Title:
Breastfeeding indicator bracelet with time indicator and method of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible nursing reminder bracelet fabricated from an elastomeric compound is reversible to indicate right and left and includes at least one movable time marker to indicate either total daily nursing time, finish time of the last nursing session, or start time of the next nursing session. One side of the bracelet is marked “RIGHT”; the other side, “LEFT”. If the outside indicates “RIGHT”, the indication can be changed to “LEFT” simply by flipping the bracelet inside-out. It can be returned to indicate “RIGHT” by flipping it again. The right and left indicators on the bracelet remind a nursing mother of which breast to use when initiating a feeding session. The flippable nature of the bracelet allows the nursing mother to keep track of this information on a single wrist. The flippable nursing reminder bracelet also has time indicators that can be read from either side.



Inventors:
Pierce, Jeanette C. (Lehi, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/343981
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
01/31/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D20/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MILLER, WILLIAM L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Angus C. Fox, III (4093 N. Imperial Way, Provo, UT, 84604-5386, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A breastfeeding indicator bracelet comprising a band having outer and inner major surfaces, said band being reversible by lifting an edge thereof and circumferentially rolling it so that said outer major cylindrical surface becomes the inner and said inner becomes the outer, one of said major surfaces being identifiable with the right breast, the other major surface being identifiable with the left breast.

2. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 1, wherein said band is annular, and is fabricated from at least one elastomeric compound selected from the group consisting of silicone rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene, polychloroprene butyl rubber, natural rubber, and partially vulcanized natural rubber.

3. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 2, which further comprises a time indicator which spans at least a portion of the circumference of said band, said time indicator being readable when either major cylindrical surface is exposed.

4. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 3, wherein said time indicator comprises: first and second parallel curvilinear rows of generally evenly-spaced apertures, said first row indicating multiple portions of an hour, said second row indicating multiple hours; and a first movable plug which can be inserted within a single aperture of said first row to indicate a selected portion of an hour; and a second movable plug which can be inserted within a single aperture of said second row to indicate a selected number of hours.

5. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 4, wherein each plug is dumbbell shaped.

6. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 3, wherein said time indicator comprises: a plurality of evenly-spaced and aligned hour markings on both major cylindrical surfaces and a plurality of partial-hour markings between the hour markings; and a cursor circumferentially slidable about the band, said cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a time of day, a count, or a total accrued time.

7. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 3, wherein said time indicator comprises: first and second parallel circumferential rows of evenly-spaced markers, said first row of markers indicating multiple portions of an hour, said second row of markers indicating multiple hours; and a first cursor circumferentially slidable about said band, said first cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a selected portion of an hour; and a second cursor circumferentially slidable about said band, said second cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a selected number of hours.

8. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 1, wherein said band is fabricated from overlapping metal links, each of which is formed from sheet metal that is crimped around a leaf spring and interconnected at both ends to adjacent links via a pair of linkage elements, each of which is biased against the leaf spring of each of the links which it interconnects.

9. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 8, wherein said band has first and second ends, each of which is pivotally attached to opposite ends of a resettable timer incorporating at least a stop watch function for recording a total of nursing times during a particular day.

10. A breastfeeding indicator bracelet comprising: an annular band having outer and inner major surfaces, said band being reversible by lifting an edge thereof and circumferentially rolling it so that said outer major surface becomes the inner and said inner becomes the outer, one of said major surfaces being marked to indicate the right breast, the other major surface being marked to indicate the left breast; and a time indicator which spans at least a portion of the circumference of said band, said time indicator being readable when either major cylindrical surface is exposed.

11. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 10, wherein said band is fabricated from at least one elastomeric compound selected from the group consisting of silicone rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene, polychloroprene butyl rubber, natural rubber, and partially vulcanized natural rubber.

12. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 10, wherein said time indicator having at least one component which can be selectively moved to indicate an accrued amount of time, a time of day, or a count.

13. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 12, wherein said time indicator comprises: first and second parallel curvilinear rows of evenly-spaced apertures, said first row indicating multiple portions of an hour, said second row indicating multiple hours; and a first movable plug which can be inserted within a single aperture of said first row to indicate a selected portion of an hour; and a second movable plug which can be inserted within a single aperture of said second row to indicate a selected number of hours.

14. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 13, wherein each plug is dumbbell shaped.

15. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 12, wherein said time indicator comprises: a plurality of evenly-spaced and aligned hour markings on both major cylindrical surfaces and a plurality of partial-hour markings between the hour markings; and a cursor circumferentially slidable about the band, said cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a count or a total accrued time.

16. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 12, wherein said time indicator comprises: first and second parallel curvilinear rows of evenly-spaced markers, said first row of markers indicating multiple portions of an hour, said second row of markers indicating multiple hours; and a first cursor circumferentially slidable about said band, said first cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a selected portion of an hour; and a second cursor circumferentially slidable about said band, said second cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a selected number of hours.

17. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 10 wherein said band is fabricated from overlapping metal links, each of which is formed from sheet metal that is crimped around a leaf spring and interconnected at both ends to adjacent links via a pair of linkage elements, each of which is biased against the leaf spring of each of the links which it interconnects.

18. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 17, wherein said band has first and second ends, each of which is pivotally attached to opposite ends of a resettable timer incorporating at least a stop watch function for recording a total of nursing times during a particular day.

19. A breastfeeding indicator bracelet comprising: an annular band made of elastomeric material, said band having outer and inner major cylindrical surfaces, said band being reversible by lifting an edge thereof and circumferentially rolling it so that said outer major cylindrical surface becomes the inner and said inner becomes the outer, one of said major cylindrical surfaces being marked to indicate the right breast, the other major cylindrical surface being marked to indicate the left breast; and a time indicator which spans at least a portion of the circumference of said band, said time indicator being readable when either major cylindrical surface is exposed, and said time indicator having at least one component which can be selectively moved to indicate an accrued amount of time, a time of day, or a count.

20. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 19, wherein said elastomeric material is selected from the group consisting of silicone rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene, polychloroprene butyl rubber, natural rubber, and partially vulcanized natural rubber.

21. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 19, wherein said time indicator comprises: first and second parallel circumferential rows of evenly-spaced apertures, said first row indicating multiple portions of an hour, said second row indicating multiple hours; and a first movable plug which can be inserted within a single aperture of said first row to indicate a selected portion of an hour; and a second movable plug which can be inserted within a single aperture of said second row to indicate a selected number of hours.

22. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 21, wherein each plug is dumbbell shaped.

23. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 19, wherein said time indicator comprises: a plurality of evenly-spaced and aligned hour markings on both major cylindrical surfaces and a plurality of partial-hour markings between the hour markings; and a cursor circumferentially slidable about the band, said cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a count or a total accrued time.

24. The breastfeeding indicator bracelet of claim 19, wherein said time indicator comprises: first and second parallel circumferential rows of evenly-spaced markers, said first row of markers indicating multiple portions of an hour, said second row of markers indicating multiple hours; and a first cursor circumferentially slidable about said band, said first cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a selected portion of an hour; and a second cursor circumferentially slidable about said band, said second cursor being selectively positionable to indicate a selected number of hours.

Description:

This application has a priority based on provisional patent application No. 60/593,629, which was filed on Jan. 31, 2005 and titled Breastfeeding/Nursing Indicator Bracelet or Wristband with Time Measuring Device and Method of Use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to bracelets and wristbands, to indicators used to monitor breastfeeding and, more particularly, to a bracelets or wristbands which incorporates time indicators used to monitor breastfeeding.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Breastfeeding experts generally recommend alternating breasts from one feeding to the next. Such a procedure reduces the probability that milk ducts will become clogged and also assists in the development of an adequate milk supply. A number of brassieres and bracelets are available to assist nursing mothers in keeping track of nursing schedules, total feeding time, and the breast from which the infant was last fed. Available brassieres and bracelets may provide one or more of such features.

