A new app is giving new meaning to the term “push” when it comes to giving birth. There’s even a contraction timer.

Hoping to provide pregnant mothers with help and advice at any time, UNC REX is launching a free mobile app that provides on-demand access to a wide variety of information and educational tools and pushes out notifications as well as updates.

The UNC REX Healthcare Pregnancy & Baby app was unveiled Wednesday afternoon.

“We know that expectant moms are always looking for prenatal information, and the best way to connect with most patients, especially that age group, is on their mobile devices.,” a spokesperson for UNC REX told WRAL TechWire.

“Often we do not see moms-to-be at the REX Women’s Center until they are in their third trimester coming to a birthing class, or sometimes not until they arrive at the hospital ready to deliver. We wanted a way to connect with expectant moms from the beginning of their pregnancy and provide them with valuable prenatal and postpartum information over the course of their pregnancy and beyond. The app is one resource out of the many that we offer to educate our patients about their upcoming deliveries and recoveries at the REX Women’s Center.”

The app idea “has been in motion for a few years and is just one small part of a broader, ongoing effort to raise awareness about the REX Women’s Center and provide resources for our patients,” he explained. “The new app has been in active development since summer 2016.”

While UNC REX is the first to offer the app, other members of the UNC Health Care System “will have the opportunity to adopt it if they’re interested,” he added.

“This mobile app gives us a fabulous way to connect with our patients as soon as they learn they are expecting,” said Susan O’Dell, director of the REX Women’s Center. “Expectant parents can track their pregnancy journey as well as learn about baby development, preparing for childbirth, and educational offerings at UNC REX. We are really excited to use this technology to better serve our families.”

REX says it’s the first such app in the Triangle.

Offerings include:

  • Weekly development milestones via “push” notifications
  • Animations and videos
  • Community OB/GYN Practice Directory
  • Information about your delivery and recovery at REX Women’s Center
  • Personal journal with social media capabilities
  • Trackers for appointments, weight management
  • Contraction timer
  • Directory of community OB/GYN practices that deliver at REX

The app also includes information about costs, expectations about what’s coming during and after delivery, and much more.

“Fifteen to 20 babies are born each day at UNC REX, and we want to make sure our expectant moms and families are as informed and supported as possible,” O’Dell said in the app announcement. “Through our recently opened emergency department for obstetrics patients, to our classes, website, and now, our mobile app, we’re able to be there for our patients throughout pregnancy and beyond.”

Arlington, Texas-based Customized Communications developed the app and will provide updates, a UNC REX spokesperson said.

“Customized Communications’ team updates the clinical information on a quarterly basis as needed, which our clinical team at the REX Women’s Center reviews before updating the app,” he added. “Customized Communications handles technical updates and improvements.”

The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

For Apple:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/unc-rex-pregnancy-baby/id1175132626?mt=8

For Android:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.customizedinc.REXPregnancy&hl=en