Having a baby is one of the most life-changing events in a woman's life. Finding out you're pregnant may overwhelm you with various emotions and thoughts about the steps you have to take as a future mom.
Same goes for new moms. The days and weeks after the delivery of your baby can be overwhelming for you and your partner, from postpartum changes to a wide range of emotions caused by too many new things and emotions to handle through this period.
This is why it's important to be prepared as much as possible whether you're expecting a baby or you're a new mom.
One of the first steps is deciding on your healthcare provider, and it's recommended to do this as soon as you find out about your pregnancy. Whether it'd be Ob/Gyn, midwife or family practitioner, they will help you not go through this period alone.
Re-evaluating your lifestyle is the next step, which includes choosing proper nutrition, taking vitamins and supplements as advised by your healthcare provider, skipping on alcohol and tobacco, avoiding stress or hard work, and so on.
Finally, one of the most important things to do during and after pregnancy is monitoring your pregnancy from day 1, week by week.
This is, of course, important from the aspect of health, but also because your baby is changing day by day, and your body follows that change as well. Seeing those changes and reaching important milestones could be also exciting.
Many pregnant women and new moms use mobile apps which offer resourceful tools to help women monitor and track their pregnancy from day 1 to delivery and beyond, and learn more about how their baby develops, as well as about changes their body goes through.
The app we review today called UW Baby works in a similar fashion, i.e. as a pregnancy and baby tracker and a resource that provides a plethora of useful information about healthy pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and adjusting to parenting.
UW Baby app is developed by the University of Washington in a collaboration with several other UW Medicine institutions. It is available for free on iOS and Android.
Upon opening the app, you'll be asked to provide your name (optionally) and your due date or the date of your last cycle, which would help the app to personalize the user experience for you.
Based on your answer, the app would show your current week of pregnancy. Tapping on it would reveal the cycle with a baby illustration inside, which can also be tapped on to reveal more information about your baby's development during that particular week, such as size (as compared to fruits and veggies), and a video showing your baby in motion.
Above the week part, there are several sections featured, providing information about Pregnancy, Labor & Birth, Postpartum, Breastfeeding, and Newborn Care.
Each of the sections contains their own sub-sections with more information about specific topics. For example, Pregnancy section will guide you through the topics of prenatal care, baby's development from conception to 9th month, the circle of care, changes you can expect, warning signs, nutrition and exercise, and preparing for a childbirth.
Labor & Birth section explains the anatomy and physiology of birth, pre-labor and labor signs, stages of labor, medical interventions that can induce and help labor, and cesarean birth.
The Postpartum section provides information on changes you can expect after delivery, both physical and emotional. It also provides self-care tips, as well as parenthood tips for new parents.
Breastfeeding section covers topics from anatomy and physiology of the breast to best breastfeeding positions, and advises on storing milk, to breast care.
Finally, Newborn Care provides tips on baby care, from choosing your healthcare provider, newborn appearance, common screenings, as well as care and safety tips.
All information in the app is provided concisely in a form of short, often bulleted paragraphs, which still manage to provide sufficient amount of information.
The textual information is supported with visual materials, consisting of images and videos. Videos are made as animated illustrations of female anatomy and physiology, annotated presentations, or lecture videos that explain various topics.
Sometimes these videos are placed out of context. The lack of audio (at least on the iPhone) or subtitles doesn't help either. Also, videos don't have control button, except play/pause, and they can't be played horizontally. Videos are not downloaded to your device, so they require an Internet connection in order to be played.
The last section featured on the main page is About Us, which provides information on each UW Medicine location where you can receive prenatal care or give birth, with a map and contact info, including Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, and Valley Medical Center.
UW Baby app also offers an option to track your pregnancy and baby development, including appointments, baby measurements, feeding log, immunization record, kick count, packing list, contractions, and more.
Tracking things is simple. All you need to do is scroll down to the week part and tap either on Menu button or Plus symbol.
However, I couldn't notice these two buttons during the first use. I don't know if that was because of the app's color scheme or because they're simply misplaced. I think that tracker feature should have a more prominent position, for example among other sections.
Also, the navigation can be a little clumsy because of the little down arrow placed at the top left part of the screen, which is often 'invisible' inside the image or video. Luckily, the sections can be also navigated by swiping the screen left and right, which makes things a bit easier.
Overall, UW Baby is a resourceful app that provides a plethora of useful educational content for pregnant women and their partners, which is combined with easy-to-use pregnancy and baby tracker.
Benefit: Women can use this app during pregnancy and after delivery to receive a lot of useful information from trusted sources