There are many indicator devices which are designed to be used in connection with a nursing brassiere. U.S. Pat. No. 4,423,734 to Pamela G. Schawel discloses a brassiere having a slidable indicator which can be used to identify from which of the wearer's two breasts two breasts an infant was last fed. U.S. Pat. No. 5,092,812 to Clarence O. Babcock discloses a brassiere having an automatic nursing sequence indicator that is integral with the bra cups. Each cup has an attached, inwardly disposed flap, which overlaps the flap of the other cup. The flap of the cup opened last for nursing lies so that it at least partially covers the flap of the other cup, and points to the breast to be used for the next feeding session. U.S. Pat. No. 6,364,739 to Michael Dutka, et al. discloses an indicator which may be worn on the brassiere of a nursing mother to indicate which breast was last used to feed an infant. The device includes a cord having one end attached to the brassiere and a second element which can be attached to either a right or left portion of the brassiere.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,972,391 to Ronald A. Juve, et al. discloses a resettable electronic breastfeeding timer having a visual display. The display indicates the duration of a nursing session, and also indicates whether the right or left breast was last used to feed an infant. An alarm, which can be programmed to signal the end of a nursing session, is also included.

Several suppliers provide bracelets that can be moved from one wrist to the other to indicate which breast the infant fed from last. These bracelets have no time or hour indicators.

Unique Mums LLC, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based business founded in 2004 by Susan Lazor, Kirsty Ball and Diana Plunkett, manufactures a breastfeeding reminder bracelet which they call The Nursing Bracelet™. The bracelet is fabricated from beads of two colors. Light colored beads are marked with hour markers 1 to 12. Four dark-colored beads made of semi-precious stones are placed between each pair of consecutive hour marker beads and represent 15-minute intervals between the hour markers. According to advertising material published in connection with ads for the product, the bracelet can be used in four ways: (1) By moving the bracelet from wrist to wrist, a mother can keep track of the breast from which an infant was last fed; (2) By reattaching a removable marker charm to a particular time location on the bracelet (represented by the hour and 15-minute beads) the time of a last feeding can be recorded; (3) By attaching the marker charm to a particular time location, the time of the next feeding can be recorded; and (4) By attaching the marker charm to a particular hour marker, the total number of feedings in any single day or night can be recorded. In the latter case, the hour marker beads are being used to represent a count rather than total time.

D.V. Family, Inc. supplies another type of nursing bracelet. Called a Mother's Minder™ Bracelet by the supplier, the bracelet has a sliding indicator which can be moved by the wearer to indicate total feeding time for the day.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

At least a portion of a nursing reminder bracelet is reversible to indicate right and left. The right and left indication may be written on each side of the bracelet, or each side thereof may incorporate recognizable, non-linguistic symbols, such as different colors, textures (i.e., smooth or rough), or patterns which change when the bracelet is reversed. A nursing mother may select one side of the bracelet to indicate from which breast her infant either last fed or will next feed. The bracelet may also include a device for logging time nursed from each breast, the time last fed from each breast, the time for the next projected feeding, or some combination of the three. For one embodiment, the device includes a linear scale on both sides of the bracelet and at least one movable marker to indicate either total daily nursing time, finish time of the last nursing session, or start time of the next nursing session. For a particular commercial embodiment being produced and marked by Milk Bands, LLC, one side of the bracelet is marked “RIGHT”; the other side, “LEFT”. If the outside indicates “RIGHT”, the indication can be changed to “LEFT” simply by flipping the bracelet inside-out, which is accomplished by rolling either edge of the bracelet over the other edge, and then transmitting the new conformation over the entire circumference of the bracelet. It can be returned to indicate “RIGHT” by flipping it again. Each side of the commercial embodiment also includes a pair of parallel curvilinear time scales which span a portion of the circumference of the bracelet: one in minutes, from 0 to 60, in 5-minute increments; the other in hours, from 0 to 12, in 1-hour increments. Each time increment on each scale is provided with its own aperture. Plugs provided with the bracelet can be inserted in appropriate apertures to indicate an accrued time or a time of day or night. The scales on both sides are aligned and positioned back-to-back, so that the scale settings are the same on both sides. On the right-indicating side of the bracelet, the word “RIGHT” and the numbers of the time scales are in relief (i.e., embossed), while on the left-indicating side of the bracelet, the work “LEFT” and the numbers of the time scales are engraved (i.e., inset in the surface). The right and left indicators on the bracelet remind a nursing mother of which breast to use when initiating a feeding session. The embossed and engraved writing on opposite sides of the bracelet enable a wearer who is either in the dark or blind to ascertain which side of the bracelet faces out. The flippable, or reversable nature of the bracelet allows the nursing mother to keep track of this information on a single wrist. As most right-handed individuals typically wear a watch on the left arm, and most left-handed individuals wear one on their right arm, this flippable nursing reminder bracelet can avoid conflicts with other jewelry worn by the mother. The bracelet may be fabricated from a variety of elastomeric compounds, including silicone rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, which is produced from butadiene and styrene monomers, polybutadiene, polychloroprene butyl rubber, which is produced from isobutylene and isoprene, natural rubber, partially vulcanized natural rubber. Alternatively, the bracelet may be fabricated using a spring-loaded metal expansion bracelet, such as the Twist-O-Flex® expansion band manufactured by the Speidel Corporation under a license granted by Karl Emil Stiegele of U.S. Pat. No. 2,689,450. This patent is hereby incorporated, by reference, in its entirety. The type of metal expansion watch band disclosed in the '450 patent is noted for its ability to be flipped over and turned inside-out, as well as tied in knots.

