PreVue Pregnancy Belt Offers an Inside Look at the Womb

Did you ever wish you had a “reassurance window” during pregnancy to see what was really happening to your baby in the womb? University of New South Wales design student Melody Shlue created a concept to offer just that. Her PreVue Fetal Visualization Device is an e-textile based apparatus that uses 4D ultrasound to provide an X-ray vision of sorts to pregnant women, their partners, and well, any passersby. Women would wear the belt around their pregnant bellies and a screen on the front showcases Baby’s latest fetal tricks whether he’s yawning, sucking his thumb, doing flips or just plain taking a snooze. Read on to learn more about this pregnancy gadget concept.

If available, would you use a device like the PreVue?

  • 1,145 Votes Yes
  • 545 Votes No
  • 103 Votes Not sure

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The PreVue Fetal Visualization Device, which was shortlisted for the Australian James Dyson Award, achieves the rounded belly-shaped screen thanks to the latest stretchable display technology. Shlue was inspired to create this design concept in part due to the fact that Australian research indicates that pregnant women sense less than a third of fetal activity, and some moms begin to worry when they don’t feel their baby moving between trips to the doctor. This device would provide on the spot assurance for those stressful moments, so the mom-to-be can see for herself that her unborn baby is behaving normally. Though, some moms may still wonder if what they see on the screen is normal or not.

Another nice plus for the PreVue is that the dad-to-be can take a more active role in the pregnancy. Even though he can’t feel the baby, with this gadget, he could see the baby and it could help the future father bond with baby-to-be more. Shlue says that it also establishes early maternal bonding, which can help keep mothers in a positive state of mind for a healthy delivery. She sites research that moms who sing a song repeatedly through pregnancy can use that same song later to soothe their crying baby. Babies start to hear and recognize their mother’s voice during week 12 of pregnancy and by being able to see what’s going on inside your belly, you can observe the reactions, reflexes and expressions that arise after singing, talking or even tapping on your belly.

But Is it Safe?

We’d love to see what a baby’s kick was like live on the PreVue screen, and surely the opportunity to see fetal development as it happens would be beyond amazing, but what about the safety of so many unnecessary ultrasounds? Even though the routine ultrasounds that are a part of every healthy pregnancy have never been found to be harmful, the FDA and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine discourage non-medical ultrasound use for entertainment or other purposes. Ultimately, we bet safety concerns would one reason this device is held back from becoming reality.

UPDATE: In response to safety concerns, Shlue says, “In compliance with ultrasonic regulations outlined by the British Medical Ultrasound Society, I have proposed limitations on the usage of my device to a fixed frequency (10 MHz), maximum scanning time (20 minutes every 24 hours), and that a countdown time be apparent on screen with friendly notifications not ‘warnings’.” Also, during her research for the project, Shlue interviewed mothers about their interests. Moms said they would most likely use the device with a time frame of 5 to 10 minutes (preferably before bedtime, which is also when the most fetal activity occurs) just to check in on their baby.

+ PreVue Fetal Visualization Device

+ Melody Shlue

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11 Responses to “PreVue Pregnancy Belt Offers an Inside Look at the Womb”

  1. kmsiever says:

    This is ridiculous. Dangerous and unnecessary. It is not safe to let a baby be exposed to constant ultrasound and seriously…any mother who thinks she needs this for reassurance needs to have some therapy.

  2. vcfmama says:

    But ultrasound has never been PROVEN safe, either! OMG. There is a scientific video that was done way back in the 1970′s that shows ultrasound waves pointing at the ovaries of a baby girl in the womb. The cells in that not-yet-born baby’s ovaries actually CHANGED SHAPE when the u/s was pointed at them! Please check out this page on Facebook “Doppler Danger.” There is so much harm that can be done from ultrasound, just what harm can this devise cause? There was a study of early ultrasounds that had to be discontinued because there were so many miscarriages that happened following the ultrasounds that they didn’t want to chance actually causing miscarriages. I am amazed. This is not a good thing.

