Reviewed by Abbie Jacobs, RN, BSN
It’s true—knowledge is power, and arming expecting parents with knowledge will provide them with an added degree of support and comfort during this stressful and exciting time in their lives. While your role as a certified nurse-midwife is to educate and coach expecting parents, you don’t always have to go through the rote, traditional methods of instruction and explanation to accomplish this. Midwifery in the 21st century involves marshalling the technological resources that everyone now has easy access to.
With the proliferation of pregnancy apps, it’s easier than ever for expecting parents to stay in the loop on what to expect. The most challenging thing might be simply identifying which apps are best so you can make suggestions you can feel good about.
We know you don’t have the time to learn to use and test dozens of apps… but lucky for you, we do.
We’ve rounded up some of the best apps out there for you to recommend to your patients so you can feel good knowing they’ll have the support they need to supplement the guidance you provide them. And did we mention all of them are free?
What to Expect (iOS, Android)
Enter your due date and get loads of personalized content with the What to Expect app. Meet other moms who share your due date, watch weekly videos that model your baby’s development, and track your pregnancy week by week, with this beautifully designed, truly comprehensive app. Plus, once the baby is born, get tips, advice and guidance on everything baby-related.
We love this app because of the curated content delivered directly to you throughout your pregnancy, including parent stories, pregnancy tips, and the latest health news.
I’m Expecting (iOS, Android)
We like the simplistic design of the I’m Expecting app, which makes it super easy to navigate and use. Some of the features we love include the weekly pregnancy and baby development videos that provide you with a visual of what’s happening as your little bundle grows and develops.
This app also offers a slew of useful tips on everything from fighting leg cramps to tackling pregnancy cravings and provides you with a convenient spot to track your symptoms. Track your own growing bump through the app’s photo diary, and bond with other expecting parents through the social communities accessible through the app.
And, truth be told, this app is totally worth downloading merely for the uber-cute baby photos they send your way on the daily.
BabyBump Pregnancy Pro (iOS, Android)
This app is one of the most comprehensive resources we’ve come across. Daily and weekly updates about how your baby is growing and the changes taking place are cool, but there’s also a due date countdown, a baby names guide, and weight and belly measurement trackers. The forums here allow you to bond with other expecting parents and become a member of a unique virtual community of expectant parents.
It’s earned kudos from everyone from Time.com (10 Best Wellness Apps) to the Huffington Post (Top Apps for Moms) to Parents.com (Best Pregnancy App). We’re also fans of the countdown widget, the editorial reviews of baby products, and the contraction counter for when the big day finally arrives.
Pregnancy Assistant (Android)
This app doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other apps, but if you’re looking for a super easy way to track your baby’s development, this is the app for you.
We love the beautiful images of the developing fetus, and so will you.
Sprout Pregnancy (iOS, Android)
Sprout Pregnancy’s app offers many of the same features other pregnancy apps offer, including daily and weekly information about fetal development. But the 3-D tool that allows you to explore your baby’s development in the most amazing detail is the feature that’ll keep you coming back.
And we’re not the only ones who think this app is a gem. Apple named it an ‘Essential App for Parents’ and Time Magazine gave it a spot on their ‘Top 50 Apps of the Year.’
Full Term – Labor Contraction Timer (iOS, Android)
This app is pretty straightforward – tap a single button to start the contraction timer and then again when the contraction ends. But that’s what the designers of the app had in mind. There’s no clutter and a clean interface, so when the first contraction hits, it’s as simple as hitting a button, and the app will do the rest—tracking the times, duration, and frequency of your labor period.
This useful app will save your data and give you an estimate of your progress. We really like the low-light option for this app, so you can labor quietly without a phone light blaring in your eyes.