What is the best iOS app for timing and recording data related to contractions in childbirth?
November 18, 2011 11:39 AM   Subscribe

There are a lot of iOS apps for timing contractions. The reviews are all over the place. Most of the apps do not seem to time the contractions from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next one, which seems to be the preferred data point for medical purposes. Other apps have other annoying features and problems. Which app did you use and how did it work?
posted by iknowizbirfmark to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We used Contraction Timer Lite (by Michael Kale) and it worked great. The history was really useful when I called the midwife so I could tell her exactly how far apart the contractions were.

As for actually using it during labor: APPOINT EITHER YOUR PARTNER OR YOUR DOULA TO BE THE START/STOP PERSON. I can't stress this enough. I spent hours getting up off the couch and finding the iPhone, unlocking it, and hitting start before I figured out just to yell "Hit Start!" and have someone else deal with it and that made things so much better.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:49 AM on November 18, 2011

I guess I should say, I am about 95% sure that this was the app we used. I was a little distracted when Mr. Rabbit found and downloaded the app and didn't pay much attention to it other than starting/stopping, but that looks pretty much like what I remember.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:53 AM on November 18, 2011

You can't beat a quick glance to the wall clock at the start of each one, but we did time a few using the stopwatch in the default Clock app. The Lap feature leaves a nice little log of times if you need that.
posted by michaelh at 12:24 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I plan on using babybump app. Hit once for start and again for stop. It records the start times, duration and intervals between contactions and there is a place to put notes as well.
posted by HMSSM at 12:50 PM on November 18, 2011

I used a wristwatch and wrote them down in my lab notebook until my wife grabbed me by the ear and shrieked THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT YOU BASTARD after which time I had to stop.
posted by zomg at 12:59 PM on November 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

"Chicken-sexers are individuals that possess the unique ability to reliably sort male from female chickens. As the case is described chicken-sexers do not know how they sort the chickens. They report not being able to offer the criteria they use to sort the chickens. Nonetheless they are very good at sorting chickens and their beliefs that this is a male, this is a female, etc., are justified even though they lack internalist justification."

I am an obstetrician, and I have had years of experience observing midwives. That rule about 5 minutes between contractions indicating active labour? That's just something midwives say to keep husbands busy. Secretly I think midwives are like chicken-sexers. They just know when a woman is in labour, even if they don't always know how they know. It might be how distressed she is, it might be how long her contraction makes her catch her breath, sometimes it might just be that head that seems to be crowning, but most of the time it seems like a kind of intuition. I am not trying to play down the importance of scientific evidence in midwifery practice, but a lot of what midwives do depends just on experience. In my opinion those iPhone apps are a total waste of time. When the contractions are roughly five minutes apart you can call the midwife, and she'll speak to Mrs iknowizbirfmark and decide whether she's in labour.
posted by roofus at 3:51 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used Contraction Master to time my contractions when I was dealing with pre-term labor. It worked really well. (between the fact that I was 35 weeks and the fact that I had a history of precipitous labor, it seemed like a good idea to know if the contractions were regular or not. But roofus is right, active labor is almost always apparent without relying on timing, at least to an experienced observer.)
posted by KathrynT at 5:37 PM on November 18, 2011

I downloaded an app called Full Term contraction timer which worked fine when I tested it with Braxton Hicks, but looking at it now, apparently I only used it for about 20 minutes hours after I was already at the hospital. Once labor started I just looked at the clock. If things had been so intense that I couldn't remember when the last one started, that would have meant hospital time anyway.
posted by that's how you get ants at 4:40 AM on November 19, 2011

I don't think labor really needs a timer, an app, etc. Maybe a stopwatch app. Seriously, if your wife is in labor, and you tinker with an app, you are doing it wrong.
posted by theora55 at 5:54 AM on November 19, 2011

My husband and I are laughing because, if I'd caught him head-down over his phone tapping at an app while I was in the middle of a contraction, he'd be dead. Ah, labor. Good times.

Husband agrees with roofus, and his advice is to stay in the moment. Check a clock on the wall if necessary.
posted by hms71 at 6:59 AM on November 19, 2011

« Older We're needing a (writer's room) of our own in...   |   Best Boston->New Haven Thanksgiving route? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.