Whether you’re in the midst of your first pregnancy or your fifth pregnancy, it’s an exciting time of change. It can also be incredibly confusing. Why does your back suddenly hurt? What’s safe to eat right now? Should you be exercising? Is your baby’s growth on track? Pregnancy apps are a modern tool to inform you about your baby’s development, help you take care of your body and put your mind at ease.
“As a woman of a certain age that has children, our education came through a brochure, through our OB and what we read in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but younger women who are having children now are inundated with so much content and so much information, pregnancy apps are really a comprehensive way to give them appropriate and accurate healthcare information,” says Tiffany McKever, co-founder of Resilient Mom.
In particular, McKever says technology can be used to reduce pregnancy-related sickness and death, especially for women of color. Resilient Mom works with hospital systems that serve communities of color to provide expecting moms with pregnancy apps that are tailored to their area, complete with details about specific pregnancy stages, informative videos, classes to take and ways to contact providers who speak multiple languages. Currently, the company’s Brooklyn Babies app is available for expecting moms in New York City, but if you’re looking for support outside of NYC, download one of the excellent pregnancy apps below. From pregnancy-safe exercise videos to symptom trackers to baby-name generators, there’s something for every expecting parent.
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Ovia Pregnancy is a one-stop shop for expecting moms. The app provides informative articles according to your baby’s stage of growth and you can rest easy knowing the content is reviewed by team of midwives, nurses, mental health pros as well as lactation and sleep consultants. You can also log your symptoms in the app and post anonymous questions to the community of users if there’s something you’re wondering about. A built-in tool to suggest baby names is just a bonus.
What to Expect
Now you can get all info from the infamous book right on your smartphone. The What to Expect App offers up helpful info for every step of your pregnancy, including week-by-week videos hosted by founder Heidi Murkoff. You can also track symptoms and browse questions that you might want to ask your doc depending on where you are at in your pregnancy.
Not only will The Bump app help you track the size and progress of your baby with 3D imagery, it also lets you manage your baby registries across different retailers (Amazon, Target, Buy Buy Baby, Pottery Barn Kids, Crate & Kits and Walmart). Other features include a baby name tool, a contraction counter, discounts at partner retailers and product recommendations.
Developed by Philips, the Pregnancy+ app stands out for its 3D fetal images that show your baby’s development in detail. Unlike most other apps, which only show images of rosy pink babies, this one has imagery available in five different ethnicities. There are also detailed illustrations of what your body is going through as well as daily informative articles.
The Glow brand began with its fertility app and since then has expanded to include ones for period-tracking, pregnancy and baby care. Free features of the pregnancy app, Glow Nurture, include symptom tracking, articles relevant to your baby’s development, registry management and a community of other expecting parents to touch base with. You can also invite your partner to download the app to get a better understanding of everything happening in the pregnancy. If you pay for premium access, you’ll get extra features like exclusive articles, health forecasts, private messaging between you and other users and data on how your pregnancy experience compares to anonymized data from other users (how well you’re sleeping, for instance).
Cost: Free for select content; $29.99/3 months, $47.99/year or $79.99/lifetime for premium access
In addition to the usual baby-tracking features, the BabyCenter Pregnancy app lets you connect with other expecting parents who are due the same month that you are. There’s also a baby name tool and plenty of articles to guide you through your pregnancy. Take weekly photos of your bump and the app will turn them into a time-lapse video. When you’re in labor, you can use the app’s contraction timer.
The Sprout Pregnancy app combines the usual pregnancy app features (symptom tracker, 3D images and baby development information) with extras like checklists (newborn gear and birth plan ideas, for example) and doctor appointment details. When your little bundle of joy is finally born, save or print a PDF of your Pregnancy Journal outlining everything you went through. Don’t worry, there are 300 different entry ideas to make it fun.
Cost: Free for 7 days; $4.99 after that
The things you ingest on a normal basis aren’t always safe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, but the MommyMeds app makes it easy to figure out if a particular medicine is okay. Run by the InfantRisk Center (IRC) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, the app contains a database of more than 20,000 drugs and medications. It tells you what each drug is used for, potential side effects to be aware of and whether or not it’s okay to use at various stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Bonus: It’s available in English and Spanish and there’s a phone number listed that you can call if you have any questions about a drug. Money raised from raised from the annual fee goes toward research conducted by the IRC.
