During the first few months of breastfeeding, it was common to see me checking my breasts to figure out which breast I last fed from – Oh yes, trust me you can forget. I don’t know if it was the sleep deprivation or the whole new experience, but I kept on forgetting. Sadly, I recently found out there are multiple apps that could have helped me avoid those odd looks from the people around me.
In a time where there is an app for ordering a chopper from the comfort of your home, such apps about child care are not surprising. However, the options available and not knowing what to look for can be overwhelming for a new mother. Even though these apps can’t relieve you from waking up 10 times at night, they can make your life simpler.
Childcare information – these are available from the time you conceive to parenting tips for toddlers. Baby center, WebMD Baby and The Bump are some of the apps that can help you understand weekly pregnancy development, medical information about common baby problems (so you don’t have to call your pediatrician every day), child development and generally the accepted patterns of baby development. Mums Village, though it is still web based, is one of the best when it comes to local content.
Baby diaries – it can be an immense task to keep track of everything as a first time mother. During the first 6 week check up, the doctor will ask you questions like
‘How often does she pass stool?’
‘How long does he breastfeed from one side of breast?’
‘How long does she sleep?’
Fortunately, apps like Feed baby – Baby Tracker, Breastfeeding Tracker Pumping, Diaper log, Peekaboo Moments: Baby Journal, Baby Care – Track baby growth are some of the apps that can help you track all that and maintain your child’s growth chart, milestones, feeding schedule, and medication if any.
Apps that replace gadgets – thanks to apps like Dormi – Baby monitor, there is no need of buying that expensive baby monitor. It enables you to use your phone as a baby monitor. There are also apps like Baby Sleep for lullaby songs and Fisher Price Storybook for baby digital books.
F0r moms – Lose weight after pregnancy is one of the apps which can help you get your fitness level back. Mom Life is also an app that can help you chat with other mothers about everyday issues.
I remember checking apps for tracking my pregnancy as I was starting the journey. Then I settled on one and keyed in my due date as well as other information. It was an exciting experience to wake up to the app notifying me that my baby can now hear me talking. Then a few months down the lane, as if it was magic, my Facebook timeline and my spam inbox was filled with adverts for newborn items. I was amazed but I later learned that was not a coincidence.
Whatever personal information you give out to these apps is easily accessible by different agencies that can use it for different ends. You might think what is the harm of getting customized adverts that work for me on my timeline? A lot, actually. This is behavioural advertising and it reduces your motherhood to a mere number, that in effects controls what you can buy by only showing you what the marketing platforms are paid to show you. Even more serious problems exist such as hackers using your personal data to attack you. As you hit download, consider what data you are handing over and if there are other options which keep your data on your devices than opaque servers with unfettered access to the highest bidder.
This first appeared on The Standard on 19 March 2017