A pregnant woman sits on a bed and holds a smartphone in her hand. A picture of her baby and baby shoes sits on the bed next to her.
Smartphone apps are just one area where technology has profoundly impacted new mamahood. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

From 1,000 years ago to today, the essential experience of having a baby has remained the same.

The intimate, incredible bond between a mom and her growing baby, for instance, has been programmed from Day 1.

And the birthing process itself will always be a special process, no matter how much easier it gets with advancements in technology and medicine from year to year.

Still, we can’t discount the amazing role that science and medicine have played in bettering the birth environment for expectant moms.

In birthing rooms, we have relied on nitrous oxide, tubs, aromatherapy, HypnoBirthing and more.

Other things continue to change, too, particularly all the “extras” for baby.

A few quick examples you’ve probably heard of: mamaRoos and SleepSacks.

The mamaRoo is a sort of infant seat that bounces up and down and sways side to side, mimicking a parent’s soothing motion.

The manufacturer has said that, during the design phase, they placed sensor vests on parents to understand their motions. They then replicated those bouncing and swaying motions in the mamaRoo, aiming to soothe better than traditional infant seats.

The mamaRoo has five motion stages, as well as music and other features. It’s an interesting concept.

SleepSacks, meanwhile, are widely used as a safe alternative to blankets to keep infants warm and snuggly. These have been around for a few years. (I’ve written about them previously.)

Many Spectrum Health hospitals give out Halo SleepSacks when moms and infants return home.

Another new product out by Halo is the SwaddleSure Adjustable Swaddling Pouch. It’s a zipper-less sleep sack designed to offer easy access for diaper changes. It also has a leg pouch that helps keep baby’s legs and hips in a good position.

I love learning about these types of new options available to today’s parents.

I often hear about these things in our Preparation for Childbirth class, where soon-to-be parents mention the new products and services they’ve learned about.

I was recently introduced to a new breast pump, which I think is super cool.

The Willow breast pump is a cordless, compact, quiet, tubeless breast pump that fits right in your bra while you pump. It’s really an all-in-one pump that moms can use anywhere.

The ads show pictures of moms pumping at the dinner table, at the park, even while taking a walk with the baby.

The pump comes with 24, 4-ounce bags and various other pieces. The reviews indicate it is a quiet pump.

A smartphone app associated with the Willow pump provides data on the amount of milk, the time spent pumping and even a history of mom’s pumping activity.

It also has different pumping phases, including the initial let down of mom’s milk. The service includes one-on-one help with a Willow coach. At this time, it appears it only hooks up to Apple products.

The bad news: At nearly $500, this pump is pricey, although I did notice that FSA and HSA cards are accepted.

It’s such a great product to have, freeing moms from worrying about things like finding an electrical outlet if they want to pump milk.

Another cute product I heard about is the Wubbanup. This is a cute animal attached to the pacifier so the pacifier stays in the baby’s mouth.

Pacifiers are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians, but I would still encourage you to check with your pediatrician.

Pumpndo is a another great breastfeeding product for hands-free pumping. This was designed and produced by a local mom here in Michigan. It works with any nursing bra and pump.