The time scales of the present invention can be modified to employ other time increments (e.g., 15-minute increments) and a 24-hour scale. For another embodiment of the invention, the bracelet is circumferentially marked with a single linear scale, including hour markings and partial-hour markings between the hour markings. The bracelet is equipped with a slider that can be circumferentially moved about the bracelet to indicate an accrued time or a time of day. For still another embodiment of the invention, the bracelet is marked with one curvilinear row of hour markings and another curvilinear row of minute markings. One circumferentially movable slider indicates hours; another movable slider indicates minutes. For yet another embodiment of the invention, the ends of a flexible metal expansion band are pivotally attached to opposite sides of a mechanical or electronic timer preferably having multiple resettable functions. The pivotal attachment of the expansion band to the timer enables the expansion band to be flipped over without flipping the timer. The timer may incorporate various functions, such as a conventional watch display, a stop watch display for recording total nursing time during a particular day, a counter display for recording the total number of feedings during a particular day, and a settable alarm function for alerting a nursing mother of pending breastfeeding sessions. A penultimate embodiment utilizes a metal expansion band having its ends pivotally attached to opposite sides of a right or left-indicating token, which may be flipped over to indicate right or left sides. For this embodiment, it is not intended that the band be reversed—only the token. In its simplest form, the token can indicate nothing more than right or left. In another form, the token is a double-sided mechanical or electronic timer. Each side of the timer is used for single breast accounting, which may include accrued time nursed on that side, the time of the last or next feeding, and so forth. A variant of this embodiment utilizes a metal expansion band which is secured to a double-sided mechanical or electronic timer in a conventional manner, so that when the band is reversed, the double-sided timer is also. A final embodiment is a dual-function device that utilizes a slidable cursor to indicate right or left side. Movable plugs or one or two slidable cursors can be used to indicate time values.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a first embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is a single-function, reversible device that indicates right or left;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the first embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 1, as installed on the right wrist of a wearer;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the first embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIGS. 1 and 2, shown in the process of being reversed by the wearer;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a second embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is also a single-function, reversible device that indicates right or left, as determined by the direction the arrows face while being worn on a wearer's wrist;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the second embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 4, as installed on the left wrist of a wearer;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a third embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is a dual function, reversible device that indicates right or left, as well as an accrued time or a time of day;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a flat projection of the side labeled “LEFT” of the bracelet of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a flat projection of the side labeled “RIGHT” of the bracelet of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is an elevational view of the flat projection of FIGS. 7 and 8, with the side labeled “RIGHT” on top;

FIG. 10 is an end view of the flat projection of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an elevational side view of a marker plug, drawn generally to scale;

FIG. 12 is an elevational end view of the marker plug of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged elevational side view of the marker plug of FIGS. 11 and 12;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged elevational end view of the marker plug of FIGS. 11 and 12;

