Becoming a new parent is a great time, but it can also be worrisome. More and more tech companies are aiming to reduce the anxiety of moms and dads.
When Stephen and Alexandra Gauer’s son Finley were born earlier this year, he looked like a normal healthy baby. But four weeks later he became ill.
“He was vomiting a lot,” says Gauer, 33, from Hertfordshire. “He couldn’t control anything.”
A family doctor determined that Finley was experiencing reflux disease and prescribed the drug to him as stomach acid traveled to his throat.
However, as the baby continued to vomit, his parents had to go back to the doctor and wait for the drug to work. But when his son’s condition worsened, Gauers took him to an accident and emergency (A & E) in the department of a local hospital.
“They did some tests and doctors said the GP was correct, regurgitation, but thought his ongoing illness could be a reaction to the first drug. “Gower says.
Still, with another drug, Finley continued to be ill and couldn’t control his food. So Gower called NHS 111, a non-urgent medical problem telephone helpline, and returned to his second A & E.
I was told that it would take three days for the new drug to start working. “But by this time, we could see our baby starving,” says recruitment consultant Gauer.
Desperately, Gower called a friend who was a nurse and she sent him a link to Juno, a paid app that connects parents directly to qualified pediatricians and midwives.
Through the live chat feature, Gower discussed Finley’s problems with a pediatrician who diagnosed his son with pyloric stenosis. Pyloric stenosis is a rare condition that narrows the opening of the stomach into the small intestine.
Armed with this knowledge, Gower took Finley back to a local hospital, where a blood test confirmed the diagnosis of pyloric stenosis. Finley was then transferred to a specialized hospital for successful emergency surgery.
Finley is currently healthy and gaining weight, but without Juno, “I don’t know if I’ll have a baby right now,” Gower said.
This is clearly an extreme example, but it shows how tech companies are helping new parents. As part of that, London-based Forward Clinical, the company behind Juno, said, “We never aim to replace NHS Care. [we] I fully agree that Juno should be a supplementary option for users. “
It is also important to emphasize that in an emergency, parents should always dial 999.
Dr. Shruti Jawahar Ganatra, Juno’s pediatrician and clinical leader, states that NHS doctors and midwives work in Juno only on holidays.
“I am an NHS clinician and I have a keen belief in the NHS,” she says. “Services like 111 are a great source of reliable information and guidance, but the NHS is under great pressure and it takes too long for parents and pregnant women to reach out to the experts they need when they need it. Often, Juno was designed to deal with this. “
Whether you have immediate access to professionals or are monitoring your baby through wearable technology, new parents are using the technology to help them in new chapters in life.
The sector is booming. The global baby monitor market, the largest baby technology segment alone, was estimated to be worth $ 899 million (£ 707 million) in 2020. Expected to grow to $ 1.8 billion by 2028, According to the same report.
Owlet Baby Care, a US company, manufactures a product called Smart Socks, a high-tech baby sock that connects to mobile phone apps. Designed for newborns up to 18 months old, it tracks your sleeping baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and reports problems. It also gives you insights into your baby’s sleep patterns, such as how well and how long your baby slept.
Seema Sehgal, UK Head of Owlet, said the device was designed to give parents peace and mind. ..
“Parents can then learn from it. It’s very useful when sleep is everywhere.”
Anak Martin, a 42-year-old product designer from Clare, Ireland, used an app called Lullaai to help his son Rio manage his sleep.
Lullaai tracks your baby’s sleep patterns and plays lullabies, natural sounds, and gentle “white noise” to calm your baby back to sleep. Created by a Spanish tech start-up, this app includes artificial intelligence software that tracks and remembers specific sounds that help each baby resettle and fall asleep faster.
“Our eldest son couldn’t sleep properly for three years,” says Martin. “We were exhausted for years. [Rio] Coming together, we learned our lessons.
“So when he was four months old and started waking up every 40 minutes, I started searching online. [for solutions] And I found Lullaai.
“It was emitting white sounds and music, so I leave the app [on a mobile phone] In the room. I didn’t really think about it, but within five days Rio slept for 12 hours. I couldn’t believe it. “
Martin says Rio has slept pretty well since then. “He loves the soundtrack and it was really relaxing and is now part of his routine.”
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For all the benefits of baby technology, child psychologist Dr. Amanda Gammer warns that there is a risk that they can create more anxiety than they alleviate.
“People didn’t have these generations before and were more relaxed,” she says. “Parents stabbed their elbows in the bath instead of using a bath thermometer to test if the bath was too hot.
“Such techniques should be used aggressively without succumbing to or relying on anxiety. The risk is that parents become overly sensitive and do not relax.
“For example, every time a baby makes a noise on a baby monitor, he sits and listens. Parents need to make sure it doesn’t replace their instincts.”
Sehgal said: “Please trust your instinct. [But] Like anywhere else in life, technology can really help you, reduce anxiety and make you feel more at ease. “