New technology from a Scandinavian diaper company allows fathers to connect with their unborn children in a brand new way.
The BabyBuzz, a ‘pregnancy bracelet’ created by Libero, is worn by both mom and dad. The woman’s bracelet has a button, while her partner’s is enabled with a buzzer.
When the child moves in utero, the woman pushes her button, and her partner’s bracelet vibrates in response. Craig Garfield, an associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said research supports the use of items that keep fathers involved.
“Fathers are more engaged and involved in their children and family’s lives than ever before,” Garfield said. “Research shows that children with involved fathers have cognitive, psychological and social benefits, and fathers enjoy the involvement. It is a win-win. And fathers are often the number one source of support for mothers during the pregnancy and beyond.”
The bracelets require an iPhone app connection via bluetooth. Users have the option of sending shorter or longer vibrations in order to reproduce the intensity or length of a movement.
Libero’s motivation for creating the bracelet was to “find a way to establish a relationship with expecting couples who are not interested in diapers yet,” according to marketing company Volontaire. The diaper company surveyed 4,000 Nordic parents and reported that a quarter of pregnant women felt alone during their pregnancy, while six out of ten said they were more involved in the pregnancy than their partners.
“It is important to remember that from the moment a woman knows she is pregnant ,she and her partner are dreaming of that baby. They talk about it, they think about it, they try and anticipate that baby coming,” Garfield said. “So a device like this can help fathers get on board earlier. Woman have an obvious outward change in their bodies; men not so much. So a buzz like this can literally create buzz about their expected baby.”
The bracelets rely on the mother to report the movements to the father as they happen. Movements on average in the third trimester would equate to an electronic communication every 12 minutes.
Libero released a documentary that followed three couples who tested the bracelets.
“As a man, you feel helpless in the situation, because there’s nothing you can do. Sure I can reassure her, talk to her, maybe bring her a warm blanket or something,” one father said. “But there’s something special about that vibration.”
Libero isn’t selling the pregnancy bracelets just yet, but is instead loaning them out to expecting parents who sign up for the free program. The parents then return the bracelets after the birth.
“If I can feel my wristband vibrating, it feels like I own the situation,” another father said about the bracelet. “You start imagining. You haven’t been kept out by her describing it. And that this is mine. My kick. Completely.”