FIG. 15 is a plan view of a flat projection of the side labeled “LEFT” of a fourth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is, a dual-function reversible device that incorporates a pair of sliding cursors to indicate an accrued time or a time of day;

FIG. 16 is a plan view of a flat projection of the side labeled “RIGHT” of the fourth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is an elevational view of the flat projection of FIGS. 15 and 16;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of the flat projection of FIGS. 15 and 16, taken through section line 18-18 of FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is an isometric view of either of the sliding cursors seen in FIGS. 15-17;

FIG. 20 is a plan view of a flat projection of the side labeled “LEFT” of a fifth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is a dual function reversible device that incorporates a single sliding cursor to indicate an accrued time or a time of day;

FIG. 21 is a plan view of a flat projection of the side labeled “RIGHT” of the fifth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is an elevational view of the flat projection of FIGS. 20 and 21;

FIG. 23 is an end view of the flat projection of FIGS. 20 and 21;

FIG. 24 is an isometric view of the sliding cursor seen in FIGS. 20-22;

FIG. 25 is an elevational view of a sixth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is a multifunction reversible device that incorporates a timer having at least one function;

FIG. 26 is a plan view of the sixth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 25, showing a configuration in which the side of the expansion band labeled “RIGHT” is facing outward;

FIG. 27 is a plan view of the sixth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 25, showing a configuration in which the side of the expansion band labeled “LEFT” is facing outward;

FIG. 28 is an elevational view of a seventh embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is a multifunction device incorporating a reversible time having at least one function on each face;

FIG. 29 is a plan view of the seventh embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 28, showing a configuration in which a dual-face, multi-function timepiece is turned so that the face labeled “RIGHT” is facing outward;

FIG. 30 is a plan view of the seventh embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 28, showing a configuration in which a dual-face, multi-function timepiece is turned so that the face labeled “LEFT” is facing outward;

FIG. 31 is a plan view of a flat projection of an eighth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet, which is a dual function device having a first sliding cursor for an accrued time or a time of day setting, and a second sliding cursor for a right or left setting, with the latter cursor set on “L” for left;

FIG. 32 is a plan view of a flat projection of the eighth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIG. 31, with the second sliding cursor set on “R” for right; and

FIG. 33 is an elevational view of the flat projection of the eighth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet of FIGS. 31 and 32, with the second sliding curset on “R”.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention will now be described in detail with reference to the attached drawing figures.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a first embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 10 is a single-function, reversible device, which includes an annular band 12 having a left-side indication 13 on an inner major surface 16 and a right-side indication 14 on an inner major surface 16. The indications 13 and 14 can be printed or molded as raised or inset lettering on the major surfaces 16 and 18. In one embodiment, the annular band 12 is fabricated from an elastomeric compound, such as silicone rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber (produced from butadiene and styrene monomers), polybutadiene, polychloroprene butyl rubber (produced from isobutylene and isoprene), natural rubber, partially vulcanized natural rubber. The elastomeric compount may incorporate a fluorescent, glow-in-the-dark material. Alternatively, the annular band 12 is fabricated from cloth, fabric, stretchable fabric, or other woven material. As a further alternative, the annular band 12 is a spring-loaded metal expansion bracelet, such as the Twist-O-Flex® expansion band manufactured by the Speidel Corporation under a license granted by Karl Emil Stiegele of U.S. Pat. No. 2,689,450. This patent is hereby incorporated, by reference, in its entirety. The type of metal expansion watch band disclosed in the '450 patent is noted for its ability to be flipped over and turned inside-out, as well as tied in knots. In any case, the major surfaces 16 and 18 of the annular band 12 must be capable of being reversed by rolling the band 12 so that the inner major surface 16 becomes the outer major surface, and visa versa. This reversible feature applies to the first through seventh embodiments of the present invention. However, for the sixth and seventh embodiments, only a portion of the band is intended to be reversible.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the first embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 10 of FIG. 1 is shown installed on the right wrist of a wearer 20, with the major surface 18 of the annular band 12, having a right side indication 14 facing outward.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the first embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 10 is shown in the process of being reversed by the wearer 20. Reversal is accomplished by flipping the annular band 12 inside-out, which is accomplished by rolling either edge of the annular band 12 over the other edge, and then transmitting the new conformation over the a portion of band's circumference, most easily by running the thumb and index finger of the free hand over opposite major surfaces 16 and 18 of the annular band 12, for at least a portion of its circumference, until the annular band 12 snaps into the desired configuration.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a second embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 22 is a reversible single-function device, which indicates right or left, as determined by the direction the arrows 24 face while being worn on a wearer's wrist. Although the arrows on the inner major surface 16 point in the same direction as the arrows on the outer major surface 18, when the band 12 is reversed, the arrows on both major surfaces 16 and 18 point in the opposite direction. Other symbols may be used to indicate right and left, such as a different color or texture on each major surface 16 or 18.

