Wednesday, November 17, 2010

iBirth App

I love this product and recommend it to all of my doula clients and friends. This app was designed by friends that are local doulas and Bradley childbirth educators. Very informative and helpful and easy to navigate and use in the moment. They also have a new app called Simple Contraction Timer. It can be used for much more than contractions! Cooking, time out, countdown for getting out the door...... Check it out!

iBirth app walks mamas through pregnancy

There's an app for that, too

By Aimee Heckel Camera Staff Writer

Posted: 05/25/2010 04:59:27 PM MDT

Amanda Hanson, left, and Judith Nowlin developed the iBirth application to help today's expecting moms with information about their pregnancy. ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

It's 2 a.m. Judith Nowlin and Amanda Hanson sneak into Hanson's kitchen, careful not to stir any of their six sleeping children.

It's work time.

Nowlin, who's still breastfeeding, is wearing the new-mama favorite perfume of baby barf. Hanson discovers a glob of jelly on her elbow.

She unfolds smeared pages of notes, still damp from when her son squirted her with the hose earlier in the day, when she went outside to check on the latest trampoline injury.

The middle of the night seems to be the only time the two Boulder women can meet, in between the overtime they're putting in as stay-at-home mothers of three each. Hanson is also a childbirth educator. Nowlin, a fellow educator and doula.

Needless to say, the two women understand motherhood, personally and professionally.

And despite the six adorable odds against them, Hanson and Nowlin decided to put their knowledge into an iPhone application to share with other mothers. While writing it last year, they had to meet when they could, which was sometimes in the middle of the night after their kids went to bed.

There is officially now an app for everything.

Nowlin and Hanson released their product, iBirth, in December. The app features prenatal nutrition information, tips, lists and labor videos -- the kind of stuff they teach in their childbirth classes, except in the back pocket of your BellaBand-ed jeans.

For $4.99, mamas can download the app ( to their iPhone, iPod or any of those "i-fill-in-the-blank" products, or simply view it online.

They call it a "childbirth class in a nutshell."

Only 30 percent of pregnant women in America take childbirth classes, according to Hanson, most complaining that they're too busy.

She thinks the lack of education on the subject contributes to the country's pregnancy and delivery problems, such as the fact that 32 percent of births today are by C-section, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By comparison, the World Health Organization says only a 15 percent C-section rate is necessary.

Plus, the United States ranks higher than most developed countries in infant and maternal mortality rates.

"We're spending more and getting the worst outcomes," Hanson says. "We are not preparing women when they're pregnant. We have failed."

Especially in terms of educating women about proper nutrition, she says.

"Women are told to 'eat healthily,'" Hanson says. "But chewing on a bag of raw carrots a day can cause problems, or too much vitamin C can cause nausea. There are certain ways to eat healthy, and that's what we break down specifically."

She hopes iBirth can help educate more mothers-to-be who might not be able or wanting to go to childbirth classes, or who might be getting incorrect information online, or who aren't sure how to sift through the mountains of pregnancy books.

iBirth is the first prenatal application of its kind, and since launching boasts 700 downloads.

Hanson says iBirth should not take the place of classes -- she teaches more than 30 hours of material per class -- but it's better than nothing.

She says she conducted a poll and found that many pregnant women said they don't have time to read an entire book, don't know where to begin researching or don't want to lug a book everywhere they go.

"So we decided, 'Let's shake this up. Let's meet women where they are now,'" Hanson says.

Leslie Gaiser, of Lafayette, downloaded iBirth when she was six months' pregnant with her second son. Nowlin was the doula who helped deliver her first child, and Gaiser says she needed a refresher to help prepare for labor again.

"It was very useful," Gaiser says. "It's hard to focus on your pregnancy with your second one, so my husband and I both went over the positioning and relaxation techniques on the app."

She says she most appreciated the 23 narrated videos, which demonstrate different labor positions, step by step.

Gaiser says her baby was posterior, and the app showed her exercises to help move the baby into proper position.

"It worked," she says. "It was a two-hour birth. It worked out perfectly."

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