How to choose your pregnancy appMaría Arellano
Why apps and pregnancy
So what are pregnancy apps and when or why should you use one?
Did you know apps have more and more users – one fourth of women who have smartphones use health apps- which means apps are part of the solution for more and more health issues both in women and men.
This also means apps are being taken seriously by more and more professionals interested in giving us –beautiful, wonderful people- better access to optimal reproductive health.
Katherine Chen, MD, is professor and vice-chair of education in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Dr. Chen studies ob-gyn mobile apps, a sector that is rapidly growing in the best way possible. “Apps are becoming more patient-centered,” says Chen.
As users, let’s get to know exactly what to expect from a pregnancy app.
Our successful reproductive health depends on our willingness to learn and take interest in how our bodies function.
Technology and innovation combined are giving us easier to use and more efficient tools to reach this objective.
Later on in this post we’ll dig into how to find the app that is a right fit for your pregnancy needs.
General features: the purpose of a pregnancy app
There are a few features that are basic in a pregnancy app.
Most pregnancy apps offer users information about the different stages of pregnancy: what to expect, what to avoid and even what basic materials and tools they may need during pregnancy, at birth and during the newborn baby’s first days.
They are also very welcoming portals to the world of online community-building.
The majority of pregnancy apps offer users access to forums where expectant mothers and fathers can ask questions and get feedback from other users.
Some apps- classified as pregnancy apps- actually solve very specific problems:
from apps you will use one time only during the pregnancy like the Contraction Timer
to apps that can accompany you the whole nine months but whose features focus on nutrition and the mama’s sleeping habits like Ovia.
to apps focused solely on community building like Glow Nurture, where you can meet people based on a shared, common experience.
For example, connect with someone who is experiencing the same symptom or going through the same stage of pregnancy.
What pregnancy app should I download?
Deciding on a pregnancy app is easy once you surmount these following first two questions:
1. Do you want an app whose features are geared towards describing every stage of your pregnancy, that will help you get organized on what you and the baby will need and that can answer health questions as well as push you in the direction of the answers you are looking for? OR do you want an app for a very specific moment/aspect of pregnancy such as the contraction timer or Ovia?
2. Are you expecting twins or a multiple birth? This question helps narrow your field of choices because not many apps offer customized content for twins.
Once these questions are cleared you can refine your search by focusing on other aspects such as what operating system runs on your mobile phone and how much you are willing to pay for your app.
1. Do you own an iPhone or an Android phone? Some apps run exclusively on iPhone which reduces your choices if you own an Android phone.
2. Do you want a free app or are you willing to pay? Most pregnancy apps are free. Paid apps tend to be on the lesser end of the expense spectrum with prices ranging from 0.99 to 2.99.
WebMd pregnancy app
If you have no idea where to start, we recommend you read up on the features of the WebMd pregnancy app.
Once you get a feel of what you can obtain from this app you can then use it as a reference to compare and decide what it is you are really looking for.
The WebMd app download is free of charge but it is only available for iPhone or other iOS devices.
The WebMd pregnancy app includes week-by-week pregnancy photos, a list of questions you can ask your doctor when you visit, checklists of what baby gear to buy, as well as of what to take to the hospital, reminders to take a photo each week in order to keep a belly photo album, and customized content for twins.
You can also monitor your health and your baby’s health using these features:
Baby kick counter,
Your weight and blood pressure tracker, and
Other key aspects of the WebMd pregnancy app include a warm welcome as a member of their online community as well as the option of contributing to a study on what constitutes a healthy pregnancy.
With your permission, data from your pregnancy can be used to inform a study led by the Scripps Translational Science Institute.
Sounds all well and good. Is there a catch? Apparently there is. Some users say all is well until the pregnancy is over: users who wish to eliminate the app from their phones once their child is born should beware of the possibility of losing access to all of their information.
Free pregnancy apps
If the features on the WebMd app seem appealing, here’s a list of similar apps that are also free to download AND have the added benefit of being available for both iPhone and Android.
How to know if a pregnancy app is good?
User reviews are usually very up-front about what works and what doesn’t. Take a look at the comment section of your favorite app’s review board and see what mothers, fathers and family have to say about the features.
Best way to know the app is awesome? Look for comments of women who say they are having a second child and are return-users!
On a side note, read what our researched-based blog post has to say about the best time to have a second child.
Are apps practical and the right choice for you during your pregnancy?
The answer is yes and yes! Apps now-a-days are very practical and there are many available options.
Some apps are even tailored for very specific activities like choosing the name of your child, creating checklists for what you will need to include inside your birthing center bag, or even fun activities like editing your baby’s ultrasound to include an ear piercing or an electric guitar!
The answer to these questions and more can be found at the hiMama blog. If you aren’t yet a mother and are worried about your biological clock, read up on our post Age and Pregnancy: Is there a perfect age to be a mother?
What about apps you can use before getting pregnant?
If you want to know exactly when you are ovulating, a fertility app is the best choice! Learn more about the hiMama fertility app and how the easy to install monitor can help you be aware of your menstrual cycle
Any questions about how mobile technology and the hiMama monitor can help you find your best practice for health on the expectant mother front? Let us know!