6 Best Contraction Timer Apps for Labor in 2022

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Congratulations mama on making it to the last term of pregnancy! I bet you can’t wait to get baby out now – you are probably dreaming of a good night sleep and being able to eat some sushi or anything that doesn’t give you heartburn now.

Well, the good news is you are almost there and, while I can’t guarantee you will be able to get a good night sleep once baby is here, labor is definitely coming and it’s time to get ready. You should have already gone through all your hospital, postpartum and baby’s checklists by now and your hospital bag is probably packed by the door already, but have you thought about how you are going to be timing and tracking your labor contractions to know when it’s time to actually go to the hospital?

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While a simple timer and the old school pen and paper can work for some parents, there are now some very handy apps that you can have on your phone. These help you log the contractions and do all the calculations for you, including alerting you when the frequency is such that you should consider calling your midwife or heading to the delivery room.

The choice of contraction timer apps available for download is overwhelming though! You don’t want to waste too much time testing them all out or getting frustrated because ads keep coming up while you are in labor. So, I have tested quite a lot of them for you already and come up with a shortlist of the best apps for recording contractions I could find.

best contraction timer apps for labor

Features of Contraction Timer Apps

When using a contraction timer app to track your contractions, all apps work the same way:

  • You need to click a Start button when a contraction begins
  • You need to click a Stop button when the contraction ends

The app will automatically calculate the duration of the contraction and, once you record more than one, it will record the frequency as well (how often then occur). Some apps will allow you to edit the information in case you make a mistake and/or will allow you to delete the recordings if you are just testing it before labor. An extra feature is sometimes the ability to enter the intensity of the contraction (though I don’t really find this to be useful information).

Most will allow you to share the data with someone else so, for example, you could send the information to your midwife. And a bonus is when you find an app that includes relaxation music that you can play in the background while using the app.

Best Contraction Timer Apps

Without further ado, here’s a list of the best apps for timing contractions and that work for both iphone and android.

1. Contraction Timer & Counter TL

Contraction Timer & Counter TL icon

The main reason why this app is at the top of my list it’s because it plays hypnobirthing music in the background (if you want it, of course), and I am the biggest fan of hypnobirthing. If you haven’t heard about it yet and you are hoping to have a natural birth without epidural, I strongly encourage you to have a look into it.

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That aside, the app has actually got a lot of great features. First of all, the app is free to download and to use with it’s basic tools, which include a timer, a history of all contractions, and a hypnobirthing track. Contraction information can’t be edited after you’ve pressed the stop button, so you need to be accurate when entering the information the first time, but you can delete single contractions or clear all data if you wish.

Contraction Timer & Counter TL screenshot
Contraction Timer & Counter TL screenshot

The downside is that the free version has ads and limited functionality. However, for a mere $.0.99, you can upgrade to the premium version and: get rid of the ads, get access to 4 more audio tracks for breathing and labor affirmations and gain the ability to share the contraction history with someone else (as a .png file)

The Contraction Timer & Counter TL app is available for both apple devices and androids, and it comes in 6 different languages (English, Romanian, French, German, Japanese and Portuguese).

ProsCons
✅Free app
✅Includes hypnobirthing audio track
✅Very cheap to upgrade to premium
✅Available in 6 different languages
❌Contraction information can’t be edited
❌Ads in the free version

2. GentleBirth Contraction Timer

GentleBirth Contraction Timer icon

The GentleBirth Contraction Timer is another awesome app to track contraction or surges (this is how contractions are called if you take a hypnobirthing class). This app was developed by a midwife, and also instructor of the GentleBirth hypnobirthing class.

It is incredibly easy to use and with a nice interface. Each contraction can be edited or entered manually if you make a mistake, you can add information about when your water breaks, get some nice stats, and there’s a button at the bottom that gives you an indication of where you are at with your labor.

One of the unique features is the ability to download a personalized audio coaching for each contraction based on the length of labor and strength of your contractions. If you don’t download the audio file you hear the same audio every time you start a contraction. The annoying bit though is the fact that the audio only works while you are having the contraction and you can’t turn it off in the settings – you need to turn it off every time you start a contraction.

If you want to listen to some audio tracks (hypnobirthing or not) continuously, then you are best to play them outside of the app. There are actually other specific hypnobirthing apps that you can look at: these are designed specifically to listen to hypnobirthing music.

Related: Best Free Hypnobirthing Apps

Another thing that I find quite distracting is that you have to set the intensity of your contraction once that’s finished by moving a bar (right for more intense and left for less intense). First of all, you might not want to record the intensity (but if you don’t, then the personalized audio coaching can’t work properly) and second, it would be much easier and faster if it was a tick box where you chose between mild, medium or intense, instead of the bar.

The app is available for both apple devices and androids and is available in both English and Portuguese.

gentlebirth app screenshot
gentlebirth app screenshot
ProsCons
✅Free app
✅Includes hypnobirthing audio track
✅Ability to edit the contractions
✅Labor indicator
❌Audio can’t be turned off in settings

3. Easy Contraction Timer

Easy Contraction Timer icon

This free app is also too good not to make it to my list of best contraction apps for labor. It’s been downloaded over 1 million times from Google Play and it has over 5k reviews with an average 4.6/5 rating, and I can see why.

First of all, the app is completely free and, while it does have ads enabled by default, these can be turned off in the settings (you just have to watch the whole video of an add before they get disabled). The contraction history is also displayed in a nice interface and you can edit contraction information easily, as well as add extra notes to the contractions. A downside is that you can’t enter a contraction manually if you miss one, but you can enter a ‘dummy’ contraction and edit it afterwards.

