With the HUNDREDS of pregnancy apps out there, wading through all of them is a mission – I would know. During my pregnancy with Rose, I downloaded and tried out at least 50 various free apps so you don’t have to! From pregnancy tracking to massages and food delivery, here are my top nine pregnancy apps for making your life as easy as possible during those crazy (and wonderful) 40 weeks.
An overwhelming trend I found with so many pregnancy apps is the ever-present message boards. While message boards can be helpful when it’s 3 am and you need a quick answer for a burning question, or for a support group with other women who share your birth month, message boards should not be the backbone of the app. Unfortunately, most of the pregnancy apps that I came across relied heavily on their message board capabilities and really provided no other useful features that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Each app seemed to be a clone of the next: overloaded, off-topic (and many times, noticeably incorrect) message boards accompanied by basic weekly or monthly growth trackers. In a word, they were garbage – thank goodness they were all free. My top three favorites are The Bump, Nurture, and Ovia Pregnancy, and here’s exactly why:
This was my number one for so many reasons. Every time I opened my phone, I clicked on that little icon and read something new. Your home feed immediately opens to your personalized page with your week at the very top. You can click to read all about your baby’s development (and your own body changes), 3D baby view, weekly reminders, and easy sharing buttons to send to your partner or a loved one. The home feed also displays a healthy number of informed and timely articles sprinkled with the occasional one-question survey or relevant message board topics that are trending. They are constantly replenishing with new content that is backed by sound research, as well as helpful guides and product reviews with the latest new baby trends. And, it’s PRETTY to look at.
The next feed features real answers, which you could consider to be their message boards, but it is a more structured and informed format. Instead of discussion topics, you are able to select your category and search for or ask a question. Women then respond with their mom answers. What I really like about this Q&A feature is the ability to report certain replies, and their strict etiquette policy – no trolls here! They also have resident experts (bios and credentials included) who answer as many questions as possible, so you know you are getting answers from trusted professionals, not just other moms. While experienced moms are usually right (yea we are!), it’s always smart to get the opinion of a physician or specialist.
Finally, the last page of the app is for your registry. You can link your registry from BabiesRUs, Amazon, Pottery Barn Kids, Walmart, Target, The Land of Nod, Babyearth, Crowdrise, and Buy Buy Baby to manage through The Bump app. You can also explore their catalog of over 10,000 items from all of your favorite major retailers, accompanied by research from The Bump moms. Then, once your registry is ready, you can share it easily from the app!
Additional features: weekly bump photo album, weekly baby photo album, community forums, explore option, multiple child stages feed.
My second-favorite app here. It’s just as pretty to look at as The Bump, but different in design. Your home feed is, again, customized to your week and day, and shows a realistic (but not gross) graphic of your little one. Every day it prompts you to complete your daily log, which serves as both a tracker and a reminder – sometimes I forget I need to drink all that water! It’s a simple check-yes-or-no task that takes less than 30 seconds to fill out. Super user friendly, super helpful for tracking prenatals, water, sleep, weight, exercise, kegels, spotting, cramps, morning sickness, and even your mood. You can also select to update your medical log with info like fundal height, heart rate, blood pressure, baby’s heart rate, cervix state, or an ultrasound photo, but that’s not required for the daily log. Based on your answers, it gives you personalized comparative insights into your recordings and charts for tracking your progress. I love a good chart, don’t you? The home feed also touts helpful professional articles, just like The Bump, and fun community polls, like “Do you consider yourself a healthy eater?” (I try! But I love pizza too much).
The Nurture community page is full of discussion groups that you can join. While this may seem similar to the message boards problem I was talking about above, it’s NOT. Their categories are so nicely and neatly organized that my OCD self is quite fine with it. You also don’t see the feed of every single group, only the ones you choose to join or the app assigns to you (for example, based on your due date, the app will enroll you in the group for your birth month). So, if I don’t want my community feed filled up with all of the unsavory details of your pregnancy sex life, or in-law drama Q&A, then it won’t be. And, most of all, I love their group rules: Be kind, and have fun! Anyone who does not follow this one simple rule will be asked to leave our community.