  3. jbstorment says:

    I can see the appeal behind this. I mean, we are a society obsessed with the safety and wellbeing of our children, realizing that they are our most precious assets, so I can guarantee that all moms would love to takea little peak at the little one to see how/what they are doing; Here is where it is flawed. Until peer-reviewed longitudinal studies are released definitively proving that ultrasound rays are harmless to babies, we may actually be doing our precious little babies who we loved prior to even meeting a major health disservice. This is a TERRIBLE idea. Ultrasound, if absolutely necessary, needs to be conducted by well-trained professionals who know precisely what they’re doing, NOT by eager spectators who want to show off their fetus to passersby.

  4. missy2142005 says:

    OMG this is awesome! I want one now. I am pregnant and would absolutely love this. Not for a health factor, but because I think it would help me bond with my soon to be baby. Women STOP worrying so much. We’ve been having babies for hundreds of thousands of years, in caves, eating dirt. I think the baby will be fine.

  5. kmsiever says:

    You have got to be joking. Seeing your baby whenever you want does not help you bond, Having birthed 4 babies 3 of them without EVER having had an ultrasound I can promise you that bonding was not at all a problem. And exposing your unborn baby to this much ultrasonic waves on a daily and sometimes hourly basis is not safe. They have already shown through studies that over exposure to ultrasound can be detrimental. Anyone who has worked with ultrasound knows that being exposed to it in a fluid environment actually can cause pain, so an unborn baby is immune to this?? I think not. For your own convenience, don’t, without research, disregard the wellbeing and safety of your child. Ultrasonic waves are not dirt.

  6. proudmama9410 says:

    @ Kmsiever If u read it it says that the longest u would be able to wear it is 20-25 mins in a 24 hour period so u cant wear it for hours ata time anytime during the day, and besides this isnt something u do every day. I would love to get one of these if I got pregnant again, I had ultrasounds done when i was pregnant with my son and hes a amazing little boy nothing wrong!! I wouldnt do it everyday but maybe 1-2 times every so many months.. Its all on how people use it. and missy is right women have been having babies for hundreds of thousands of years and being worse of then just having some ultrasound done..

  7. kmsiever says:

    It doesn’t matter, any amount of time is still exposing your baby to unnecessary sound waves that have been shown to cause problems and cell damage. However, I am currently pregnant with my 5th baby, and though I think ultrasound is beneficial when used for a real need, it was not designed to be used for routine use. The inventor of ultrasound has stated as much and is alarmed by the overuse of it.

    I am quite happily able to bond with my babies without having to ‘see’ them in utero every other day or what have you. It is still important to do the research.

    I am not saying that every time ultrasound is done it causes problems, but it’s important to do proper research and not over use it. Ultrasound hasn’t been around long enough to measure all the long term problems. It took them 30 years to figure out DES was causing infertility in the babies whose mothers took it.

  8. kmsiever says:

    I read it and it doesn’t change my opinion. Currently pregnant with my fifth, I still wouldn’t use it. The inventor of ultrasound is actually against the routine use of ultrasound in pregnancy. I didn’t say it always causes problems but it can, knowing what ultrasound does. It still shouldn’t be used blithely just to ‘see’ baby. I still caution research and care. It took them 30 years to find out that DES was causing infertility in the children of mothers who took it. Ultrasound hasn’t been around long enough or in routine enough use for long enough to really know the long term consequences. Either way, just because it looks great doesn’t mean that it is.

    Ultrasound hasn’t been in use for hundreds of thousands of years. Yes, women have been having babies since time began, but not with all the interventions and technologies that not only don’t improve the outcome, but sometimes cause more problems than solutions. The research has proved time and time again that only two things actually improve the outcome of a birth and pregnancy and that is nutrition and support. Other things can be necessary, but they are not always safe, and not always necessary.

    Thanks, I will stick to the old fashioned bonding method.

  9. caley83 says:

    kmsiever you need to stop being so judgmental towards people. Just because others are more open minded than you are. Deal with it. You will NEVER make the entire world think or have the same morals/values as you. So quit while you’re ahead. You will only wear yourself out. I feel sorry for your kids.

  10. Zobeyda says:

    How much dose it cost and where do I buy iy

  11. FetalSonoSafety says:

    Hi, I am an ultrasound researcher and I am very concerned that this device will cause damage to a developing fetus. The WHO themselves claim that ultrasound can cause brain damage, and the FDA warns against unnecessary ultrasound exposure like this device. There are numerous animal model studies that show ultrasound does have adverse side effects.

    You can check out my YouTube series on this topic here for a review of peer-reviewed research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuxu3pc3f7k

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