Motherhood can often bring a host of anxieties of both moms-to-be and those who have just become mothers. But in this age where many of us rely on the internet for advice and help, the challenge for many Indian mothers is to find platforms that give reliable advice, tailored to our cultural sensitivities. Here’s a look at three Android apps that help make the journey easier for Indian mothers at various stages.
iMumz is a platform geared towards pregnant women as well as focused on parenting. It claims to have over 600,00 registered users. The app was also among the winners of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge in 2020. iMumz offers services such as meditation, music, yoga, and unique baby bonding exercises for women. The app includes a 20-minute per day module as well for moms-to-be.
“iMumz aims to be the go-to platform for all pregnancy and parenting needs. The app helps with maternal and fetal health, birth, postnatal care, and the first two years of the baby’s development. In a nutshell, the first 1000 days since conception are what we take under our wings,” Ravi Teja Akondi, CEO and co-founder, iMumz told indianexpress.com via email when asked reasons on why they created this app.
He added that the app uses “granular data about would-be mothers to create evidence-based personalized content” in order to help manage to range of pregnancy issues such as “malnutrition, depression, gestational diabetes, pains, preeclampsia, stress, anxiety, fear of labor, circulatory problems, preparation for childcare and post-partum depression.”
“The focus is on an active physical lifestyle, a positive mental state and balanced nutrition to improve pregnancy outcomes. We also have methods to build mother-child immunity, activities to reduce chances of postpartum depression and how to develop the baby’s brain through playtime,” he pointed out.
The app has a ‘Only 20 minutes per day’ engagement session for users who need to follow a week-by-week customized set of activities. It also has a special chat engine that allows users to post their medical issues and get a response from a select doctors within 15 minutes. The app includes a paid element as well called the ‘iMumz Membership’– costs Rs 899– that is valid for the entire pregnancy period.
According to the app’s CEO, many moms found their app useful during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. iMumz also relied on a host of webinars to help their app users get detailed guidance from doctors online in order to reduce anxiety. What also helped iMumz grow was access to Google Play’s resources on how to scale the app, and help provide a better user experience. The app has been part of AppScale Academy, which is Google and MeitY Startup Hub’s program.
Many mothers these days rely on apps to track their infant’s development through various stages. In this smartphone-age many need an app to help with this task and Growth Book is one such app. It offers a range of tools to help track a child’s height, weight, head circumference, arm circumference, development milestones, and vaccination schedule.
“Growth Book app was developed for delivering advice for children’s growth and health queries through a digital medium. The has been developed with a vision of educating parents about child’s growth, vaccination, food, diet chart, recipes and developmental milestones,” Dr Anand Shah, MBBS co-founder GrowthBook told indianexpress.com.
He explained that the reason they created this app was they felt a gap in India’s parenting space “with urban and semi-urban parents find it difficult to get the right advice for their child’s growth and development.” The app aims to help both parents get the right knowledge when it coms to their child’s development. Parents can post their queries, daily health tips, and development goals and the answers all designed according to the needs of Indian parents.
“We have built a proprietary algorithm that uses WHO guidelines and based on that we determine child growth categorization and advice. In our app, we categorize acute malnutrition, shunted growth, and normal growth,” Dr Shah explained. The data is cross-verified by multiple healthcare practitioners, according to the company.
Some of the most popular queries on the platform are around topics that often plague first-time mothers from the “changes in stool frequency, how to start feeding them, sufficient amount of breast milk, queries on cold and cough,” etc. The app’s core users are still from metro cities, though it has emerging users from other cities like Chandigarh, Visakhapatnam, and Ahmedabad, etc. Apart from India, Indonesia, Philippines & East African countries is where the app is seeing its base grow.
It is also part of Google’s AppScale academy program, and according to Dr Shah, getting good reviews on the Google Play Store helped push their app to the list of top parenting apps. This organic reach also helped them grow further on Android.
Parentune is another app aimed at soothing the anxieties of parents in general and is closed network of verified parents and doctors as well. The app platform relies on “proprietary technology” to resolve any concerns that a parent or a mother might have and this a 24×7 real-time advice center. It has seen over 10 lakh downloads on Google Play. Nearly 82 per cent of its core users are urban moms who are in metros, state capitals and other Indian cities.
“Parents struggle to find trustworthy and timely advice to make important parenting decisions. They then search online to find countless and generalised advice. This leads to even more confusion and higher anxiety levels. Parentune solves this by providing prompt, personalized and verified solutions to parents promptly,” Nitin Pandey, Founder & CEO, Parentune told indianexpress.com.
The app provides support for pregnant mothers to parents of children till the age of 14. It relies on its community of parents to help provide the answers that a parent might be searching for. According to Pandey, the app does verify the identity of each parent joining Parentune.
“We take seven important information points before giving a verified status to any parent account. Our verified parents’ community is on-boarded to community guidelines from the beginning and is mindful of keeping their genuine network,” he stressed. For instance, if a parent finds anything objectionable, they tap ‘report’ on the app, and when two parents report on the same, the content automatically gets muted and submitted to the Parentune Community Support Experts (Community moderators) to go through it and take an action to keep it muted, block the user account and so on.
While registering for the app is free, it does come with some paid value-added services on the go, along with monthly or annual subscriptions. The app also has empanelled doctors and experts as part of the experience to help mothers and parents ask any questions related to health, nutrition, growth, child development, child psychology, special needs, autism, etc.
It was originally launched in Hindi and English back in 2018, though it is now available in Tamil, Marathi and Telugu. Post pandemic the app has seen accelerated growth across Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Hinglish language markets in the last two years.