Their next hot feature is a cool and fun one – timelapse! Need I say more? The app guides you through the process and creates an album of all of your progress photos for you. Want to see your belly grow before your eyes? Take a picture of your bump every week and upload it to the Nurture app.
Finally, their alerts are quite helpful, although they usually tend to point out the obvious. If you haven’t logged in any exercise (guilty!) it will alert you to go for a walk. Bummer, I know, but like I said, helpful. It has notifications, the ability to schedule new appointments, and add reminders for yourself (like a question you have for the doctor, or a new item you want to check out). Another plus? Your partner can join in on the fun and link to your account in the app by downloading Nurture and signing up.
Additional features: health profile, dashboard, checklists, export data pdf, care team contacts, bookmarks.
While Ovia has the same main home feed features as The Bump and Nurture apps like helpful articles, weekly growth updates, and cute real time feet-and-hand size trackers, it isn’t as chock full of information as the other two. It is also not as visually appealing, which plays an important role in my book. While it isn’t ugly, it falls short of The Bump app. However, Ovia has several features that The Bump does not. You can take a quiz about your health to customize your home feed to display relevant topics to you, such as general health, prenatal nutrition, C-section, midwifery, hypertension, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes prevention & management, preterm history, short cervix, daily & weekly progesterone tracking, mental health, patient advocacy, and breastfeeding prep.
Their second feed is a personalized calendar that automatically updates what week you are on, and where you can record doctor’s appointments, notes, milestones, and add data, such as mood, blood pressure, weight, activity, symptoms, sleep, nutrition, and medications. While the main feed reminds you daily to take your prenatal, you are also able to add detailed information daily to the calendar, which is very handy when it comes time to share things with your doctor or midwife. I don’t know about you, but sometimes they go through the motions so quickly at appointments that I forget to mention a symptom I was curious about, or a medication I took two weeks ago. Add that to “pregnancy brain”, and you’re just walking through life in a fog. This app eliminates that problem and makes it easy to keep track – although, it does not prompt you every day like Nurture does and isn’t as user friendly.
Additional features: community feed, MyQ insights, kick counter, contraction timer, food safety lookup, medication safety lookup, symptoms lookup, goals.
Who doesn’t want a life-improving app? Well, these have it, if you ask me. From registries to shopping to stress reduction, these four apps have definitely made my life better.
When deciding what I wanted to get for baby Rose, I came across the problem that I wanted several different things from several different sites! With Babylist, you can put anything onto your baby registry from any store, big or small. You can even ask to be gifted help & favors, like home-cooked meals, second-hand baby clothes, or help walking your pup. This registry also helps to support indie shops and makers by allowing you to add unique gifts that you wouldn’t be able to find at a big-box store. I myself had a few items on my registry from Etsy! Plus, we all know the rules about not asking for cash, but what if that’s what you REALLY need? Don’t judge! With Babylist you can start that college fund (or diaper fund) with help from your village – they transfer the cash straight to your bank account. They also provide free insert cards for your baby shower invitations, and can link or transfer items to your Babylist if you have another registry. I have to say, I also really appreciate their guides and “best of” lists. They are always up-to-date and they give you great sample baby registries with distinct themes or budget guidelines. Downside? No completion discount, since Babylist gathers items from every single store imaginable. Upside – install the widget icon to your internet browser and you can easily add any item on the internet to your Babylist.
