While pregnancy has certainly been around for a lot longer than pregnancy apps, the motivation behind these “must-have” apps has always been with women on their journeys to motherhood. When you are pregnant, there is a constant desire to understand, document and marvel at the amazing feat that your body is accomplishing. So now that the world has smartphones, there’s an app for that!
Quite a few apps, in fact. There are apps that do it all: week-by-week development information, reminders, tips, name ideas, pictures and more. And for some, particularly first-time moms, this may be just what’s needed. However, if you’ve been pregnant before or simply don’t want to be inundated with information and notifications at every turn, there are other useful apps that just deal with a particular aspect of pregnancy. Also, some of these more specialized apps deliver more than the more general ones with similar features.
Browse the apps below and find the ones that are what you need. Unless otherwise noted, they are all available on iPhone and Android.
The first five are comprehensive apps, which offer basically the same services. However, as noted in bold, each of them shines a bit brighter in a particular aspect.
A few notes of caution about these all-encompassing apps:
Some may be so comprehensive it might be tempting to rely on them too much. They should not take the place of real-world experiences like taking childbirth education courses or asking questions to your doctor. And though online forums can be helpful, you’ll want to connect with other pregnant moms in your own local community because these are the people who may become the parents of your children’s friends. Also, these apps, particularly the free ones, will take in as much information with you as you will give them and likely use it to market to you in the form of emails and, sometimes, in-app advertising.
This day-to-day pregnancy tracker will guide you through just about every aspect of your pregnancy (and your baby’s first year if you stick with it). It has notifications about your baby’s development, info on size relative to a piece of food, an endless supply of tips and an online community of moms. Its tools include a“bumpie” photo diary that lets you document your bump as it grows and a kick tracker. It has online childbirth educations classes, baby names, a gift registry checklist, a safety checker for nearly any food, product or service, a contraction timer and a birth preference planner. It will even see if you can get free pregnancy-related resources through your medical benefits plan, and you can sign up for notifications about free and discounted baby products. Free.
Based on the perennially popular What to Expect When You’re Expecting book, this comprehensive app is all about the information moms crave about their babies and their bodies. Unlike the book, though, the app’s information is delivered at precisely the time that moms are wondering about it. It makes suggestions for questions to ask your doctor at your upcoming visit and gives information on tests and screenings. Its weekly tracker compares your growing baby’s size to a fruit or vegetable. It also features a photo journal app and a baby registry. Free.
Best Health Tracker
The focus of this comprehensive app is keeping track of your and your baby’s health. It syncs with your fitness tracker (Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc.) and puts that information (and more) into the context of your pregnancy. It tracks weight, sleep, exercise, steps, blood pressure, and app–along with its partner apps Ovia Fertility and Ovia Parenting–can take you all the way through getting pregnant into raising baby. While it offers the typical food-baby comparisons like most other apps, it also shows you the size of your baby’s hand. Its parent company Ovia Health works with medical insurers to provide resources for their pregnant clients. One of its features, a health assessment, asks detailed questions about your medical history, current habits, and birthing plan. It then customizes your information but only if you enter your healthcare plan and employer. Free.
Forget fruit comparisons, Sprout shows you in 3-D what your baby looks like at this moment. You can manipulate the screen to see your little bean at all angles. Its tools include a weight tracker, kick counter, and contraction timer. There’s also a medical visit planner, to-do list, hospital bag checklist and a personal journal. $3.99 after a free 2-week trial.
While most of these pregnancy apps include some form of community, the social aspect of Totally Pregnant are quite robust in that it emphasizes moms connecting with moms via chat and via blogs and videos created by other moms. In addition to weekly tracking of your baby’s growth, it shows you services in your local community that you might need and offers online classes. Its tools include a photo album, birth plan, baby registry, contraction counter and checklists. The variousclasses and videos are priced separately or can be accessed for a membership fee. A 9-month membership is $39.99.
Being pregnant can be an overwhelming experience as your body and mind adjust to this radical change. This can bring stress. To reduce this stress, try Expectful guided video meditations in 10 and 20-minute formats. They cover subjects such as exercises to keep you grounded, sleeping, embracing your body, connecting with your partner. And of course, it has meditative strategies for labor and delivery. All this does not come free, though; it’s $9.99/month or $74.99/year after a 14-day free trial.
This name app is encyclopedic in the number of names it offers and versatile in the ways it lets you search and sort them into your favorites list. It catalogs the most popular names by year and even tells you how many children were born in a given year with a name. It reveals name meanings and lists famous people with the name. It compiles them into groupings like “Cowboy Names,” “Harry Potter Names,” “Names Meaning Strong” or “Twin Names.” Free. iPhone only.
This app lets you and your partner collaborate, matching you the names you both like. Each of you goes through a list of names (along with each name’s meaning and origin) accepting or rejecting them, and it then populates a list of shared names. Free.
This app is all about safety. And though many of the comprehensive apps have much of this information, what this app brings to the table is both a medical pedigree and a scanner. Created by the Texas Tech University Health Science Center’s InfantRisk Center, this app brings its database of information to your phone. Scan barcodes for over-the-counter products, search by drug name or learn about related medical conditions. $3.99.
Listening to the Heartbeat
If you can wait for your next medical visit to hear your baby, you can listen to your baby’s heartbeat with your iPhone! This app uses your phone’s microphone and works best after 30 weeks. $4.99. iPhone only.
While this app is most popular after baby is born, you may well want to capture your pregnancy with it. The artwork overlays allow you to take your selfies and turn them into a beautifully crafted journal of this special time. $2.99 plus optional in-app purchases.
Share your expertly edited photos of your bump as it grows on Facebook and Instagram. Create a digital scrapbook as you add your own text to photos or use stickers, frames, filters and other editing tools to tell your pregnancy’s story. There is also an online community of photo bugs to share with. iPhone only.
Let your friends guess all the details of your baby’s birth. You can offer prizes (or not). You set up the pool and invite them to guess the gender, date and time, weight, length, name and first initial. $.99. iPhone only.