Historically, one out of every 100 women would die from complications surrounding pregnancy. Add in crippling side-effects of childbirth such as osteoporosis, and even those that survived were often cursed. Modern medicine has significantly reduced the harm that pregnancy does to women, but there’s always more that can be done. Leveraging the power of technology, women can often get help with the full-time job that is carrying a baby. Through online information and apps that take a lot of the guesswork out of cooking up that little bundle of joy and noise, ladies can quickly equip themselves for the 9 agonizing – and agonizingly sober – months.
Apps that help with pregnancy run the gamut from basic reminders to take your prenatal vitamins all the way up to comprehensive schedules and guides. OB/Gyn appointments, hospital route maps, and quick alerts to tell the father to be that “IT’S TIME!” can all be built right into your mobile device of choice. Though no software can completely take away the swollen ankles, hemorrhoids, and cravings, each of the 9 best pregnancy apps can make being big with child a little less painful.
Ovia Pregnancy Tracker & Baby Countdown Calendar
Maternity Master: Ask moms what they actually use the most, and you’ll get a lot of them telling you this is the only way to go. You can start by using the Ovia Fertility app, which helps with conceiving, and allows for an easy transition into the pregnancy app itself. Ovia has a development tracker, so you know what phase your child is in, and lays everything out in a simple interface that’s more intuitive than anything else on the market. Due to the popularity, it can get a little obnoxious with advertising. It can also sound a little condescending, telling you obvious things in a patronizing way, but the sheer simple utility makes tolerating its sass worthwhile. Download: Android iOS
A Week At A Time: The Bump is a playful app that runs a tight 2nd place behind Ovia in terms of new mother’s adulation. Every week the app is updated with relevant content from a panel of experts – both medical and “baby boots on the ground” moms. It also gives you a cute comparison of your baby’s growth when compared with a fruit. Photo albums allow you to document your experience and remember these wonderful – and difficult – times. You can also pose your own question in the app and get feedback from those who have lived it, as well as medical professionals. Download: Android iOS
Full of Features: With everything from kick timers to packing checklists for what you need in a diaper bag, or on the way to the hospital, Pregnancy++ is as interactive as it gets. It handles doctor appointment reminders, helps you understand weight gain, gives you lots of updates, and is easy on the eyes. Where it falls a little short is in the same place it excels: You have to be very active in inputting information. If you’re busy living your life rather than putting every little hiccup into your phone, you won’t get as much out of it as you will elsewhere. Download: Android iOS
Womb With a View: Baby Center lives up to its name by being heavily focused on your growing child. It isn’t as devoted to the experience of the mother and father, which makes it a good companion app along with something for mom and dad to be. You’ll be told exactly what is going on with your child, along with giant videos that help you comprehend what is happening in the hidden world of your uterus. All the information pushed out by the app is looked over by a Medical Advisory Board, so it’s given the green light by pros in the know. Upon birth, Baby Center switches to an all-inclusive parenting app that’s helpful. Just be careful listening to everything it says, as it tends to err on the side of “too safe” which can have you rushing around in a panic over nothing. Download: Android iOS
What’s In A Name: Most of the pregnancy apps give lip service to naming your child, but Baby Names!! goes deep. Serving up a huge list of names from all around the world, complete with backstory, history, meaning, and other salient details, it ensures that you not only find an appropriate appellation for your tyke, but that you don’t accidentally name her/him after a psychotic dictator. Unless you really want baby Vlad wandering around. Download: Android iOS
Keep It Tight: Ladies, here’s the truth. Pregnancy and childbirth are going to destroy your beautiful body for a little while. The magic of being able to give life means we suffer a little bit. While Epidurals will help with the pain, and are highly recommended, kegel exercises can help your body prepare for pushing the baby out, making the whole process quicker and easier. This app helps walk you through some workouts you can do to get your vaginal region ready for action. Doing these can limit the pain, intensity, and duration of labor, and mitigate some of the damage that your bundle of joy is going to do to your body. Download: Android iOS
Talk It Out: Consider BabyBump to be social media for expectant mothers. While there are things like a kick counter, contraction timer, and other basic tools, what matters is discussing what’s happening with people who understand. There’s some help from doctors, doulas, and midwives, but mostly its moms helping moms through one of the most satisfying, and frightening experiences of their lives. No man with a wall full of medical degrees is half as helpful as hearing from women who’ve been there, done that, and have the stretch marks to prove it! Download: Android iOS
Coldly Clinical: There’s no shortage of information on the Totally Pregnant app, but it’s delivered in such a distant way that it lacks the helpful, supportive feel of others. The 3D videos are helpful. Timelines give you a strong outlook for what to expect; and the display of local baby resources is nice, but we’d be a lot more impressed if you could log your personal information in – as with other apps – to get personalized feedback. Download: Android iOS
Doctor’s Opinion: As with doing a search on WebMD, you’ll get a lot of data from the app, with a healthy dose of fear. Knowledge can be power, but when your hormones are bouncing off the walls, a load of medical jargon delivered with dire warnings about your health and the health of your child can be more frightening than helpful. Download: Android iOS