High-tech pregnancy used to mean hooking a pair of monstrously huge headphones into your phonograph and placing them over your belly, exposing your child to the likes of John Denver and Cat Stevens (thanks, Mom).
These days, it’s sooooo much more than that. Between online calculators, in-utero learning, and even ovulation microscopes (what’s next, Fetus’ First Chemistry Set?), your kid will pop out, laptop in hand, completing her admissions essay for Duke.
I scoured the world Internet for the coolest gadgets out there. And, oh, if you think these are something -- just wait until you start looking into all the new products available to you once the baby actually gets here. (Cry-analyzing baby monitor, anyone?)
Here are just a few of the uber-cool techie products I found for those TTC or moms-to-be:
Maybe Mom Mini Ovulation Microscope -- Now you can start with the gizmos before you're even pregnant! Most ovulation calculators depend on your basal body temp, cervical mucous measurements, or just plain old calendar keeping. The ovulation microscope looks at salt crystals in your saliva. Yep. Your spit can tell you that it’s time to get busy getting busy. As you move through your cycle, your saliva changes. The microscope looks at the salt crystals formed when your saliva dries -- as the crystals become more fern shaped, you're closer to ovulating. (Note: The website states that it's not currently taking orders for the product, so check with your doctor or email them for more information.)
MicroSort -- This one borders on creepy-eugenics craziness, but some couples who are trying to conceive are a little more interested in “balancing” their family than just conceiving -- meaning, they want to pick the sex of their baby. This definitely isn’t an at-home technology -- you would travel to the Genetics & IVF Institute in Virginia, where they can sort sperm into those carrying XX or XY chromosomes, and then inseminate.
The Visual MD -- There's pregnancy calendars and then there's pregnancy calendars. Visual MD falls into the latter category. Like other week-by-week calendars, VisualMD provides you with basic information about how your baby is developing each week. But it also provides absolutely stunning graphics and animations, showing not only the developing fetus, but its position in your body and incredible details of the organs, skeleton, and body as it changes each week.
KickTrak -- One thing every new mom is taught is to count kicks. Tracking your baby’s kicking is vital for not only learning her patterns, but knowing when something is going wrong. Any significant change in her activity level could indicate that something is amiss, and that early warning sign could save her life. KickTrak is a tool for not just counting kicks, but for recording patterns in kicking over a period of up to 10 days. No more hash marks on paper!
BabyPlus Prenatal Education System -- Want to give birth to the next Thomas Edison? BabyPlus thinks it can help you do just that. Using simple rhythmic sounds, BabyPlus teaches developing babies to start recognizing patterns and sounds differing from your heartbeat. This is the beginning of learning. BabyPlus states that babies who begin learning in the womb are better self-soothers, experience earlier developmental milestones, and even demonstrate greater curiosity and independence.
iPregnancy -- Of course. You didn’t think we could make it through a list of tech products without an iPhone app, did you? This application -- available for iPhone or iPod touch -- allows you to do some fun things, like picking your own background color and keep track of potential baby names. But it also tracks your pregnancy, like many of the online pregnancy calculators. As you progress, you can add information, photos, charts, and even journal entries. There are tons of other features as well, which is probably why this was named the Best Pregnancy Planner back in 2009.
Do you or would you use any of these gadgets?