Be a part of something that could revolutionize the way we think about labor and birth.
By the end of pregnancy, many of us accept the fact that the exact timing of labor and birth is unpredictable. We look for signs, symptoms, any clue that our body is preparing and the big day is imminent. And while these signs, symptoms and clues do exist, the actual, pinpointed day that baby will arrive remains a big giant question mark. We’re ticking time bombs without a timer. But does it have to be this way?
Is there a way to predict the unpredictable?
by the end of pregnancy, we feel like ticking time bombs without a timer. But does it have to be this way?
How can we better predict labor and birth?
At Bloomlife, we know that changes in a woman’s physiology as her body prepares for labor and birth do exist. In fact, we have good evidence that the parameters we track and measure with our sensor will eventually be useful for predicting birth, both term and preterm. This research takes time of course. And while our research team is hard at work on the big picture, we were wondering… Can one small piece of the puzzle be answered today?
Enter, the nocturnal surge.
Is there a nocturnal surge in contraction frequency in the weeks leading up to labor?
Several years ago, a team of researchers found that for women who delivered at term (37+ weeks), contraction frequency between 4-7am progressively increased in the last 80 days of pregnancy leading up to labor. They coined the term nocturnal surge to describe the phenomenon. But here’s the problem – this study was tiny, and, pretty limited (as are most contraction studies and pregnancy studies in general, but don’t get me started). So we lack true, solid evidence to say the nocturnal surge does or does not exist as a predictor of labor.
Is the nocturnal surge actually a thing?
Let’s find out!
As a physiologist, I know that the very concept of a “nocturnal surge” in contraction frequency leading up to labor makes total sense. The body is preparing to labor at night. During this prep work, the uterine muscle responds more and more to oxytocin’s partner in crime, melatonin. Melatonin increases during the “dark hours” of the day. Therefore a spike in contraction frequency during these last hours of night, seems to me like the body revving up the engine.
Let’s be scientists!
Is the nocturnal surge actually a thing? Let’s find out!
I’m assembling a “Nocturnal Surge Club” – a group of women who are curious and want to be a part of science in action. You’ll keep tabs on your own overnight contraction patterns to see if you can spot the changes. And we’ll work closely with our data science team to see if our patterns (with their power combined!) can shed light on this mystery.