Isn’t technology just incredible? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said “how did our mothers cope without….”, from iPads (yep, guilty!) to baby monitors (an essential) and advances in medical knowledge and machines which check our unborn babies are doing all right in our expanding tums.
What if technology stretched further than just monitoring us and our bumps at antenatal appointments, during labour and birth and actually monitored our blood pressure, temperature and heart rate through our maternity clothing? Well, a fashion student in New York has designed a capsule collection of maternity wear complete with wires within the fabric to do just that.
Silver fibres woven into the fabric of the clothing measure the wearer’s stats and a small device on the belt then sends the data to an app which can alert them if there are any changes which could signify a problem for them or the baby. Not too long ago this would have seemed like some kind of science fiction; Call the Midwife meets Doctor Who perhaps.
There’s certainly more to this innovation than just a stylish new maternity wear collection, which let’s be honest is much more readily available nowadays than even 5 years ago let alone a generation ago.
It’s fair to say that we certainly have it much easier than previous generations but does more technology in terms of baby monitoring just make us, well, a bit neurotic?!
Despite a problem-free and if I’m honest, really rather enjoyable pregnancy and birth first time around I was definitely more anxious the second time. I didn’t however buy an at-home heart rate monitor for my growing baby – like others I know – despite my anxieties (and a few medical issues) because I know that I would have obsessed about it, testing far too frequently just to make sure and panicking at the first sign of not being able to find what I was expecting to hear. I’m not a medical professional and even my basic first aid skills probably leave something to be desired so why give myself the tools and no knowledge?
What do you think? Given the option would you have worn clothing which enabled you to monitor your health which in turn could lead to signs about the health of your baby? Or would you, like me, just fret at the first sign of anything not quite right and end up more stressed as a result?
Perhaps this is the perfect innovation for regular wireless monitoring of higher risk pregnancies, allowing mothers to spend more time at home and less back and forth to clinics and hospitals for check ups – I’m not a midwife though so don’t quote me on that! But from a style point of view, it wouldn’t do any harm to bring elements of this into the hospital, right?! Don’t get me started on NHS gowns and multiple wires…
I’d love to hear your thoughts below.