Here comes baby

A new device which predicts the onset of labour has been developed and trialled at the University of Leeds.


The invention measures electrical signals in the womb to determine the date of childbirth up to two weeks in advance.


‘Mothers-to-be may soon have an accurate warning of exactly when they are going into labour. Knowing when the event is about to happen will allow women to have greater awareness in the time leading up to labour, enabling timely decisions regarding work and family life. We are very excited about bringing this work closer to reality,’ said Dr Nigel Simpson, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.


Researchers at the University spin off company IVMD claim it will save the NHS millions because it will prevent mothers falsely being admitted to hospital because they believe they are in labour.


 It works through small patches which are attached to the woman’s abdomen to measure the intensity and frequency of signals in her womb wall. Computer equipment then analyses the data, allowing scientists to predict a birth date.


IVMD is hoping to attract financial backing to help them develop a hand-held device for women to use and investigate whether the device is commercially viable.