Naturally, one of the first things I did after finding out that Christine was pregnant, was to download an app. A quick search of the App Store returned Pregnancy+ as the first result, and as it had good reviews, I downloaded it.
The app takes some basic information about you, which can be imported from Facebook or Google, and then asks you whether you are pregnant, or a partner/grandparent, and helps you calculate a due date if you haven’t had a dating scan yet. Once set up, it becomes a dashboard for information about your pregnancy.
On the iPad edition, the left column of the home page has links to information – a daily blog post, daily advice, and a week-by-week summary of how your baby is doing, the changes you (or your partner) experiences each week, tips for partners and also information for mothers expecting twins or multiples. You can also view high resolution images of how your baby will (probably) look each week, and its approximate size compared to a piece of fruit. Christine is around 15 weeks pregnant, and so our baby is about the size of a pear; next week, it’ll be approximately avocado-sized.
As well as advice, the app can be used for planning. If you weigh yourself regularly during the pregnancy, then you can input your weight into the app up to once a day, to see how your weight changes, and this can be linked to the Health app on your iPhone. You can also enter the dates of your appointments, and have these synchronised with your calendar, so that they appear in your phone’s calendar app. There’s a to-do list, and you can also use it to create a birth plan to discuss with your midwife.
Additional features include suggestions for baby names, ranked by popularity and by country, tips for what to put in to your hospital bag to prepare for the birth, a shopping list for baby items with suggestions, and a tool to measure contractions.
It’s an extensive app and it combines the features of several others, all in a bright, welcoming interface. I’ve used it on both my iPhone and iPad, but it seems to work better on larger screens.
It isn’t perfect; it would be nice if partners could be linked to the same baby, so that I can view Christine’s data and vice versa. We both have the app but any data we enter isn’t synchronised. And the shopping list recommends a lot of items that we’ve been advised aren’t really necessary.
Though the app is free to download, initially you can only track a pregnancy for the first trimester – up to 13 weeks. After that, you need to buy a £2.99 (iOS) or £2.49 (Android) in-app purchase to unlock the app for the rest of the pregnancy. Presumably, you won’t need to buy it again for future pregnancies.
Whilst the app will be of most use to pregnant mothers, it’s useful for partners as well, and it’s allowed me to learn more about what Christine’s going through so that I can support her. And she’s found it useful to understand how our baby is growing inside her.