Referring now to FIG. 5, the second embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 22 of FIG. 4 is shown installed on the left wrist of a wearer 20, with the arrows 24 on major surface 18 of the annular band 12 pointing to the right. When the band is turned inside out, the arrows will point to the left.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a third embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 23 is dual-function device. Reversible to indicate right or left, the bracelet 23 has a first curvilinear scale for minutes and a second curvilinear scale for hours. By placing a marker in an aperture 28 of each scale, an accrued time or a time of day can be indicated.

Referring now to FIG. 7, the annular band 12 of an enhanced version of the third embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 23 of FIG. 6 has been cut and unrolled or flattened to provide a flat projection. In this view, the major surface 16 labeled “LEFT” is shown. It will be noted that sufficient space on the annular band 12 exists to incorporate a trademark 701. The annular band 12 also incorporates a first curvilinear scale 702 for tracking minutes, and a second curvilinear scale 703 (in this flat projection both curvilinear scales 702 and 703 appear as linear scales) for tracking hours. The first scale 702, which tracks minutes, spans a full hour that is divided into twelve, 5-minute increments, plus a zero minutes position. The zero minute position and each of the twelve, 5-minute increments is provided with a minute-marking aperture 704. The second scale 703, which tracks hours, is a twelve hour period divided into 1-hour increments, plus a zero hour position. The zero hour position and each of the twelve, 1-hour increments is provided with an hour-marking aperture 705. Although a 24-hour scale (not shown) may also be used, a lack of space on the annular band 12 may make such a scale difficult to read. A marker plug 706 may be placed in an one of the minute-marking apertures 704 and in one of the hour-marking apertures 705 in order to record an accrued time or a time of day. It will be noted that, for the sake of example, a first marker plug 706-1 has been inserted in the 25-minute position of the curvilinear minute scale 702, and a second marker plug 706-2 has been inserted in the 3-hour position of the curvilinear hour scale 703.

Referring now to FIG. 8, the flat of FIG. 7 has been turned over to show a flat projection of the major surface 18 labeled “RIGHT”. It will be noted that the first and second scales are reversed in position so that the scales can be superimposed back-to-back. This enhancement to the breastfeeding bracelet 23 of FIG. 6 enables the hour and minute markings to remain unchanged when the bracelet is reversed. Thus, the first and second marker plugs 706-1 and 706-2 have the same relative positions and readings whether major surface 16 or major surface 18 is on the outside.

Referring now to FIG. 9, this side view of the flat projections 700 and 800 of FIGS. 7 and 8, respectively, is oriented so that the side labeled “RIGHT” is on top. For a preferred embodiment of the invention, the writing on the side marked “LEFT” is inset or debossed, while the writing on the side marked “RIGHT” is embossed. The profile of the embossed writing 901 on the upper surface can clearly be seen.

Referring now to FIG. 10, the embossed writing 901 can be seen in this view as well. The cross-sectional hatching represents the cut which was made in the annular band 12 in order to provide the flat projections of FIGS. 7 and 8.

Referring now to FIG. 11, a marker plug 706 is shown, drawn generally to scale. It will be noted that it is of generally dumbbell shape, so that once it is inserted in a minute marking aperture 704 or an hour marking aperture 705, it is held firmly in place by the mushroom-shaped heads 1101A and 1101B of the marker plug 706.

