By Sarah Bradley
As appeared in: Women’s Health
If you’ve ever wondered how the eff pregnant ladies always seem to know when their baby’s the size of an avocado (16 weeks!) or a head of cauliflower (27 weeks!), well, there’s an app for that.
These phone-centric baby trackers can be super-helpful in monitoring your baby’s growth and your body’s pregnancy changes.
“Pregnancy is a time when your body is changing a lot, so an app can be a great way to prepare yourself for what to expect and know what’s normal or not,” says Christine Masterson, M.D., an ob-gyn with Summit Medical Group in New Jersey. “But remember that an app doesn’t replace medical care, and you should never rely on an app to answer your medical questions instead of your physician.”
You can’t trust just any baby tracking app, either. (And definitely not a free one, BTW—go ahead and shill out at least a buck for accuracy.) Here are the best baby tracker apps on the market, so you too can start telling everyone when your baby’s the size of a cantaloupe (and, you know, get lots of other super-helpful pregnancy info too).
1. WHAT TO EXPECT PREGNANCY & BABY TRACKER – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $10.70
Often called the pregnancy “bible,” What to Expect When You’re Expecting has been around forever, and for good reason: it’s chock full of useful, relatable information on pretty much every pregnancy topic imaginable.
Thankfully, the app is no different; on top of personalized tracking that shows you details about exactly where you are in your pregnancy (down to the hour!), it also offers week-by-week videos about your developing body and baby, and tons of pregnancy info about everything from nutrition to exercise to preparing for labor.
Plus, you can consider the health tips and articles to be doctor-approved: “This one is a pretty staple recommendation,” says Masterson, “and it definitely gives sound medical advice.”
2. WEBMD PREGNANCY – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $2.00
For expectant mamas focused on having solid health information at their fingertips, you can’t go wrong with WebMD’s pregnancy app. Masterson notes that, of all the apps, this one is likely to have the most thorough and reliable medical information.
With this app, you can track baby kicks, your weight and blood pressure, and (eventually) your contractions. You can also log the questions you want to ask your doctor at your next appointment, and make checklists about what baby gear to buy and what to pack in your hospital bag.
Available on iOS.
3. THE BUMP PREGNANCY COUNTDOWN – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $4.80
This app gives you really cool 3D image of your developing baby each week, plus the ability to ask questions and get real-time answers from The Bump staff, a team of experts, and other moms.
Renuka Darolia, M.D., an ob-gyn at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., also loved the app’s product reviews and super streamlined registry features, both of which will make navigating the insane world of “must-have” baby products (hello, wipe warmers) way easier.
Available on iOS.
4. HELLO BELLY PREGNANCY TRACKER – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $4.40
Okay, so the Hello Baby app isn’t necessarily a source for medical facts, but it does have cute, funny, and totally relatable tips accompanied by irresistibly quirky illustrations for each week of your pregnancy.
Opening up the app feels like sitting down with your pregnant bestie over coffee to laugh about how much harder it is to walk without waddling now that you’re 34 weeks along.
Even though it’s short on ob-gyn-approved facts, Masterson says there’s definitely a time and place for “social” apps like this one. “[Having any kind of] week by week updates about pregnancy expectations can help you connect with your baby and foster a sense of comfort through knowing what’s happening,” she explains.
5. BABYCENTER PREGNANCY TRACKER & BABY APP – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $4.80
“I love the features that show images of the baby’s development week by week,” says Darolia, who adds that the app gives you the most accurate information when you enter your specific due date. Darolia also notes that this app is as medically accurate as they get.
As an added bonus, after you deliver your baby, the app automatically changes into a parenting guide, helping you survive those first crazy weeks at home with a newborn.
Available for iOS.
6. OVIA PREGNANCY TRACKER – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $4.10
“I’ve recommended this app to track menstrual cycles, which can be especially helpful if you are thinking of trying to conceive,” says Darolia.
But Ovia’s not specifically a fertility tracker—it’s also great when it comes to tracking your pregnancy. The best feature? The app lets you look up the safety of certain foods and medications, ensuring that you’re not accidentally consuming anything that might not be recommended during pregnancy.
Available on iOS.
7. SPROUT PREGNANCY – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $4.70
Journaling is extremely helpful when it comes to pregnancy, in order to keep track of your (and your baby’s) daily progress—and this app provides one of the best journaling options around.
“Journaling and sharing anecdotes or stories with other expectant moms can give you a sense of valuable social support,”says Masterson.
Even cooler: The app will also show you lifelike movements and heartbeat sounds that replicate what your baby might be doing, down to the exact moment.
8. GLOW NURTURE PREGNANCY APP – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $4.70
It’s hard to stand out among the crazy amount of pregnancy apps out there, but this one manages to do so though its simplicity—it’s a great option for pregnant women who are looking for one place to store their pregnancy stats, appointment reminders, and bump photos, because pregnancy brain is real and it will make you forget everything.
This app also carries over nicely into the postpartum period, allowing you to track things like breastfeeding and pumping sessions, while giving you tailored info about what to expect during your “4th trimester.”
9. MIND THE BUMP – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $1.22
If you’ve never been a big fan of meditation, you might want to reconsider now that you’re pregnant. You’re about to experience a life change unlike anything else, and your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical one. Plus, pregnancy itself can be super stressful, and all that stress isn’t great for your health or your baby’s.
Designed by mental health providers trained in meditation, mindfulness, and perinatal health, Mind the Bump is a great way to prepare your brain and your body for all the big changes coming your way (not to mention the hard work of labor and delivery!).
“The idea of bringing other things like meditation into your pregnancy can be helpful, and using an app like this can cover a base that we don’t often have time to cover in the office during visits,” says Masterson.
10. BELLYBUMP – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $0.99
If you’ve already got a handle on the medical side of pregnancy but want an app that helps you tell your story as you make your way through those ever-changing nine months, the BellyBump app is here for you.
The app makes it super-easy to take regular bump photos (with a nifty outline that ensures you’re capturing the same pose and position each time) so you can see clearly how you’ve grown since that positive pregnancy test. It also allows you to create a fancy time-lapse video out of all the photos and share your journey with friends and family on social media.
Available on iOS.
11. MATRIARC – ITUNES.APPLE.COM $1.20
Technically, this is exclusively a postpartum app, but for expectant mamas hoping to get a leg up on their after-baby self-care, downloading Matriarc before you go into labor is probably a good idea.
The app includes 120 professionally-filmed exercises that target areas often weakened by pregnancy and labor, like the core and pelvic floor. Plus, while most pregnancy apps focus on the baby (which is important!), Matriarc is designed to help new mamas focus on their own health and wellness (which is also important!).
“I recently became a mother myself and this is an app I’m currently using, as well as something I highly recommend to patients,” says Darolia. “It’s the first app I’m aware of that covers a mom’s recovery postpartum with a detailed 30-day plan for properly rehabilitating her body after delivery.”
Available on iOS.