In our world today, there is an app for everything. You can order groceries, buy organic anything, chase invisible characters around the city, track your steps, and log your activity all from the tiny and unassuming little phone you are probably reading this post on. As a birth and postpartum doula, I have seen a rise in the use of apps for anything and everything pregnancy, birth and baby related. There is an app to tell you what size fruit your gestating baby is, there is an app to time your contractions, there is an app to take those really cute little timeline photos of your bump, and there is an app to track all of baby’s pees, poops, feeds, naps, and movements. I can see the benefit to all of these! As a doula, the fruit app keeps my clients happy while they dream of their little papaya. The contraction timer helps me see what kind of pattern, if any pattern, they’re currently experiencing. I love that these apps allow the new parents to instantly send pictures and updates to Grandma in the waiting room or across the world.
However, the apps that track any and everything your baby does… those can get a little out of hand. I can’t even tell you how many clients have become chained to their phone and these apps. The constant tracking of poops and pees, the constant timing and logging of nursing hours or ounces pumped can become overwhelming. Now, don’t freak out… yes, those apps can help you get an idea of the progress your baby is making. Yes, they can help you see if there are enough wets and poops in the first few days. Yes, it makes it really easy to answer the questions for the pediatrician. However, it gives the illusion of control and hinders bonding. I am seeing in my clients that the constant tracking of baby’s inputs and outputs throughout the day is actually starting to effect how we communicate and interact with our babies. It is giving us the illusion that writing it all down keeps us in control and the baby has become a passive member of the interaction. It is also creating a lot of anxiety. A lot of anxiety. I want to empower you to put the phone down. Look at your baby. What sounds do you hear? What are your baby’s hands doing? What face is your baby making? Looking at and taking cues from your baby will give you mountains more information than any app ever could. You are doing a great job.
Kelly Losey is a local Doula. Her services provides birth, postpartum, and lactation support services to birthing mothers in the Los Angeles South Bay area. Learn more about Kelly here.