There is a nice summary page with some graphs and stats and in the settings you can turn on or off the ability to add intensity information (yay!). If you want, you can also receive notifications when the contractions are less than 5 minutes apart, to alert you that it’s time to go to hospital.

easy contraction timer screenshot
easy contraction timer screenshot

Finally, an awesome tool is the fact that you can share the contraction history with someone else in real time: the person will get a link with all the live information.

Not many cons for this app really. If you can’t be fussed about relaxation music being incorporated in the app, then this can be a great choice.

Available for both apple devices and androids.

ProsCons
✅Free app
✅Ability to edit the contractions
✅Ability to turn off ads
✅Ability to share real time data
❌No relaxation music
❌English only

4. Contraction Timer & Counter 9m

Contraction Timer & Counter 9m icon

Here’s another popular app that’s been downloaded over 1 million times from Google Play and has over 50k review with a rating of 4.8/5. And I must say, the app is actually pretty good, but not perfect.

Let me start by saying that the app is free, but the free version comes with ads: you need to pay $0.99 to upgrade and get rid of the ads. It also sends you notifications depending on the last 4 contractions, telling you whether you should be going to hospital or keep timing contractions. However, these notifications (which can be turned off in the settings) are more of a nuisance than anything else – with just 4 contractions close to each other, it will tell you to hurry to hospital, when in fact it may be way too early.

Another annoying thing is the glaring white light, which is not ideal if you are having contractions in the middle of the night. It would be much better if there was a darker mode that one could switch to at night.

The things I love about it:

  • It tells you at the top how many contractions you’ve had in the last hour
  • You can edit any contraction information
  • You can turn off the intensity of the contraction and the recommendations in the settings
  • You can send the history to anyone via email (they will receive a link to download a .csv file)

Available for both apple devices and androids.

Contraction timer & counter 9m screenshot
ProsCons
✅Free app
✅Very cheap to upgrade to premium
✅Number of contractions in the last hour
✅Ability to edit the contractions
❌Ads in the free version
❌Glaring screen
❌Often inaccurate notifications
❌No relaxation music

5. Contraction Timer & Counter

contraction counter & timer app icon

The Contraction Timer & Counter is a very basic app that a few people might light for its simplicity. It doesn’t have any fancy graph or music: it’s sole purpose is to record contractions – their duration, interval in between and intensity (though this feature can be switched off).

Contraction information can’t be edited afterwards, and the information can’t be shared with other people unless you buy the premium version, which costs $7.99, including getting rid of any ads.

Two little things that I find quite useful: it gives you the number of contractions you had within the last hour at the top, and you can see how long it’s been since your last contraction at the top of the timeline.

Available for both apple devices and androids.

Contraction Timer & Counter app screenshot
ProsCons
✅Free app
✅Very simple, which some people might like
✅Number of contractions in the last hour
❌Ads in the free version
❌Can’t edit contraction information
❌Can’t share contraction history
❌No relaxation music

6. Full Term – Contraction Timer

full term contraction timer icon

Finally, here’s another very basic and free contraction timer app: the Full Term – Contraction Timer. I personally don’t like the interface of this app at all: it looks like something that’s so outdated, but it does the job and there are no annoying ads, so it made it to the list.

On the main page (Summary tab) you don’t get the usual timeline that you would get in all the other apps. Instead, you get a summary of when you had your last contraction, the contraction information (average duration, frequency and number) for the last hour and the last 6 hours (though this can be changed to a different number of hours). On the other hand, the Duration, Frequency and Intensity tab provide you with some nice graphs.

Contraction information can be edited, including adding some extra notes, and you can even add contractions manually. The contraction history can also be shared via email, without any annoying attachments.

As per other apps, you can turn on or off the ability to be asked for intensity. An extra bonus is the ability to switch to a darker theme, particularly if you are having contractions at night.

Available for both apple devices and androids.

Full Term contraction timer app screenshot
ProsCons
✅Free app
✅Very simple, which some people might like
✅Number of contractions in the last hour
✅Ability to edit contractions information
❌No timeline
❌Not the nicest interface
❌No relaxation music

Is it Time to go to Hospital?

In summary, we’ve seen what the best apps to time contraction are, and that some even give you notifications for when it’s time to go to hospital. But we’ve also discussed how these notifications are often inaccurate and not really something that you should be relying on.

So, when is it really the time to get in the car and head to the delivery room at the hospital while in labor? Is there a set rule? You really don’t want to get to hospital too early when you are still in prelabor and be sent back home and, at the same time, you don’t want to leave it to the last second where you risk giving birth in the car!

Advice on when to go to hospital exactly tends to differ from country to country or from your health care provider. I believe in the US you are advised to go to hospital soon after contractions start or when your water breaks. Here in New Zealand they tend to keep you at home as long as possible, and only send you to hospital when you have contractions that last for about 60 seconds and are 5 minutes apart.

Lots of people talk about the 5-1-1 or 4-1-1 rule, meaning you should head to hospital when the contractions come every 4/5 minutes and have lasted 1 minute each for the last hour. My main advice is to check with your midwife or other healthcare provider, but also consider how long it’s going to take you to get to the hospital (is it peak hour traffic?!).

Best Contraction Timer Apps for Labor : Final Thoughts

Here it is mom-to-be, my list of of the best apps to track contractions when you are in labor. All the apps listed above have been tested by myself and I really hope you’ve found the information useful, and that you’ve found what you were looking for.

The idea of having to give birth soon can be quite overwhelming and scary at times, so having everything in order and feel like you are prepared with all your apps and checklists can give you a sense of relief and being in control. But try to remember to breathe and relax as well: these are your last days of pregnancy and you are soon going to meet your little creature, which is truly a blessing!

All the best and please, once you’ve tested any of the apps above as well, let me know your thoughts!

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best apps to time contraction in labor

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