Referring now to FIG. 12, an end view of the marker plug 706 of FIG. 11 shows a decorative design that is molded into the mushroom-shaped heads 1101A and 1101B.

Referring now to FIG. 13, the marker plug 706 of FIG. 11 is shown in an enlarged (about 14×) side view.

Referring now to FIG. 14, the mushroom shaped head 1101A or 1101B is shown in an enlarged (about 14×) end view.

Referring now to FIGS. 15 and 16, a fourth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 1500 is a dual-function device. Reversible to indicate right or left, the fourth embodiment bracelet 1500 includes an annular band 1501 having first and second major surfaces 1502-1 and 1502-2. Each major surface is endowed with a first curvilinear scale 1502 for minutes, a second curvilinear scale 1503 for hours, and a cursor retainer groove 1504 running between the two curvilinear scales 1502 and 1503, and extending the length thereof. The fourth embodiment bracelet also includes a first sliding cursor 1505-1, which can be used to mark a minute position on the first curvilinear scale 1502 between 0 and 60 minutes, and a second sliding cursor 1505-2, which can be used to mark an hour position on the second curvilinear scale 1503 between 0 and 12 hours. Each of the sliding cursors 1505-1 and 1505-2 has a C-shaped cross section (see FIG. 18), and is crimped onto the annular band 1501 so that the opposed ends of each sliding cursor 1505-1 and 1505-2 ride in the cursor retainer groove 1504. As with the enhanced third embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, the first and second curvilinear scales 1502 and 1503 are reversed in position, and the scales superimposed back-to-back. With this arrangement, each sliding cursor 1505-1 and 1505-2 indicate the same minute or hour marking, respectively, on both sides of the bracelet 1500. The first major surface 1502-1 shown in FIG. 15 is marked “LEFT”, while the second major surface 1502-2 shown in FIG. 16 is marked “RIGHT”.

Referring now to FIG. 17, in this side view of FIGS. 15 and 16, the second major surface 1601 faces up and the second sliding cursor 1505-2 is visible on the left, while the first sliding cursor 1505-1 is visible on the right.

Referring now to FIG. 18, in this cross-sectional view, the first and second cursors 1505-1 and 1505-2 are visible, with the opposed ends 1801A and 1801B of the C-shaped of each of those cursors being crimped into the cursor retainer grooves 1504-A and 1504-B.

Referring now to FIG. 19, a sliding cursors 1505-1 or 1505-2 is shown. It will be noted that the cursor incorporates an upper window 1901-A and a lower window 1902-B, which frame the same selected minute or hour value on the upper and lower curvilinear minute scales 1502 and hour scales 1503.

Referring now to FIGS. 20 and 21, a fifth embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 2000 is also dual-function device. Reversible to indicate right or left, the fifth embodiment bracelet 2000 includes an annular band 2001 having first and second opposed major surfaces 2002-1 and 2002-2, respectively, each of which is provided with a single curvilinear scale 2003 that indicates an accrued time or a time of day up to twelve hours. A 24-hour scale may also be used, but the scale would be significantly compressed. The single scale 2003 includes twelve hour markings 2004, in addition to a zero hour marking. The single scale 2003 also includes partial hour markings 2005 between each hour marking. A single sliding cursor 2006 can be moved to designate an accrued time or a time of day. The first major surface 2002-1 shown in FIG. 20 is marked “LEFT”, while the second major surface 2002-2 shown in FIG. 21 is marked “RIGHT”.

Referring now to FIG. 22, in this side view of FIGS. 20 and 21, the single sliding cursor 2006 is visible.

Referring now to FIG. 23, is an end view of either end of the flat projections of either FIG. 20 or FIG. 21. The single sliding cursor 2006 is visible in this view. It will be noted that it is of generally O-shaped cross section and includes a joint 2301, which is required to install it on a single piece band. If the annular band 2001 is fabricated by joining the ends of a flat strip, then no joint is necessary.

Referring now to FIG. 24, the single sliding cursor 2006 is shown. It will be noted that the cursor incorporates an upper window 2401-A and a lower window 2401-B, which frames the same selected accrued time value or time of day on the upper and lower curvilinear scales 2003.

