Apps for pregnancy and conception: Which should you use?

It is true what they say these days, if you need something, “there is probably an app for that.”

hands on iPhone

Image source: Thinkstock

Women’s health is no exception.

There are several apps available for tracking one’s cycle, to either assist with conception or to help avoid pregnancy until ready.  These same apps can be very helpful for women with any kind of menstrual irregularities, to provide their physicians with this valuable data, when they are being evaluated.

There are also several apps to help track the progress of pregnancy, make diet and exercise recommendations during pregnancy and track the progress of contractions during labor.

Then there are some just plain fun apps to use while pregnant — some to announce your pregnancy to friends and family, track the progress of your growing belly or even plan the perfect nursery.

A recent online article listed their “10 must- have apps for conception and pregnancy,” so I decided to head to the app store to check them out.

The first and second apps on the list are both apps to help women track their cycles and determine their most fertile days.  They are both free to download, with potential up-grades for minimal fees, to be added later.  They both seem to have fairly user friendly interfaces and get high marks on their customer reviews.

Pregnancy and conception apps

  1. Ovuline
    The description states that this app was “developed by Harvard scientists to help women conceive faster.”  It not only tracks one’s cycle, but also analyzes the data to help women better predict exactly when conception is most likely.  It also gives daily reminders of things women can do to promote fertility.  I like that this app also has a pin login to help keep this information private.
  2. My Days
    This is the second app recommended to track one’s cycle.  I downloaded it and found it was very easy to input the data.  It not only lets you input your cycle days, but also your basal body temp and info on the quality of cervical mucous.  This app also had a lot of positive reviews from users.
  3. Pregnancy ++
    This app follows the progress of your pregnancy from the very first week.  It gives detailed descriptions about the size and weight of babies each week and also has images of what the baby looks like in utero.  It has a place to keep track of prenatal visits and what was discussed.  It even has a place to make a hospital bag packing list.
    I think this app is a good way for women to connect with their pregnancy and share their progress with friends and family.  It also has some good info on diet and exercise.  It also has a place to keep count of babies kicks and to track timing and frequency of contractions.  This app is a fairly good value at $2.99, since it contains so much good info and images.
  4. Belly Snaps
    This app is 99 cents.  With more and more people announcing their pregnancies, babies gender and birth online, this seems like a fun accessory.  It allows one to upload pics of their pregnant belly, ultrasound pics or first baby pics, with fun borders/banners for added cuteness.  Despite some of the hard parts of pregnancy, it is an amazing time, and an app like this can be a good reminder of the fun side of pregnancy.
  5. CineMama
    This is another free app created by the March of dimes.  I wish I had something like this during my pregnancies.  It is a very user-friendly interface, which allows women to track the growth of their belly on a weekly basis.  In the end it creates a cool stop/start video of Mom’s belly growing over the 9 months.  It even allows one to add a fun sound track.  I also like the diary feature, which allows Mom’s to easily keep track of memorable events during their pregnancy.  I noted that this app has a lot of positive reviews, but some people didn’t like that it requires you to connect to it using your Facebook account.
  6. Pregnancy Food Guide
    According to the article this app is $2.99 for Android phones, but when I looked in the iPhone app store it was $7.99.  This seems a little expensive for what it is.  In general I think most women just need to follow a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy and listen to their doctors regarding what foods to avoid.  I did like the section recommending certain pregnancy “superfoods,” such as avocados.  It then gives recipe ideas to use these foods, which is always helpful.
  7. Sculpt My Pregnancy 
    On the other hand, at $3.99, this app looks like a fairly good value.  It gives suggestions for appropriate exercises that can be done each month of pregnancy.  It not only describes the exercises, but also has video demonstrations.  It focuses on appropriate exercises to stay fit, but also specifically addresses ways to be in the best shape to manage labor.  I will definitely be recommending this app for my patients.
  8. Baby Names
    No more need for bulky baby name books with this free app available.  It allows you to check the origin and meaning of names and also allows you to check their popularity by year.  This database of names appears very extensive, so most likely you will find your choice here.  It has a nice feature that allows you to save and rank your favorite names.
  9. Houzz Kids
    This is another fun app that is free to download.  This is great for first time moms who are trying to get ideas for the perfect nursery, or to plan rooms for toddlers or older children.   It has an extensive database of images that can help you choose everything from color schemes, furniture, wall hangings and toys.  It is probably best to just use this app for ideas, rather than to purchase the items, since you can probably find better deals in the stores, but it will allow you to keep all your design ideas in one place to access when you are out shopping.
  10. Full Term – Labor Contraction Timer
    When that day finally comes and labor starts, it can be both a time of excitement and anxiety.  This is a great app to help partners and labor coaches get involved and feel a part of the labor process.  Keeping track of the contractions can be valuable info when calling your doctor or going to the hospital to be evaluated.  This app stores the information regarding the length and timing of contractions and also allows you to input information on the strength/quality of the contractions.  This app seems very user friendly since someone just has to press start and stop with each contraction, it will then calculate the duration and frequency of the contractions.

Overall, I think most of these apps are a great way to not only promote a healthy pregnancy, but also to have fun with pregnancy.  It is an amazing time to be remembered and enjoyed.

About the Author

Dr. Allison Devine is an OB/GYN with The Austin Diagnostic Clinic. She writes about women's health topics, including pre-conception counseling and pre-natal care. Dr. Devine sees patients at ADC's Main Clinic location in north Austin, TX.