Contraction Timer apps have become very popular now that everybody owns a smartphone. The last thing you want to do during labor is find a pen and pencil, pull out your timer, and write down the start, end, and duration of each contraction. These apps make timing contractions so much easier with the push of a button. You hit start when the contraction begins, end when the contraction ends, and it automatically calculates the duration, intervals, and puts it in a pretty chart. When you get to the hospital, your nurse will most likely ask you what your contractions have been like, and it’s easy to just read (or show them) the data on your phone.
My posts may contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission from your purchase, with no extra cost to you!
With so many apps out there, how do you decide which one to go with? Well, they all pretty much do the same thing, so it all comes down to ease of use and features. I found the Contraction Timer by Penguin Apps to be one of the most comprehensive free options out there.
(Note: I am not an affiliate with this app, I just think it’s a great resource for expecting parents.)
You can get it for iPhone or Android at the following links:
Download for iPhone HERE.
Download for Android HERE.
Once you download it, the main screen will look like this:
You have the option to add a contraction manually (this is great if you missed one but want it to show up in the analytics). You can click anywhere on the screen to start timing a contraction or go to the menu in the upper left hand corner to access averages, graphs, and settings; or to reset the contractions and start over.
Once you have started the counter, the screen will turn red and start counting up. When the contraction is finished, you can click anywhere on the screen to stop the timer and it automatically logs the contraction. On the timer screen, there is a scale at the bottom to log the intensity. Your options include slight, mild, moderate, strong, and intense.
Once you end the contraction the app will take you back to the main screen. This will show all of your contractions, the duration of each, the interval between each of them, what time it occurred, and the intensity. This will show the pattern of your contractions so you can determine if they are, in fact, getting longer, stronger, and closer together. Once you get to the 3-1-1 rule (3 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, for 1 hour), you should head to the hospital or birth center.
To see it in graph form, simply head to the menu and click “graph”.
If you missed a contraction, or you made a mistake in logging it, you can manually go in and change the information. It also gives you the option to add any notes if you would like.
If you would like to change the interval information, you can. They give you the option to measure from start to start or end to start. Start to Start is the standard and will most likely be what your nurse or doctor will ask you about. End to start will tell you the time between contractions (eg the break you get from one contraction to another).
I personally have not experienced any negatives about this app. However, when reading the reviews on the app store, I saw multiple negative reviews on the poor timing of the ads. Apparently, many expecting parents have had the issue with a pop up asking them to review the app every time they start a contraction. I agree with them, that this is extremely poor timing and nobody would choose that exact moment to review the app. Through all the times I have used it, I never once got this popup which makes me think they fixed it in one of the updates.
This is a great app and I love that it is available on both Apple iTunes and Google Play stores. I would suggest downloading it prior to going into labor on both the mom and birth partner’s phones.
Download for iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/contraction-timer-time-labor/id933501579
Follow me on Twitter @growingrfamily so you can join in on the conversation!
If you enjoy these posts, subscribe to our newsletter on the side bar or the subscribe page! It’s completely free and I promise not to spam you. Just updates on new content once a week and you’ll receive access to exclusive content!