Referring now to FIGS. 25, 26, and 27 a sixth embodiment, multi-function breastfeeding bracelet 2500 has a reversible flexible expansion band 2501 of the Twist-O-Flex® type referred to previously herein pivotally connected at both ends to a single-sided timer 2502 via first and second pivotal joints, such as ball joints 2503-1 and 2503-2. The pivotal attachment of the expansion band 2501 to the timer 2502 enables the bracelet to be flipped over without flipping the timer 2502. For this particular embodiment, the mechanical or electronic timer 2502 preferably has at least one resettable function for time accounting associated with each breast, and optionally a conventional watch display 2504. Resettable functions may include a stop watch display for recording total nursing time during a particular day, a counter display for recording the total number of feedings during a particular day, and a settable alarm function for alerting a nursing mother of pending breastfeeding sessions. A first major surface 2505-1 of the expansion band 2501 indicates the right side, while a second major surface 2505-2 indicates the left side. It will be noted that the timer shown in FIGS. 26 and 27 includes a first display 2506-1 for time accounting associated with the wearer's right breast, and a second display 2506-2 for time accounting associated with the wearer's left breast.

Referring now to FIGS. 28, 29 and 30 a seventh embodiment breastfeeding bracelet 2800 has an expansion band 2801 that is pivotally connected at both ends to a double-sided mechanical or electronic timer 2802 or simply a right/left-indicating token via first and second pivotal joints, such as ball joints 2503-1 and 2503-2. Such a ball-joint mechanism is known in the art and is exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 1,160,616 to Harold L. Jeffery and Arthur W. Wadsworth. This patent is incorporated, by reference, in its entirety, in the present application. The pivotal attachment of the expansion band 2801 to the double-sided timer 2802 enables the timer 2802 to be flipped over without flipping the expansion band 2801. For this particular embodiment, the mechanical or electronic timer 2802 preferably has at least one resettable function 2803 for each side thereof for time accounting for nursing from a single breast of the user, and optionally a conventional watch display 2804. A first side 2805-1 of the timer 2802 is marked to indicated the right side breast, while a second side 2805-2 of the timer 2802 is marked to indicate the left side breast. The resettable function(s) 2803 of each side of the timer 2801-1 or 2805-2 is used for single breast accounting, which may include accrued time nursed on that side, the time of the last or next feeding, and so forth. For this embodiment, it is not intended that the expansion band be reversed-only the timer or token. In its simplest form, the token can indicate nothing more than right or left. In another form, the token is a double-sided mechanical or electronic timer. Each side of the timer is used for single breast accounting, which may include accrued time nursed on that side, the time of the last or next feeding, and so forth. It should be evident that without the watch and timing functions, the timer 2802 is only a right/left-indicating token. A variant of the seventh embodiment breastfeeding bracelet utilizes a metal expansion band which is secured to a double-sided mechanical or electronic in a conventional manner, so that when the expansion band is reversed, the double-sided timer is also.

Referring now to FIG. 31 to 33, an eighth embodiment non-reversible double-function breastfeeding bracelet 3100 employs a side-indicating sliding cursor 3101 to indicate the right or left side breast of the wearer. Although this embodiment is shown in connection with the fifth embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 20 to 24, which uses a single sliding cursor to indicate an accrued time or a time of day, this embodiment can also be used in combination with moveable time accounting pegs, as used in the enhanced third embodiment of the invention of FIGS. 7 through 14, or in combination with the dual sliding cursors of the fourth embodiment of the invention of FIGS. 15 to 19. In FIG. 31, the side-indicating sliding cursor 3101 is moved so that the cursor 3101 frames an “L” to indicate the right side breast of the wearer, while in FIG. 32, the side-indicating sliding cursor 3101 is moved so that the cursor 3101 frames an “R” to indicate the left side breast. It will be noted that a pair of raised buttons 3102 act as stops for the cursor 3101 for the right side indication, while only a single button 3103 acts as a stop for the cursor 3101 for the left side indication. In this way, a wearer can determine the indication in the dark by feel.

Although only several embodiments of the invention have been disclosed herein, it will be obvious to those having ordinary skill in the art that changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.