Garmin is adding pregnancy tracking to its Garmin Connect app and a number of its sports devices and smartwatches.
While women’s health features were ignored by fitness trackers and watch makers for a long time, menstrual cycle tracking has become a standard feature, found on Fitbit fitness trackers, Apple Watch Series 6 and Garmin devices.
But this new upgrade allows women to continue to monitor their reproductive health throughout pregnancy.
Garmin users will be able to find the new features under Health Stats in Garmin Connect, where it’s grouped with Menstrual Cycle – simply choose “Pregnant” from the cycle types (joining “Regular”, “Irregular” and “No Period”).
Once set up, users will be able to log pregnancy symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue and headaches, and baby movements such as kicks or hiccups. They can also get a summary of this data for easy sharing at medical check-ups.
Connect will offer exercise and nutrition tips as well as customized reminders for things such as drinking water and Kegel exercises, and inform parents of their baby’s current size based on the entered due date.
There’s also a Contraction Timer app which can be used to input the duration and frequency of contractions during labor.
For women with a Vivomove hybrid smartwatch, pregnancy tracking can be accessed through the Women’s Health Tracking widget.
One feature that will be welcomed by women who have used Garmin’s fitness training programs pre-pregnancy is the ability to pause training status for the duration of the pregnancy, so you won’t get constant implications that you’re slacking or failing in your training as your body changes.
Resting heart rate increases significantly during pregnancy as the amount of blood being pumped by the heart rises, so this will avoid that being seen as a decrease in fitness.
The app also offers high heart-rate alerts so users can monitor the rate and discuss changes with their doctor if they feel concerned.
Tech companies have been criticized in the past for mostly-male development teams that have ignoring female biology, and Garmin is keen to stress that this new feature has been created “for women by women”.
Susan Lyman, Garmin vice president of global consumer marketing, says, “The positive feedback we received when we launched menstrual cycle tracking was a clear indication that our female customers are looking for more opportunities to use technology to improve their health and fitness.
“It’s our hope that this pregnancy tracking feature helps women make sense of how their pregnancy ties into their active lifestyles and overall wellbeing.”