not be a replacement for doctor’s visits. With a tool such as this, it may at times be difficult to distinguish the sounds of the mother’s own heartbeat and blood flow from that of the baby’s. However, the Bellabeat in conjunction with regular doctor’s visits could be useful in helping women have healthier pregnancies.