I recently had a coffee with an ex client, now new mum extraordinaire.
She told me if there is one bit of advice she would like to give all expectant and new parents, it would be…
“Delete the Effing Apps!”
These days you can get an App for anything, and I put my hands up to having quite a few.
And yes, there is research that Apps can be helpful, in certain situations.
But lately I have been chatting with colleagues and clients about the over reliance on Apps.
There is a growing sense that there is one sector of society who should delete their Apps and regain some Peace of Mind… Expectant and New Parents.
The main problem with Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting Apps is that they don’t recognise the BIG role that intuition plays in our experiences.
Apps don’t know you and your baby like you do, and they can undermine your confidence in your innate abilities.
I found this great paper :“Maternal Devices”, Social Media and the Self-Management of Pregnancy, Mothering and Child Health” by Sophia Johnson at the University of Sydney, which really sums up my concerns Apps.
Sophia Johnson has looked at the current research around Pregnancy and Parenting Apps and has this to say:
“ I argue that devices such as apps and social media platforms that discuss pregnancy and parenting may be appealing because, when mothering is so intensive (as Hays  suggests), these technologies allow for the possibility of delegating responsibility for certain calculations, reminders and tasks. This supposedly makes mothering easier because there is no need to remind oneself if it is possible to rely on the push notification or “push responsibilisation” as I have characterised it. But this pushiness is not necessarily always convenient and rather than being a pleasant reminder, could develop into a rude intrusion.”
So are you “pushing” your responsibilities on to an App?
Pregnancy is a time when we need to take responsibility for ourselves, our babies and, really importantly, our births.
And are you feeling irritated rather than pleasantly reminded by this “pushiness”?
Sophia goes on to say…
“Apps also represent a “tidbitisation” of information which is delivered directly into the user’s intimate sphere, no matter where they are. This “device-ification” of mothering purports to turn it into an administrative and calculable activity, valuing data over subjective experiences and changing the meaning of what it is to mother and be a mother.”
Pregnancy, birth and parenting are meant to be an amazing time of self reflection, reorganisation of priorities. growth and self awareness.
But it is all about YOUR self awareness and YOUR growth, in YOUR time.
This should not be dictated to you by algorithms and calculations.
Another big problem with Apps is that they are on your smartphone.
There is growing evidence about how smartphones distract new parents with detrimental effects on their babies and children.
One big global survey looked at how children 8 to 15 years old felt about their parent’s smartphone use.
32% said they felt unimportant when their parents got distracted by their phones. 🙁
Newborns, infants and toddlers want your “undistracted” attention too.
So do yourself a favour, use your pregnancy as a time to break your phone and App addiction.
Stop being ruled by an inanimate object that is telling you what to do and when.
Delete the App for your own and your baby’s well being and your own peace of mind.