Parenting

5 apps that will make your pregnancy less of a mystery

Your baby in the womb may be in the dark, but you don't have to be.

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Congratulations! You're having a baby. Whether it's your first time, or you've gone through this before, you'll want to track your baby's development over the next nine months.

Rather than keeping a paper journal or trying to keep track of doctor's appointments on your own, try employing the help of a pregnancy tracking app instead. Like fitness tracking, these apps prove helpful not only in archiving your pregnancy but in keeping you informed throughout the varying stages. Many pregnancy tracking apps are also tied to bustling communities and feature expert-backed factoids on what to expect at each week of pregnancy.

There are plenty of apps for both the iPhone and Android smartphones that offer this sort of utility. However, not all provide the same information backed by reputable sources or a safe, thriving community of parents and parents-to-be offering sage advice and support. Before you download every pregnancy tracking app available in your device's app store, take a look through our list of vetted apps. There's enough difference between each of the ones we featured here that a particular app might suit your needs more than another.

Ovia

Ovia
Credit: Ovia Health

Ovia is a comprehensive pregnancy tracking app.

Ovia is a long-established pregnancy tracking app, with companion fertility and parenting apps available for the before and after stages, too. Once launched, you'll be prompted to enter a nickname, along with a due date. From there, you can calibrate Ovia's suggestion engine by inputting existing health conditions and answering various prompts about your current state. This information helps establish recommendations for Ovia's goals tracker, which can be manually adjusted as needed.

Ovia offers a weekly breakdown of your pregnancy, coupled with information on symptoms you can expect on the outside. Each week's summary features additional reading and is backed with citations to its sources, with most information coming from textbooks or published articles via the Mayo Clinic. And, there's an "in the womb" view, along with a symptom, medication safety, and food safety lookup readily available.

What it does best: Ovia excels at being a comprehensive pregnancy tracking app. It tracks moods, sleep, daily activity, weight, blood pressure, nutrition, and whether you're taking your daily prenatal vitamins. If you're using a FitBit, you can also sync up your daily activity with the Ovia app.

Where it could improve: Ovia's community boards are not always helpful. Most posts are limited to polls, and you can't view the responses unless you offer an answer yourself.

Download Ovia for iPhone
Download Ovia for Android

The Bump

The Bump
Credit: The Knot, Inc.

The Bump has a very active community of moms-to-be.

If you're familiar with the wedding site, The Knot, then you may have heard of its companion site for expectant parents, The Bump. Each week, The Bump app offers a fruit-for-size measurement of your baby's growth, along with updates about what's happening in utero. It also provides a photo-tracking feature for monitoring your outside bump, as well as a helpful food safety search engine, a contraction counter, and an appointment planner.

The real utility of The Bump is in its daily content. Its main page features recent articles related to pregnancy. The articles range from celebrity baby news to answering oft-asked questions like what's worth splurging on for the baby's arrival. The Bump also offers access to an active community divvied up by trimester, though you'll have to wait a few days after signing up before you can post anything.

What it does best: For new parents looking for daily reads and an active community, The Bump is a great place to jump into a conversation with parents and parents-to-be.

Where it could improve: Though The Bump indicates its sources in its articles, the community isn't as thoroughly cited. Also, there isn't much daily tracking offered in the app.

Download The Bump for iPhone
Download The Bump for Android

Sprout Pregnancy

Sprout
Credit: Med Art Studios

Sprout features 3D renderings of your growing baby.

If what you want is a visceral, week-by-week portrayal of your pregnancy, Sprout Pregnancy can deliver. As soon as you sign up and input your delivery details, Sprout will pull up a three-dimensional rendering of what's happening in utero, along with information on how the baby is developing inside.

Sprout Pregnancy is also ripe with lists for those who want to stay organized. There are lists for everything from what to ask the doctor at each appointment, to what to buy before the baby arrives. There's even a planning tab for future doctor appointments, as well as a weight tracker, kick counter, and contraction timer.

What it does best: Sprout is a reliable pregnancy tracker with helpful information and lists to assist in keeping you organized.

Where it could improve: There's not much of a community element to Sprout, nor is there a place to pose questions. If you need to follow up on a tidbit from within the app, you'll have to do an external search.

Download Sprout Pregnancy for iPhone
Download Sprout Pregnancy for Android

Hello Baby

Hello Baby
Credit: Hello Baby Inc.

Hello Baby offers a range of related apps with a paid subscription.

Hello Baby, indeed! If you've ever wanted visceral three-dimensional and AR-augmented diagrams of what's transpiring in the womb, this app is it. Unfortunately, you'll have to sign up for a monthly subscription of $9.99, or a one-time payment of $19.99, before you have access to the feature. It unlocks a baby due date calendar, a per-trimester analysis of what's happening to your body, and a variety of checklists and handbooks. There are also guided meditation and yoga video classes available for moms-to-be.

Paying the monthly subscription, or an annual fee of $59.99 a year, grants you access to Hello Baby's other apps. It includes the Baby Snap app for a one-a-day snapshot of your growing bundle of joy, and the Baby Tips app, populated with relatable, non-jargony advice for both first-time and veteran parents.

What it does best: Hello Baby is nicely designed and the most palatable of the other pregnancy apps mentioned here. The 3D, AR, and art versions of baby in-utero are also seriously cool.

Where it could improve: Though it lists the companies it works with on its website, Hello Baby doesn't offer immediate citations or sources within the app itself.

Download Hello Baby for iPhone
Download Hello Baby for Android

Glow Pregnancy Tracker

Glow
Credit: Glow

One of the best features of Glow is the built-in logging abilities.

Glow Pregnancy Tracker is packed with features to the point where you might feel overwhelmed by them the minute you open it up. Each day features a due date countdown accompanied by a photo of what the baby looks like inside, and articles corresponding to that particular day in your pregnancy. Glow also offers individually categorized community groups, so that you're only corresponding within your particular interests.

One of Glow's best features is its logging abilities. The app offers trimester-specific logs, and you can track everything from water intake to sleep time. You can then export that information into an easy-to-read PDF to take to doctor's appointments or stow away for archival purposes. Additionally, there's a medical tab for logging metrics from doctor's visits, as well as a bump logger that stores weekly photos and then organizes them into a neat timelapse.

There is a premium version of Glow, which costs $47.99 a year. The subscription buys you premium articles, enables Glow's weekly forecasts, and unlocks features like advanced charting and premium chat.

What it does best: In addition to its expansive log offerings, Glow Nurture lets you invite your partner to share all that information directly.

Where it could improve: Glow is perhaps the most comprehensive pregnancy app in terms of feature offerings, but its packed interface and pop up notices leave a bit to be desired.

Download Glow Pregnancy Tracker for iPhone
Download Glow Pregnancy Tracker for Android

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