Cost: $3.99/year (The fee is waived for a year if you download on Mother’s Day.)
Pregnancy can be a really confusing time, especially if you don’t have friends nearby who are in the midst of having kids as well. The Peanut app enables you to connect with similar women in your area who are going through the same thing, whether that’s infertility, pregnancy, adoption or new parenthood. Chat or video-call with others in the app and then meet up in person if you hit it off. You can also share questions and tips with groups of women based on common interests.
Maintaining a sense of calm during pregnancy is easier said than done, but the Expectful app might change that. It’s filled with prerecorded meditations and sleep stories. as well as live meditations and yoga all geared toward conception, pregnancy, birth and new motherhood. Whether you’re interested in hypnobirthing or are recovering from a Cesarean section, there’s likely something to meet your specific needs and help you stay grounded during this chaotic time.
Cost: Free for 7 days; $9.99/month or $59.99/year
Move Your Bump
It’s important to stay active during pregnancy to ensure your baby and your body can handle of the changes they’re both going through. However, figuring out safe activity that you enjoy can be tricky. The Move Your Bump app has a variety of workouts, from bootcamp to yoga and everything in between, with modifications for any fitness level and pregnancy stage. There are even specific exercises designed to help make labor a wee bit easier.
Cost: $15/month or $180/year
Baby2Body is the place to go if you’re looking for both exercise and nutrition guidance during your pregnancy. The app features daily updates on your baby’s growth along with well-being tips, symptom tracking, guided pelvic floor and breathing exercises and at least one weekly recipe and workout. If you opt to pay for premium access, you’ll also get personalized weekly workout plans, more than 300 recipes, weekly guided mindfulness and stress-management activities and a library of pregnancy-related coaching videos and articles.
Cost: Free for select content; $19.99/month, $119.99/year or $249.99/lifetime for premium access
Baby Names by BabyCenter
Picking out the perfect name for your child can be stressful. This app adds a little fun to the process by suggesting names along with origin details. Just give a thumbs up to the ones you like or a thumbs down to the ones you don’t. With time, the app learns your preferences and the types of names you gravitate toward and suggests similar ones. You can also invite your partner to use the app and you’ll be notified when you like the same names.
BabyName is another fun baby name tool that works like a dating app. You and your partner can each download the app and swipe right or left depending on whether you like or dislike the name suggested — when you both agree on a match it’s saved to a list of favorites. To narrow down the pool of 30,000 names, you can purchase extra filters to say, only show you names from a certain country of origin or names that begin with a particular letter.
Cost: Free for most features; $.99 for an extra filter or $2.99 for access to all five filters
Who’s Your Daddy?
Dads often feel left out of some aspects of pregnancy, but Who’s Your Daddy? makes it more of a shared experience. It offers up weekly updates on your baby’s progress and daily tips with suggestions of what to do (or not do!) as a supportive partner. Other helpful tools include a contraction timer and a checklist for what to bring to the hospital.
Get it for: iOS
Created by the March of Dimes, the CineMama app turns daily photos of your bump into a timelapse video and serves up health tips along the way to help more women deliver full-term babies. It also makes it easy to create a diary of your pregnancy experience, complete with photos (say, the afternoon you put the crib together or painted the nursery).
My NICU Baby
If your little one starts out in the neonatal intensive care unit, this app is a must-download. Another one from the March of Dimes, My NICU Baby contains info about NICU staff, policies, equipment and terminology as well as videos about infection control and self-care for parents, tracking tools (like monitoring time and length of kangaroo care), ways to bond with your baby, ideas for supporting your other kids who aren’t in the NICU and suggestions for connecting with other NICU families.
Nara Baby allows you to time breastfeeding sessions and your baby’s sleep, note what side you are breastfeeding or pumping on and log diaper changes and bottle feedings. Everything is then presented in a really easy-to-digest graph so you have a detailed picture of your baby’s schedule. You can even set reminders and use it for multiple babies at once.
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