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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Low Down on Pregnancy Apps

Pregnancy Apps: What you should know 

I wouldn't be a true millennial if I didn't find a way to incorporate my love for technology into my pregnancy journey. When my mom was pregnant with me mothers read books, asked their family for advice and kept track of their pregnancy in journals and baby books. Those books have not gone anywhere, but they have been supplemented with the ample free information on the internet and pregnancy apps! I downloaded a few when I found out I was expecting (yes I went a little crazy) and I quickly noticed that not all pregnancy apps are created equally. 


The purpose of these apps are to track your pregnancy, give you information on your baby's health and provide a community for expectant mothers. Some apps offer more features and information than others, which can make or break the app for you depending on your expected usage and needs. Below are quick reviews of the 4 pregnancy apps I've downloaded.

Glow Nurture, Pregnancy Tracker- This is my favorite app. I use it with the most regularity and it also happens to be the first app I downloaded after I found out I was pregnant. This app asks you to complete a daily log of your symptoms, water in take, if you took your prenatal vitamin and much more. If you're someone who would like something to help you stay on top of things daily this is the app for you. Along with the daily log you can add baby bump pictures to a time lapse feature. I've been taking one each week and I cannot wait to see the finished product. With the Glow Nurture app you also get daily insights to your pregnancy. Every day there are two- three interesting posts about your baby's growth, the changes to your body and things to prepare for.



Standout features:
-Community: This app is very community friendly. You are added to a group of other mothers that share your same due date/ month, which gives you the opportunity to share experiences. You can also read and add comments under the daily health insight articles to get an even greater sense of community.
-Medical Log: This feature allows you to keep track of everything you learn in your doctors appointments. You can even upload pictures of your Ultrasounds.


What to Expect - This app is very easy to use and extremely informative. What to Expect is a very trusted source during pregnancy, anytime I google something concerning my pregnancy I am always able to find the answer on their site. This app breaks your pregnancy down by the day, giving you ample information about the developments in your pregnancy, changes in your body and helpful tips to keep you healthy during your gestation. After entering you initial account information, there is nothing to update daily with this app. Just log in to get your daily dose of pregnancy info.
Standout features: 
-Journal allows you to add pictures throughout all stages of your pregnancy.
-Today home page gives you a breakdown of your pregnancy, the size of your baby and a countdown until your due date.
-What to Expect website is also very helpful for those who don't want to download the app.Even more information is available to you at WhatToExpect.com

Baby Center- My Pregnancy. This isn't a bad app to use. I think it offers a lot of unique features that are not included in the Glow & What to Expect apps. The everyday calendar of information is a standard tool in pregnancy apps but this doesn't offer as much daily insight as the other apps. I think those insights are really helpful during early pregnancy. Glow Nurture had 2-3 unique articles daily about your baby's growth and your symptoms. I think this would have made this app a lot better. I do love the fact that Baby Center had a lot of tools that I have not seen on the other apps. This really makes it stand out from the rest and I feel it makes up for the lack of other information. I have not used most of them, as it is too early in my pregnancy, but I intend to keep this app so that I can use it later.
Standout features:
-Kick Tracker: Monitor your baby's movements but recording the time, date, duration and number of kicks.
-Contraction timer: During labor you can accurately time your contractions.
-Bumpie: Take photos of your baby bump every week. I'm not sure if there is a photo timelapse but either way you can keep track of your growing belly.
-Full online site full of information and advice from experts

Ovia Pregnancy- I think this is the worst of the four apps I have downloaded, mainly because it is difficult to use. After downloading you are prompted to enter your due date, date of your last period or date of conception so that the app can customize its settings for your pregnancy. After multiple attempts of entering this information, I gave up after the app rejected my info and crashed on me. Without being able to enter this, the app is basically useless. The overall appearance of the app is nice. It is very colorful and looks like there are many features to explore, but I wasn't able to do any of this. Perhaps you will have more luck! I'll probably be deleting this soon.

I recommend using a pregnancy app throughout your pregnancy. Especially if you don't know any other expectant mothers, this could be a good place to find community and a plethora of knowledge for new mothers. Each app has something to offer and whether or not you like a particular app strongly depends on your expected level of usage. I tend to gravitate towards Glow Nurture because I like having something to interact with on a daily basis, as well as having interesting things to read concerning my pregnancy daily. 

If you are expecting or plan to in the future try a pregnancy app! Downloading pregnancy apps has been every helpful to me. I feel like I am being thoroughly educated about what is happening to my body as it happens. It's a great way to feel connected to your baby & pregnancy, especially in your early stages when you are not  yet showing, not feeling movement and have not seen an ultrasound.

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