My Favourite Free Apps: Pregnancy Edition

My #1 source for information during pregnancy was and always will be my providers. I was lucky enough to have a team of wonderful midwives caring for me during my pregnancy with Maggie and they were full of information and always happy to answer my questions! I also saw my Primary Care Provider (PCP) for any non-pregnancy concerns and queries I had.

Despite the ease with which I could reach my midwives (I promise I’ll do a blog post on my excellent experience soon) and my PCP (I know that’s not the case for everyone), I still liked to have some on-hand resources for info – nothing pressing but things like ‘what food should I be avoiding for food borne illness risks’ and ‘how large is my baby now’ that could easily be answered by an app and didn’t directly involve an immediate risk or danger to me or my baby.

Here are some of my faves from pregnancy! Soon I’ll be sharing a list of apps I use now, as a new mom, too (some overlap and I’ve mentioned that in the blurbs!).

*Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only. The information on this blog should not be used as a substitute to medical advice or medical treatment. As always, your Primary Care Provider, a doctor, or another health professional is your best resource for specific questions and medical advice. If you believe you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact 911.* *This post is not sponsored and as always, contains my honest opinion.*

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Bump

Why did I like the Bump? It gave me week to week very basic ‘updates ‘on what was happening within me & with my baby. I like images, and they usually provided some + videos to see growth and development (which is always an estimate and sometimes very off, but it was mostly for fun!).

I also liked them because they reference their sources, and use medical experts where appropriate for their posted articles. Are they a replacement for my medical experts? Absolutely not – but it made me feel more comfortable using the app and reading the articles. Any questions I had regarding anything specific about me or my baby, I directed to my midwives.

There is a forum as well – I didn’t really use any of the forum functions to post, but I did sometimes read through other women’s responses. I am not sure how monitored any of these things are (similar to any online form of social support) though, and I think women sometimes rely on them too much – so it is great to swap stories, but medical advice should always come from a medical professional.

Favourite Part(s):

  • Written weekly updates on baby & your body changes during pregnancy;
  • Easy to read & non-glitchy application;
  • Use of medical experts for linked articles

Least Favourite Part(s):

  • Just the forum not being monitored, sometimes there was weird stuff on there (similar to any forum + Facebook groups)

Ovia (Fertility & Pregnancy)

I love this appI still use it now (Fertility) for period tracking purposes. I used it while trying to conceive (you can turn this feature on/off in the app) and I switched over to the pregnancy app (which the app facilitates very easily) when I found out I was pregnant.

In both versions, information is provided to you regarding what is going on in your body; for the pregnancy app specifically, you get size updates (similar to the Bump but you can change the ‘comparison’ items – it didn’t just have to be fruit, for example; again, not necessarily accurate being every baby grows differently but just a fun thing for you to do & look at). You also get a small handprint & footprint comparison – no idea how accurate this was either (likely again, “average” or generalized), but it was really cute so I liked it. Sometimes these things give us anxious moms ‘peace of mind’ even if they aren’t totally reflective of our situation – in the very least, this kind of thing isn’t harmful in anyway, but comforting.

There was some built in features in both this app and the Bump app for things like contraction timing/counter – I preferred the one in the Bump app. I found it easier to use and like the Bump app overall, I preferred the ‘appearance’ or interface.

They also use medical experts for their articles, which I liked of course. Most of these apps are American though – so a lot of the information links to mostly American sources, which is usually OK but sometimes doesn’t work or line up appropriately for other mamas.

My favourite ‘use’ for this app was to track my symptoms – I could keep track of everything going on & keep notes of milestones (when we first heard Maggie’s heartbeat) to record elsewhere later, as well as notes of questions to ask my midwives (I mean, you can easily do this in your phone too, but it was helpful for me and I am a *sucker* for being able to look at trends and changes over time).

My other common use for this app was for the list of safe foods – in my first trimester, I was very anxious and spent a lot of time worrying about what I was consuming and how it might impact my baby (we were also travelling between 12-14 weeks in Ireland – yes I did that – so I was extra cautious). Again – main resource was always my midwives, but if I couldn’t remember exactly what they had said (or as is common with pregnancy brain, I forgot to ask), this was a decent reference point in the mean time. I’d usually double check any recommendations with the Government of Canada’s list.

A bonus about Oviait is primarily a female company!

Favourite Part(s):

  • That they have an app for ‘every stage’ and it was easy to transition between them;
  • Hand & footprint for baby, even if they weren’t accurate – they were cute;
  • Symptom tracking and safe food list

Least Favourite Part(s):

  • Honestly, nothing particular. I guess I didn’t like the contraction counter, as I mentioned, as much as the Bump’s.
  • One thing = Doesn’t have an associate webpage – I know some people like to read info on their computer rather than their phone due to text print size, etc.

