Moms and dads to be are downloading pregnancy apps for their Google Android and Apple iOS devices at increasing rates. Gone are the days when expectant parents needed to reference books or keep notebooks to find pregnancy information and track pregnancy details. Smartphones allow us to have almost everything we need at our fingertips. ABC News reported in March 2013 that 47 percent of total mobile subscribers that use one or more health app use a pregnancy-related app, according to ByteMobile’s first quarter 2013 mobile analytics report.
We searched the iTunes and Google Play, accessed some of the top pregnancy apps among iOS and Android users, and selected these as five of our favorites when it comes to planning pregnancy, going through pregnancy, and giving birth.
For women who are trying to conceive, Fertility Friend Mobile is an extremely helpful and convenient companion. We found that getting to know this app required more time than some of the others, but that’s because it is comprehensive and absolutely serious about helping you monitor your fertility. FertilityFriend.com started as an online fertility-charting pioneer in 1998, and has grown into a leader in terms of popularity and accuracy.
The app, at face value, is simply a chart and calendar to track your period, fertility and ovulation days. Yet what goes into the tracking is a thorough account of your primary fertility signs including cervical fluid, menstruation, sexual activity and basal body temperature, it also accounts for secondary signs such as cervix position, texture and opening; any tests you’ve used; medications; physical specifics and situations such as bloating, backaches, exercise, drinking, etc.; mood; weight; and a custom field for anything else you’d like to note. You may set an alarm as a data-entry reminder.
Fertility Friend Mobile is integrated with the FertilityFriend.com website, which offers analysis tools, educational resources, an online community and more. Once you are pregnant, an integrated Pregnancy Tracker can take the monitoring from there.
Platform: Android and iOS
Whether you are pregnant, trying to avoid pregnancy or just trying to become better connected to your body’s cycles, the Kindara Fertility app is worth downloading to your iPhone or iPad—it will be available for Android soon. We really liked its intuitive design, simplicity, soft color scheme, and helpful tutorial.
Developed by fertility experts, doctors, and women, this app charts your cervical fluid, basal body temperature, sexual activity and menstruation to help determine peak fertility. If you have additional questions or would like your chart reviewed, you can do so for an additional fee.
Note: An Android version is being developed
Cost: Free (app only; additional charges for expert review and questions)
If you are an Android user looking for a single all-purpose pregnancy app, look no further than My Pregnancy Today. The format is simple and easy to navigate, and this app is packed with information.
As of our search time, BabyCenter’s My Pregnancy Today is Google Play’s top pregnancy app. Moms and dads to be can track the pregnancy’s progress day by day. In addition to information on how the mother’s body is changing, features include fetal development images, a checklist for tracking things like appointments, videos, a due date calculator and a nutrition guide with recipes. A feature called birth clubs allows you to connect with other women due at the same time.
Expectant mothers and fathers who use iOS devices will want to make the Sprout pregnancy essentials app—the free lite version or the paid premium version—part of their journey to parenthood. If the breathtaking color illustrations of fetal development every step of the way aren’t reason enough to download this one, then the extensive doctor-written information and comprehensive to-do lists will convince you.
American Baby Magazine and Med ART Studios developed this app, which combines brains and beauty. In other words, it achieves what few apps set out to: being both functional and pleasant to look at. While it is fun to use for tracking your pregnancy’s progress and learning what is happening to your body—or your partner’s body—as well as the baby developing within, it is also extremely helpful for staying organized. You can track doctor visits, access checklists for newborn essentials and what to pack for the hospital, and create your own to-do lists. The premium version offers 3D images as well as a kick counter, contraction timer and many additional social features so you can share updates with family and friends. Time magazine listed Sprout among its “50 Best iPhone Apps” in 2012.
Cost: Free for the lite version, $3.99 for the premium version
When it’s time to deliver—or just prepare to deliver—iBirth is ready to assist as a graceful and trustworthy source. A birth doula and a doctor of psychology developed this app, which explains its ability to strike a comforting and helpful approach. A finalist for About.com’s 2013 Best Pregnancy App, a reader’s choice award, iBirth has been earned many fans.
The iBirth app comes in a full version as well as a free version called Contraction Timer Plus. The full version offers videos to help you practice labor, that offer guidance on receiving an epidural, that allow you to move along with a laboring woman and her doula. The app also includes prenatal nutrition assistance, a contraction timer, and tips and lists including questions to ask your doctor or midwife, visualizations, handling a long labor, and more. It’s been called “a class-in-your-palm” by Pregnancy & Newborn magazine. We couldn’t agree more and believe that while it’s well worth paying for the full version, the Contraction Timer Plus is helpful for timing contractions (of course) as well as accessing nutrition tips and more.
Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: $2.99 at iTunes and Google Play, Free for the Contraction Timer Plus
Smart phone apps should not be considered a substitute for medical care and advice. Be sure to consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns about becoming pregnant, avoiding pregnancy, or being pregnant. The prices listed above are the prices listed at the time this article was written and are subject to change.