Thursday, 28 April 2016
The 10 best pregnancy apps
We round up the best of the mobile bump guides for pregnancy advice at your fingertips
The real stand-out feature of Sprout is the moving images of your baby at different stages of its developments, with 3D visualisations you can zoom and tilt, and information on each stage of your pregnancy. We love the pre-inputted newborn essentials and hospital bag checklist that you can email to yourself or someone else. There’s also a useful journal feature with suggestions for recording your birthing classes, your instructor’s name and the names of the people you meet there (let’s be honest, these things can be hard to remember at the best of times, let alone with baby brain setting in).
If you love a good selfie, you’ll love BabyBump, which provides a great scroll gallery to keep track of your bump week by week throughout your entire pregnancy. There’s also access to community forums and adding friends to your network through the app to ask advice on anything from baby names to gender predictions. There are pre-formed, easy to fill out birth plan checklists to get you thinking about your birth preferences. Not forgetting the baby names section and a birth announcement where you can announce the date, name, gender, weight and even upload a photo of your newborn to social media, send a mass email or even a mass text to friends and family. Useful!
What to Expect
Even if it’s your first, you’ve probably hear of the ‘What to Expect When You're Expecting’ books – and of course in this day and age, there’s an app for that. You can use it to discover groups of other communities of mums-to-be nearby, and the tests and screenings section is especially helpful with each test separated into trimesters and an explanation of what each one is for. It also has video visualisations of your baby’s development and information on where your baby and your body are at this stage, and each week compares your baby to a food in size (e.g. an aubergine or a turnip). The only drawback is how cluttered it is with adverts, shopping suggestions and sponsored links.
My Pregnancy Today
Using BabyCenter’s My Pregnancy Today, you can take and store a ‘bumpie’ (a bump selfie) each day in the app’s gallery to record the progress of your expanding middle, and create a slideshow. It’s a fairly simple, bare bones app with a daily calendar update on how big your baby is (again with the fruit and veg comparisons) and a nugget of information on a different topic each day. It even addresses little questions you may not have thought of like ‘is it Ok to wear tights,’ what's safe to do and what foods and activities to avoid when you’re expecting. The 'Birth Club' feature also allows you to get in touch with other mothers in the same stage of pregnancy.
Smart Contraction Timer
If you’re not interested in all the bits and bobs and frills of a full pregnancy app and just want the practical stuff, the Smart Contraction Timer is for you. Instead of trying to keep track yourself, the app records how often and how long your contractions are, and how far apart they’re coming. It’s no fuss, it’s just the timer, some helpful advice (e.g. if any bleeding occurs or your water breaks, go to hospital right away) and the app will analyse your contractions and notify you whether it’s time to go to hospital. You can then scroll through the record of your contractions to show your doctor or midwife, and even send it by email.
The stylishly designed I'm Expecting offers a homepage of what’s happening to your body and your baby, links to foetal development videos and a weight tracker. It also easily tracks all your baby’s info (kicks, weight, head size etc.) in one place, and by tracking where you are in your pregnancy it offers you personalised health tips and activities. There’s also a built-in fertility myth-buster, weight and step charts to keep track of your health and fitness and a calendar where you can input your symptoms. There’s also access to communities broken down by how far along you are to connect with mums at a similar stage, or age, to you. The only thing it doesn't have is a contraction tracker.
Free for the 'lite' version, £2.99 for premium access
The Pregnancy+ app lite itself is pretty swish, although you have to upgrade and pay for the full premium version to access most of the features. It’s got a nicely designed weight gain chart for you to see how you’re progressing each month, you can sync your appointments to your phone’s calendar and there are easy to access guides on what to eat, what not to eat, and what exercise is safe and what isn’t instead of having to search for it. The one thing that really makes it stand out is that you can also see images of real foetuses from every week of pregnancy as a computer animation (cute), a 2D ultrasound scan (cute) or a 3D ultrasound scan (not so cute).
Aptaclub Preparing for birth
Aptaclub's Preparing for Birth app is sleek, simply design and has an extensive amount of information on the different stages of pregnancy and preparing for birth that has been contributed by healthcare professionals. In terms of features it's a bare bones app but it's so informative and has all the useful stuff, like a contraction timer. It does have an events scheduler to help you keep track of your antenatal appointments, classes, scans and other important dates – including some you might not think of, such as when to tell your employer about your pregnancy, which syncs with your phone calendar and can notify you as a reminder. Perfect if you want a small, easy-to-use app with no frills.
Ovia Pregnancy Tracker
We love the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker. For starters, while everyone else is busy comparing your baby to a beetroot or a kiwi fruit, Ovia informs you that ‘this week, your baby is now about the size of a New England cottontail rabbit.’ N’aww! You can chart your weight, sleep, activity, steps, blood pressure and nutrition, and there’s a really useful and extensive ‘can I eat this?’ alphabetical tool to scroll through. Seriously, it’s so extensive it even goes into the minutiae of different types of sushi. Now that's our kind of app. It’s so extensive and the videos and articles are broken down into symptoms, baby, body, labour, planning... we just love it, ok?
Vaccines in Pregnancy: MatImms
The MatImms app was designed by Imperial College London to raise awareness of the immunisations you can get while pregnant. It includes a personalised vaccination schedule based on your due date – which can be synced to your phone’s calendar and give you reminders – and when to vaccinate your baby during its first year. It also has information on the ingredients and safety records of each jab to address any concerns you may have and a simple ‘journey’ layout to teach you all about how immunisations work. Simple!