Babycenter

(Canada – there is also a US version)

I used Babycenter on my computer when I was pregnant a few times – it came up often in Google searches because it has a forum (so does the Bump, as I mentioned) with a lot of women asking questions about their pregnancies (and beyond). There was also ‘due date groups’ on both apps through these forums – I never used them, however I did find my Facebook due date group (for Canadian mamas) through this website! I’ll talk more about that later.

When I found out they had an app, I downloaded it. It allowed me to access the forums (if needed) more easily on my phone. There is a version of the website for different areas (Canada, UK, US, etc.) which I liked. The Bump I found was great for resources, but they were American and some info doesn’t carry over like vaccine schedules, when you get into the newborn/child information.

I really liked the developmental posts each week from this app – I found they were detailed and the video was always cool. I usually checked what each app said for development every week, and they were usually pretty consistent in regards to major changes. They also had a cool feature for parents of multiples – a separate developmental post for twin pregnancies!

A couple other cool features are a birth plan worksheet (I did peruse this while coming up with my own birth wish list), baby registry checklist (though I relied more on Twitter recommendations), and another list of “is it safe” items (but I found Ovia’s easier to access on an ongoing basis)

Favourite Part(s):

  • Mostly the “development” week by week portion of the app

Least Favourite Part(s):

  • Once again – the forum. These are a double-edged sword because it’s so important that women share their experiences, but it needs to be balanced by seeking advice from an expert. There is no way to know this is happening + I am not sure how monitored the posts are – people spread lots of misinformation online, some that can be very dangerous.

These were definitely my top 3 picks, but there were a few others I enjoyed for specific reasons (and they are not the same format as the ones above). I also liked:

Baby Pics

This was a ‘just for fun’ app – I loved taking weekly pregnancy pictures. Sure, they weren’t as aesthetically pleasing as the people who wear the same outfit in each picture (I love those, I just honestly didn’t have the energy to do them after work) – but Baby Pics helped me make my pictures look cuter! These were fun to share with my family and friends – it’s basically a very basic photo-editing application with stamps for the week of pregnancy, and it includes your comparison fruit for size (again, not accurate but fun).

They have a ton of other stamps too – for baby’s milestones (if you don’t want to spend money on milestone cards, stickers or blocks; I ended up getting stickers for Maggie that have been so fun) and special events like Valentine’s Day.

It’s basically just a fun way to edit & share pictures! Keep in mind it is very basic, but easy to use and constantly updated with more graphics. Good for people like me who are not skilled at graphic design.

oMama

For my Ontario mamas! You know how I’ve mentioned the Bump, BabyCenter, and Ovia are primarily using American resources? Well here is your supplement for those resources that don’t carry over perfectly to Canadian healthcare.

This app is good for Canadians in general, but most of the resources are for Ontario. This is a website and an app (just like the Bump and BabyCenter). It covers resources from pre-pregnancy to the newborn stage.

As a nurse, I love this resource because it is evidence-based. You put in where you are in pregnancy (or parenting) and the app provides you with information tailored to the stage you’re at. It provides a variety of resources, so if you need more info than is provided in the app, you can click through to any of the linked websites that are all reliable resources.

It was an app built with the direct input of women and providers in the community which is amazing because it answers a lot of common questions and provides needed resources.

Facebook (never thought I’d say that…)

Yes, Facebook. I actually liked it for one purpose and it was my due date group – now before you say “omg, due date groups are crazy!”, just know that I was lucky enough to find a group that isn’t like this and was all moms in at least Canada, but mostly my own province.

Even when you join one with a few oddballs in it, I find the support is still nice. Especially with the pandemic (though I was not pregnant during it), I can see groups like this being very supportive and helpful for many mamas or mamas to be who might be feeling isolated and alone.

Again, the primary function of these groups is NOT to ask for or receive medical advice! Talk to your provider for this kind of information. You can use the groups though to share photos, milestones, to ask questions (but again, medical questions should be asked to your provider either first or as well, and do NOT follow advice given to you by a stranger on the internet), and just to connect with other people who might be like you or in your area (obviously be safe/cautious while doing this).

I think there is an important support role played by social media for pregnant and new moms – but it needs to be used with caution and for the proper purposes. When it is, you can form amazing friendships and social support groups!

I’ve also made a lot of connections through Twitter – not just during pregnancy, but after & unrelated to motherhood.

There are probably of plenty of other great apps out there – but as always, I strive to provide honest info on things I’ve actually used. These were my favourite with my first pregnancy, maybe it will change the next time I’m pregnant!

Stay tuned for a list of apps I love for breastfeeding/newborn tracking!

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