Pregnancy is an amazing and beautiful thing, but it can be confusing, especially if it's your first time around. After speaking with friends who have been through all nine months of it, I've heard that the best pregnancy apps are not just helpful during pregnancy. Apparently, if you find the right one, it will help you track your fertility before pregnancy and keep track of baby's milestones once they're born (smart, right?).
What's more, the newest crop happens to be super personalized and can track everything from the size of your baby in the womb—from a lentil to spaghetti squash—while others even recommend baby names. These apps are basically the modern-day versions of hard copy baby books (mine still contains a lock of my hair), but they often start tracking your life even before you're born. And it's worth mentioning that these apps are interactive, making it easy for you to swap stories with other moms-to-be so you can feel connected during this important part of your life. If you're expecting and you haven't already downloaded a baby app (or don't particularly like the one you're using), read on to see which of the best pregnancy apps out there rank on our list.
OVIA PREGNANCY TRACKER
The Rundown: When I asked my friends who are moms which app they used, the whole crew unanimously recommended Ovia. You start with Ovia Fertility, which helps you track your cycle and ovulation. Once you're pregnant, you switch over to Ovia Pregnancy Tracker, which is known for being super personalized (you log your symptoms and moods and can get alerts in real-time when a symptom seems out of the ordinary). On top of that, the whole interface is simple to use and your baby's size is compared to things like French desserts (at 17 weeks, it's a little crème brûlée!).
The Rundown: If you thought all of these apps would be the same, then think again. Expectful is perfect whether you're a first-time mom or a mom of several. This app guides you through meditation and breathing techniques to keep your anxiety during pregnancy at an all-time low (it was custom crafted by a group of hypnotherapists, meditation experts, psychologists, and sound engineers). Not only does it have custom meditations for you and your partner, it also syncs you up with other soon-to-be mothers. "The guided meditations are so calming and relaxing, and it really takes the pressure off when you're just learning!" says one mom-to-be. I feel less anxious and am sleeping better and there's even a walking meditation for when I can't quite sit still."
Cost: $9.99 a month after a free trial.
The Rundown: If you're looking for an app that works 360, then Totally Pregnant is worth looking into. You can see 3-D photos of your baby every week, take online pre-natal classes, and even create a birth plan. Planning a shower? Your registry can also be set up right on the app. Plus, everything is interactive—you can watch videos of other moms on their pregnancy journey. If you need a little moral support, you'll also be invited to live chat with other soon-to-be moms around the world. One expecting mother says: "I'm not that far along yet, but this app is the best I've found for expecting moms. I really enjoy the photo album, I love documenting my progress as I go. The forums/chat boards are also really nice to communicate with others moms out there."
Cost: Free with some in-app purchases
The Rundown: This best pregnancy app places a strong emphasis on community. Glow Nurture allows you to communicate with other moms who are as far along as you are to share your experiences (for example, you'll be able to message with other women expecting July babies). One mom-to-be explains: "The community boards are also great to be able to communicate with other women at the same point in their pregnancies to see how they are feeling, looking, or to pose questions to them! I've found this app extremely informative, helpful and comforting." On top of that, Glow is best for moms who like daily logging from everything from water consumed to prenatal vitamins to exercise. If you have a competitive streak, the Comparison tracker will let you see how your activities rank versus other moms.
The Rundown: Sprout is really taking things to the next level with its Pregnancy app (Fertility and Baby work for before and after pregnancy). Standout features include a hospital bag checklist and ability to record kicks and share them on Facebook (social media lovers, rejoice). "On iPhone, it's super interactive," shares one mom-to-be. "Baby moves and you can even hear the heartbeat!" Plus a pregnancy journal lets you record the milestones during this time (and gives you prompts if you don't know where to start writing).
Now that you've had the rundown of the best pregnancy apps out there, it's time to see which you prefer. And since most are free, your research won't cost you a pretty penny.