'What is happening with your body and your baby': Australian women's use of pregnancy and parenting apps

DOI: 10.4225/50/56257A98736ED
15 October 2015

Previous research has found that pregnant women and women in the early years of parenthood now often turn to digital media sources of information and support. One recent form of digital media to which they have access is the mobile software applications (‘apps’) available for smartphones and other mobile devices. There are now hundreds of such apps available on the market for both pregnancy and parenting. This article reports the findings of the online survey designed to investigate how Australian women use pregnancy and parenting apps, their attitudes about the information provided and data privacy and security related to such use, and what features they look for in these apps. A total of 410 women from around Australia completed the survey. The use of pregnancy and parenting apps was common among the respondents. Almost three quarters of respondents had used at least one pregnancy app, while half reported using at least one parenting app. The vast majority of respondents who had ever used a pregnancy app said that they found the apps useful or helpful, particularly for providing information, monitoring foetal development and changes in their own bodies and providing reassurance. While fewer women used parenting apps, those who did also found them useful as sources of information, for helping to monitor their children’s growth and development and to provide reassurance. Yet many women are not yet actively assessing the validity of the content of these apps or considering issues concerning the security and privacy of the personal information about themselves and their children that these apps collect.

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DOI: 
10.4225/50/56257A98736ED

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Deborah Lupton, Sarah Pedersen, 2015, 'What is happening with your body and your baby': Australian women's use of pregnancy and parenting apps, News and Media Research Centre (UC), viewed 25 February 2017, <http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/50/56257A98736ED>.

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