By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
It is time for another post in the occasional series called “There’s an App for That!” This series allows me to share an app that helps us run our birth and postpartum businesses and make our lives easier. Today I tackle timing contractions on your phone using my favorite free contraction timer app. If you have a favorite app that makes your professional life easier, let me know by shooting me an email, and your suggestion may find its way to this series too, with a hat tip to you!
If you are an on-call doula waiting for a client in labor to call you, you already know that your phone is your number one accessory. It is pretty much your partner for life, going everywhere you go, always ready. I rely on many of the apps on my phone every single day to help me run my business, and I love learning about new and smart ways to make my life easier. Today, I want to share the contraction timer app “Full Term” with you. This free app is available in the iTunes App and Google Play store for easy downloading.
After attending some births, you may start to get a sense from observing the contraction pattern and by listening and watching your client, where your client might be in labor. But sometimes, it is also helpful to have a way to keep track of the contractions from time to time so you can stay updated and watch for change “on paper.”
Full Term is a free app that is simple and easy to use. I share this resource with clients who want an easy way to time contractions on their phone. While I do discuss that it is important to watch the laboring person rather than the app for the best assessment on how the labor is going, today’s parents often appreciate the assistance of this technology on their phones and find it helpful to time contractions occasionally.
I can use this app while on the phone with my clients or when I am by their side for in-person support. It even works on my Apple watch, where I can use it very discreetly. Full Term offers many additional uses such as a kick count timer, pregnancy weight tracker and additional references, which I truthfully haven’t explored because all I really use it for is timing contractions. I like this app because 1) my clients can share the contraction pattern with me through email whenever they want, 2) it is free and 3) very simple to use. There are some unobtrusive ads that can be removed for $0.99 USD if desired, but the ads don’t bother me, so I have not done that.
There are many ways to track how a labor is progressing, but for those doulas (or clients) who want a simple and easy way to document contractions, Full Term fits the bill without going overboard. Do you have a favorite contraction timer app? Please let us know in the comments section what you and your clients have found useful.