Best Digital Smart Scales for Pregnancy
Oh gosh, how many of you tracked your weight closely during pregnancy? I know I did! Especially for my first pregnancy, I was very meticulous in charting my weight gain daily and ensuring that I gained weight slowly as to minimize stretch marks. For those of you who didn’t and managed to gain the recommended weight, I applaud you. After morning sickness subsided, it was so tempting for all meals to eat for two… or three, or four, or five.
Did you know that there are smart scales out there that have pregnancy modes? What are they, and are they safe to use? Stephen from Pimp my Bathroom is here to help you determine what scale to use during pregnancy as well as address any concerns regarding smart scales.
Obsessing over your weight during (and after) pregnancy is a pretty common experience amongst pregnant women. And it’s tough. Trying to balance how you look and feel with your concerns about your baby’s health, all while trying to adhere to official weight gain guidelines can be really stressful. Monitoring your weight gain takes time, effort and the right tools to do it too.
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Smart digital weight scales are becoming very common these days especially with the trendy craze in activity trackers and fitness apps. While there are some smart scale models that even have specific pregnancy modes, there is some talk on the internet about some safety concerns with smart scales and pregnancy.
Are smart scales safe for pregnant women?
So there seems to be a discussion on the internet about smart scales potentially not being safe for pregnant women. To be clear, this is not about smart scales in general, but about digital scales that use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to measure body fat, total body water and other advanced metrics. BIA essentially sends a minor electrical current through your body to measure your total body water levels, which can inform about body fat levels. Because of the electrical current, it is advised against using these scales if you have a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator in your body. This has caused concern and raised questions whether this could have an adverse effect on the fetus too. There isn’t any scientific evidence to support this, however. There hasn’t been any research that has warned against using BIA during pregnancy and in fact, various research studies by the National Institutes for Health have actually used BIA in studies on pregnant women.
Digital scales using BIA already have accuracy issues as they are, and combine that with the dynamic physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, you simply cannot expect an accurate body fat reading from these scales when pregnant. And you don’t want to make ill-informed choices based on unreliable data.
Although there are no known health risks for using BIA when you are pregnant, as a precaution, most manufacturers of these scales have some sort of ‘warning’ that pregnant users should consult their physician before using a BIA scale. Or they simply advise not to use it because of inaccuracy during pregnancy. Now it might have something to do with our litigation-happy culture, but essentially they are saying better safe than sorry. Pregnancy is a time after all, for extra caution.
Digital scales with pregnancy mode
Now that we have discussed the issue of the safety of some smart scales, let’s look at some specific smart scale models that actually have ‘pregnancy modes’ designed specifically for pregnant women.
Nokia Health Smart Scales
Nokia is a well known and trusted maker of a wide range of different products, from phones and other mobile devices, and now also products like smart scales, after they acquired Withings in 2016. They make 3 digital scale models – Nokia Body, Nokia Body + and Nokia Cardio.Whenever you weigh yourself on a Nokia scale it sends data to the Health Mate app which now has a Pregnancy Tracker mode. The Pregnancy Tracker has the following features:
- It shows if you are within the healthy weight gain range
- Each week during pregnancy, you’ll get an overview of your progress, including total pregnancy weight gain and how it compares with recommendations.
- You get health-related, obstetrician-reviewed information relevant to the current week of pregnancy, as well as a special Weekly Report delivered right to your email.
Nokia smart scales also have a Baby mode, allowing parents to keep an accurate account of their child’s growth by simply stepping on the scale with the baby in their arms.
You can find out more about Nokia Health scales on the Nokia Health website.
The Qardiobase 2 is the next-generation smart scale and body analyzer from the company Qardio, who make various healthcare tracking products for users, patients, and healthcare professionals.
The Qardiobase 2 has a Pregnancy mode that tracks a user’s progress through each trimester with charts and a picture diary. You activate the Pregnancy mode within the Qardio app, where you mark your conception date and match the growing weight numbers to your expanding waistline. Pin pictures of your bump or your baby scans and track the exciting nine month journey on the app.
You can find out more about Qardiobase 2 on the Qardio website.
Other scale options
There are indeed lots of digital bathroom scales on the market, and while these 2 smart scales and their pregnancy modes are certainly impressive, and great for tracking and monitoring your weight gain, you don’t necessarily need fancy technology to track weight. Not everyone wants or needs a scale that syncs with MyFitnessPal, or a scale that is compatible with Samsung Health. What’s wrong with using an old-school mechanical scale and making a mental note of your weight?
I’ll end this post with a quote from Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, nutritionist and author of Feed the Belly: A Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide: “It’s important to keep track of your weight gain, but it shouldn’t be what you think about every waking moment. It’s also important to be happy and enjoy your pregnancy.”