When my Co-Founder and I started Bellabeat, we were motivated by a vision of providing women around the globe with easy-to-use and beautiful tools to track their lifestyle and health. Tools that were not simply a gimmick to sell to women. The goal has consistently been to bring visibility in measuring all aspects of a woman’s health in every stage of life for her. From menstrual cycle, to fertility planning, all the way through to post-menopause. Over the years, Bellabeat has grown tenfold, allowing us to offer in-app coaching and tracking devices to better serve women and their wellness goals. Our tools allow women to monitor their health in a holistic way that is uniquely adjusted to women’s bodies through various algorithms and predictions regarding menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
Little did I know after we released The Bellabeat Ivy in 2019, that sooner than later, I would end up using my own tools to recognize and then monitor my own pregnancy. My health data is actually what helped me realize I was pregnant, even before taking a test. My very own wellness app continued to show me that I needed to rest more and that my readiness score was consistently lowered. Meaning that it was time to kick my feet up and watch some bad reality TV to recharge. However, I had never seen my readiness score drop for so many days in a row and it immediately raised all alarms. I felt ready to go as always, however, my own creation was telling me to take it a bit easier. My period did not come as predicted following the trail of readiness alerts. I’ve always logged sexual intercourse around previous ovulation as we encourage all of our users to do when tracking their menstrual cycles, so I caught on quite quickly as to what might be happening to my body.
We brought the Bellabeat Ivy to market as a gorgeous bracelet that monitors and tracks a woman’s daily routine and her body’s bio-responses and correlates the data with her menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and other health data points such as symptoms or moods. It is the only tracker with adjusted pregnancy mode and full week-by-week pregnancy tracking. The elegant smart bracelet has a strong focus on cycle & fertility tracking, pregnancy tracking as well as postnatal symptoms. It tracks heart rate, your daily readiness score, a daily wellness score, menstrual cycle, week-by-week pregnancy, sleep, and more.
I’d been using our products long before I discovered my pregnancy, finding them especially useful in health monitoring as I have an autoimmune condition that requires a consistent, steady balance of proper nutrition and fitness in my daily life. All of these can be challenging between family, working to expand Bellabeat through the day-to-day operations, ensuring that I have a healthy work-life balance socially with friends, and so much more. It’s so easy to plan and understand your body and health when you have access to so much of your own data and a system that allows you to tap into it.
Technology can be a great support in combining all of these efforts, first in tracking and then in providing accurate guidance on how to change up some of our life habits based on data. In my case it allowed me to instantly tackle pregnancy alongside my autoimmune disease and immediately dive into prenatal care with my OBGYN.
The Bellabeat Ivy, my business baby, became a lifeline throughout the ups and downs of each trimester for my first-ever real baby. The Ivy offered a unique insight into my pregnancy as it progressed. It helped me to slow down and adjust to and develop a new routine that was very different from before. My readiness score not only dropped to signal me early on, but I also saw a tremendous drop in the score as I entered the second trimester. I am a go-getter, and normally push through what I’m feeling. However, that type of mindset can be dangerous while pregnant. Seeing the data on how my body was actually responding to my developing baby and the feeling that came with knowing what we both needed on a day-to-day basis was incredible. For me, the entire experience served as a humble reminder to always listen to my body. My own device’s week-by-week pregnancy tracking helped me keep not just a general overview of my body’s changes but also helped me build a new routine through the personalized insights and coaching that my team and I have built over the years. I was giddy with excitement to use all of it.
As I entered my third trimester, I relied on my readiness data so much that I easily realized that something was wrong right before I was hospitalized for bleeding at thirty-two weeks. I saw an alarming drop in both my readiness and wellness score data a few days prior. Though I was concerned, I also felt a sense of peace and preparedness to act quickly if needed. I called my OBGYN and presented what my Bellabeat device and mobile app were showing in conjunction with the symptoms that I had been tracking within the app. Thankfully, the baby and I ended up being just fine and I do credit it to having that information daily right at my fingertips. It allowed me to feel a sense of control during a period where that’s close to impossible!
I am so proud of how far our Bellabeat brand has come and overjoyed to have experienced even more of the power of our health and pregnancy tracking for women firsthand. It is a surreal feeling to know that millions of women that are using our devices and mobile apps may be going through the exact same experiences I did or that we may be the extra level of protection by informed data that they need during such a milestone in their lives. We wanted to design a device for generations and at the time I did not realize it was for the next generation of my family as well.
Algorithms for even basic things such as activity tracking to more complicated predictions such as readiness estimation and stress sensitivity would have to adjust for the difference between a man’s and a woman’s body. It gives me joy to know Bellabeat is continually solving this challenge as we become bigger and better. Not only am I finally able to monitor my health in a non-overwhelming way, but I’m able to offer this same support to millions of women around the world.
We always say that Bellabeat is made specifically for women. In my case, I had a beautiful bouncing baby boy and my Bellabeat contributed to him being here happy and healthy. I now say that the Bellabeat is made for women and anyone they choose to bring into this world through them.