Pregnant? There’s an app for that

Stay in the know using your smartphone.

When Megan Gardner was pregnant with her first child three years ago, she read a lot of books. Now with her second baby on the way and juggling an energetic preschooler, family life and a full-time job, she just doesn’t have the time. But she stays in the know using her smartphone.

A quick search online or in your phone or tablet’s app store will reveal hundreds of baby-related apps, from helping you conceive to tracking contractions and beyond.

“Apps are a more convenient way to get information, news and updates,” Gardner said. “I look at the Baby Center app every day. It has daily tips based on my week of pregnancy so I can learn about how the baby is developing, how my body is changing, as well as get healthy recipes, medical information and support.”

Apps make it easy for women to learn about everything from what foods and medications to avoid to how many calories they should be eating every day,” said Lyndsey D. Neese, M.D., OB/GYN, who had a baby last year and used apps herself. “I used a contraction and fetal kick timer app and iBaby, which was really helpful for tracking feedings and naps after I brought my baby home.”

Gardner also uses the Baby Bump and What to Expect apps, which feature graphics and videos, checklists on preparing for the baby, a message board to chat with other expectant moms and more.

Dr. Neese recommends the What to Expect apps as well — one for pregnancy and one for after the baby is born — because of the week-by-week development information they provide and questions to ask your doctor.

“You can keep track of your doctor’s appointments, weight and other vital signs,” Dr. Neese said. “There are so many great apps available, and most are free.”

Others Dr. Neese recommends are Period Tracker for those trying to conceive and KellyMom (Breastfeeding Management 2), a great resource for everything about breastfeeding.

“MyFitnessPal is another popular app for anyone, not just those who are pregnant,” Dr. Neese said. “It tracks your calories and exercise to keep you on target with your weight. For those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it will accommodate for the extra calories needed.”

Gardner found her favorite apps by doing a Google search, but the results can be overwhelming. When choosing which apps to download, Dr. Neese suggests reading the reviews. No one can say it better than other women just like you.

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