Hold onto your PayPal accounts ladies – this one is dangerous! I can’t tell you how many times Max asked me “What’s this Zulily PayPal charge AGAIN?!” But the deals are JUST. TOO. GOOD. Believe it or not, I’m not a serial shopper. It’s hard to believe, right? I mean, isn’t that all bloggers do: shop? Nope. You have just met a lady who doesn’t particularly like to shop unless there’s a real reason. Sale? Nah, I don’t really need anything right now. But this app will change the game. Everything is on major sale, and the prices are too good to resist. While generally I discovered the quality of off-brand women’s clothes that I ordered from here were unwearable, the kid’s pop up shops for clothes, shoes, toys, and accessories were top-notch name brands that I know and love. Gymboree, Rosie Pope, bon bebe, Leighton Alexander, Carter’s, Aden & Anais, Kidkraft, Chicco, Motorola, Disney, Boxed, Melissa & Doug, and hundreds more, all at up to 70% off. Yes, they are flash sales that last about 3 days each, so you have to check the app every couple of days for new deals and brands. If you wait too long, the item might sell out or the sale could expire, so it takes smart planning and knowing what you really do need to use this app effectively. Otherwise, you will buy everything.
Any pregnant woman knows that the hardest part of being pregnant is all the time you will spend in the doctor’s office waiting room (usually without a good phone signal). The stress, the anxiety, the anticipation; WHYYY??!! Here’s my easy fix: coloring! Enter Colorfy, my favorite coloring app – no wifi or signal needed. Coloring is for kids, you say? Well, it turns out coloring can be beneficial for adults — namely for its de-stressing power. The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity. When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.” In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.
While there are tons of free coloring apps out there, I have tried them all and this one is my go-to. They update their designs seasonally, and offer you the chance to upgrade for more pages. But with at least 50 free designs that are updated all the time, I didn’t find the purchase necessary. Categories include basic, florals, animals, famous, messages, cats, lifestyle, gardens, patterns, mandalas, oriental, exotic, places, fun, zodiac signs, special dates, authors, and weekly volumes that contain seasonal specials. All you have to do is select your page, tap to color, and save or discard at your discretion! Before you know it, the nurse will be calling your name to go pee in that cup.
Additional features: draw mandala, take a photo, messages & more, get inspired gallery, virtual gallery.
Instagram’s official layout app is simple, easy to use, and convenient. Instead of knowing ahead of time how many photos you want to use ahead of time and pre-selecting a rigid layout, you actually select the photos FIRST (maximum 9 at a time). Then, Layout shows you several configuration options to choose from, all of which can be edited, moved, flipped, scaled, and rearranged at the touch of your finger. Not sure you like a photo in the configuration? Replace it. Want to change something to mirror image to complete the aesthetic you are going for? Done. Borders, or no borders? Your choice. This app is a winner – that’s a no-brainer.
These apps are the ultimate indulgence for any pregnant woman. They are luxuries that can quickly turn into monthly (or weekly) expenses – so be careful! Just remember, and keep telling yourself: YOU DESERVE THIS.
If you are hit by nausea and food aversions in early pregnancy, OR just can’t imagine standing on your tired feet during your second and third trimesters in a hot, smelly kitchen, bending over and lifting and stirring just to make a dinner you aren’t really digging anyways, OR don’t even want to leave the house to pick up takeout, then a food delivery service is for you. My favorite is Postmates, but since you might not have that in your area, there are other alternatives like Uber Eats. What are these services, you ask? Well, depending on your location, the app displays restaurants and shops in your area that are available for delivery (soooooo many choices). You select your spot, order from their in-app menu, and a nearby driver picks up your food (or other items) and delivers them to your door. What I like about Postmates is that they constantly run promotions like free delivery, and you can even get things from the pharmacy or specialty stores like Office Max, PetSmart, or Best Buy. You can even rack up $$$ by sharing your sign-up link with friends. The downside? No cash – the app has to be hooked up to a form of payment, like Paypal or a credit card. It’s really easy to add tip, though, if you like.
Their motto is “Massage Delivered To You”. Need I say more? Sign up, and get started. You can book a massage for one, couples massage, rebook a therapist you loved, or even get Soothe at work. Select from deep tissue, Swedish, sports massage, Pre-Natal (YEP – they have it as a real category!), male or female; 60, 90, or 120 minutes, and your date/time for your appointment. Set your location, pay through the app, and get ready to relax. It’s like massage on demand. Remember, ask your doctor before getting a Pre-Natal massage, and wait until after your first trimester.
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