I started to make a “Take to the Hospital” list the other day. First two things that went on it? iPhone and charger. I realized right then that the apps for labor and birth preparation I will need are already on my phone. This time is so different! With my daughter Bella, I spent time running around to find journals and loose papers I’d left notes and ideas on, and books that told me how to do what.
No matter how you choose/end up having your baby, the weeks before your labor are usually packed with so many errands that you’ll often forget until the last minute, “What about a birth plan? How do I time those contractions? Kick counting?” These apps will make it easy to have all of that in one spot on your phone. This means even if you only have a few minutes, you can download and prepare on schedule without having to print or write things down.
I’m sharing all my favorites, along with others’ suggestions, to help you prepare for labor and delivery. These range from helping out dads in the delivery room, to all the different birthing methods, to even a simulation “birth” experience on your phone. Some are paid, some are free, but all are under $4.99.
Click through to see what apps are “must have’s” as the big day gets closer.
13 Essential Apps for Labor and Birth Preparation 1 of 14
Apps that will help make preparing for labor and birth—for both you and your partner—a lot easier.
iHypnoBirth 2 of 14
iHypnobirth teaches you that birth does not have to be full of fear, instead it will equip you with tools that can create a positive birthing experience, helping you to prepare both physically and emotionally.â€¨â€¨ By listening to the relaxation and positive affirmations regularly during pregnancy, this app will enable you to practice deep relaxation, effective breathing and positive visualisations to help you to have a calm, controlled, and empowered birth experience.
My Birth Plan 3 of 14
My Birth Plan guides you and your partner through a comprehensive list of questions helping you craft a plan for the birth you hope to have. Share your plan with your doctor, midwife, nurses, doula, friends and family. My Birth Plan also includes a journal, an appointment reminder, medical records, questions log, checklist and important contacts.
Man’s Guide to the Delivery Room 4 of 14
A humorous and informative guide for dad's to be. Here's some of what it includes:
- Once at the Hospital
- Your Role in the Delivery Roomâ€¨
- How to Comfort Herâ€¨
- The Labor Tool Kitâ€¨
- Pain Medicationsâ€¨
- Why She Might Need a C-Section
- C-Sections For Guysâ€¨
Birthing Methods 5 of 14
A comprehensive guide to the different delivery methods. Know what the options are and consider which alternative is best for you and your baby.â€¨â€¨Pros and cons of the different techniques are covered as well as the options within each method. Compare and contrast what's best for you depending on your circumstances and plan ahead and prepare for the labor that suits you best. From Lamaze, to the Bradley Method, Waterbirth to Hypnobirthing.
Contraction Monitor – Contractions Counter and Timer 6 of 14
Contractions will show their laws when true labor is coming, so keep tracking contractions will help you distinguish true labor from â€˜false' labor. Graph of contraction duration and frequency makes it easy for you to see the tendency of contractions.â€¨â€¨The operation is very easy, just press the button when contraction starts and press the button again when it ends, Contraction Monitor will log the start time, end time, duration and frequency and intensity of this contraction.
Baby Kicks Monitor 7 of 14
Baby Kicks Monitor will record the date, start date, duration and times of kicks of each test. When the kicking reaches 10 times or the time reaches 2 hours, the kick session will stop automatically. If you wish to redo the test or end the test, you can press the X button in the upper-right corner to stop it. When doing the kicking session, if you wish to give a call or play other apps, you can press Home button to exit Baby Kicks Monitor Free directly and when you come back, it will continue the counting where you left off.
Baby’s Coming 8 of 14
"Baby's Coming" will help you keep track of the progress of your labor. It's simple interface won't distract you during this demanding time. Thanks to "Baby's Coming" it'll be easy to establish, whether it's time to head to hospital (contractions are frequent enough), and provide midwives/doctors with detailed information about your labor once you get there.
Natural Child Birth 9 of 14
Natural Birth discusses key pregnancy facts, explains the three stages of labor and delivery, and covers important recovery information. This interactive walkthrough allows you to perform each step of labor; beginning with the preparation, followed by the actual delivery of the baby, and concludes with the cutting of the umbilical cord and delivery of the placenta. Natural Birth prepares you to better understand what to expect in the delivery room!
Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief in Labor 10 of 14
The acupressure methods outlined in the app are really easy to use, promote natural birth, and encourage close partner involvement. Unlike acupuncture where needles are used, acupressure applies physical pressure to specific acupressure points using the thumbs, fingers, hands, elbows, or with various other devices on the surface of the body. â€¨â€¨The Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief in Labor app also includes testimonials from women and their partners who have used the techniques, and includes handy illustrated reminders for quick access.
iLamaze Girl 11 of 14
Lamaze breathing is just one of the techniques that you may learn in a child birth class. You will find these breathing exercises helpful if you are a first time mom or if you have never learned how to manage your pain through breathing.â€¨â€¨
A Guy’s Guide to the Delivery Room 12 of 14
You're not the only one feeling apprehensive about the birth of the baby. Mom's probably feeling her own anxiety. "A Guy's Guide to the Delivery Room" can help her too by providing information about topics that affect her as well.
Best Birth Plan 13 of 14
Best Birth Plan takes you step by step to help you think through all the decisions of how you want your labor and delivery to go. Then you can email or fax it to anyone, anytime! Write in a journal and post to Facebook, keep all your medical and test records, keep doctors appointments and questions, and the ever important list of things to bring to the hospital!
Full Term Contraction Timer 14 of 14
With Full Term, all you have to do is tap a single button to track the start and end of each of your contractions, and "Full Term" will take care of the rest. The application is designed to keep track of the times, durations and frequency of the entire labor period. In addition, you get a handy reference that you can use to get a rule of thumb estimate of your progress through labor. You can also configure the duration you wish to keep track of based on your needs.
What are some of your favorite apps for labor and birth?
Photo credit: itunes.com
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and a baby boy on the way on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
MORE FROM DIANA: