26 October 2012

WebMD's baby tracker app talks about PPD

I've written several posts about webpages and programs that have posted various things about PPD that made me angry, whether it's an alleged miracle cure for Postpartum Depression or a website using PPD as a marketing tool for nursing clothing. Today, though, I'd like to talk about a website that is getting something very right in the PPD arena.

During pregnancy, I have a few "pregnancy tracker" applications that I download to my iPhone. One allows me to track my appointments, weight, and symptoms. The other two are from What To Expect and Babycenter and give me countdowns to my EDD and weekly/daily information on my pregnancy, the baby's development, articles about various pregnancy and childbirth topics, and a plethora of other information. These apps have been very informative and helpful to me throughout my pregnancies and I really enjoy reading about the changes my body and my baby are going through that I can't see.

After Aaron was born, I had the idea to check and see if there were any apps that would allow me to track the growth and progress of my children once they were no longer inhabiting my uterus. Lo and behold, there's an app for that (there really is an app for everything). Best of all, it's free! I downloaded WebMD's baby growth tracker not really expecting anything too terribly spectacular because it was a free app; this was one occasion when I was very happy to be wrong.

The app allows me to switch between multiple children, put in their height and weight (and then calculates their growth chart percentile according to the World Health Organizations growth charts), put in milestones, has a "Baby Book" function, gives me a weekly reminder to take a picture of my baby so I can look back over the first year and watch him change, and a myriad of other useful and helpful functions, as well as having a very large selection of articles on a variety of baby, children, parenting, and health related topics.

It was while I was browsing the articles that I found what was (to me) the crown jewel. I was reading through a section for moms (there's also a section labeled for dads) when I discovered an article about Postpartum Depression! I thought "Oh cool, they have PPD info, I wonder what they have to say". I can't tell you how happy I was to discover that the information they have in the app is concise, well-written, educational, easy to understand, and emphasizes that it's nothing to be ashamed of and encourages women to talk to their doctors and seek help if they think they might have some symptoms of PPD. They even talk about Postpartum Psychosis and the differences between PPP and PPD, as well as symptoms of PPP.

This application was a wonderful find. It makes me so happy that someone at WebMD took the time to put effort into putting information about PPD in this app; information that is written in a manner that new moms can really understand and in a tone that is non-judgmental. I smile every time I think about it. THIS is the type of approach that I wish more companies and websites would take. WebMD, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.


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