Ask the Midwife!

ask the midwife app review

Possibly my best post-partum discovery so far: an app called Ask the Midwife. Strictly speaking it’s not a post-partum discovery, as I was told about it a month or so ago by an app developer I’ve been conversing with, but I’ve used it a few times since New Baby’s birth and it’s absolutely brilliant.

I don’t know about you, but during pregnancy and that new and mystifying post-partum period, I always have about ten thousand burning questions that need answering but completely forget to ask them when the midwives/health visitors come for their checks. And they’re never the sort of thing I want to Google, because – as we all know – Googling anything to do with pregnancy or babies is likely to end up in a tearful, panic-stricken dash to A&E. (“I know I haven’t been abroad in a year but I’m POSITIVE I’ve got dengue fever!” “The baby’s breathing is noisy and I’m SURE it’s that very rare respiratory thing that I read about on Wikipedia!” Etc.)

The first time I opened the Ask a Midwife app was when I had terrible trapped wind a day or so after the c-section (see post here) and I desperately wanted to know which remedies would be safe. The simplicity of the app coupled with the speed of the response (it was a Sunday, I had an answer within the hour) singled this service out as a bit of a winner from the start; you just type in your question and press “Ask Question” and await an answer. I didn’t even get charged for my first question, so the whole process took around three minutes!

The questions are all answered by registered Midwives who are members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and qualified to work in the UK and you can either ask a one-off question or schedule a ten minute chat, during which you can ask as many questions as you like. (I haven’t done this, but I want to, just to see how many questions I can fit in. Sort of like a “supermarket sweep” of baby information. Hohoho.)

ask the midwife app review

It costs 99p for a one-off question or there are monthly subscription packages, offering unlimited questions for a set fee per month. (It’s £24.99 if you just want to do it on a month-by-month basis or £19.99 if you subscribe for 9 months, a package geared at pregnant women to see them through until birth.)

I’ve now asked three questions and all of them were actually quite pressing. Not medical emergencies (you most definitely call your midwifery team or GP for those!) but annoyances that were making me miserable (things in the downstairs area) and a question about the baby that would have played on my mind overnight had I not had an answer. Questions are answered from 7am-9pm, seven days a week and the team aim to answer all questions within four hours, though I must say that each time for me has been within the hour.

So, money well spent, I think. The app is free to download (it’s here) and then it’s just 99p per question, if that’s how you want to play things. I wish I’d started using the app during pregnancy – there were so many things that I needed answers to that I would then forget to ask at my appointments! Or minor niggles that would then go away before my midwife appointments but I’d have spent about twenty hours Googling and trawling Mumsnet for information! Far better to be able to give a qualified person your own, specific details and get an expert opinion. Big thumbs-up from me for Ask the Midwife – they also have a website here, if you don’t use apps or have a smart phone.

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  1. February 16, 2017 / 9:22 am

    How I wish I had known about this app earlier. My son is already 11 minths now, but I remember the questions popping up at the middle ofmthe night quite well.

  2. Lynda
    February 16, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    I wish I’d known too! I’m 3 months post partum now but what a great idea!

  3. ClaireAC
    February 17, 2017 / 9:19 am

    getting this app right now – can only imagine how much comfort I will get just from knowing I can ask a question as it arises rather than trying to remember it or worse google it myself!

    • February 20, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      Yeah, it’s SO much better than dreaded Google! x

  4. Rhonda
    February 17, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    I used this app during my pregnancy and was disappointed with it – every answer came with a caveat to check with my own midwife/hospital, which basically negated its value for me…but I can see how it would work much better for post partum queries. X

    • February 20, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      I suppose you’d have to do that legally, I don’t think mine came with a caveat but I suppose I’d still find it useful even if they did, as it was more for putting my mind at rest! x

  5. Gillian
    February 21, 2017 / 10:43 am

    After giving birth 2 weeks ago, I have lost faith in midwives, as it seems to me (as with all childcare questions) you get a different answer from each person. this was especially stressful during the labour/birth where I found only the actual doctors knew, or appeared to know, what was going on and what to do. This is my experience based on – and not helped by – the fact approximately 20 different midwives came in and out during my labour, birth and postnatal ward – and since then a stream of midwives/health visitors… you never see the same person twice and beyond the party line on breastfeeding they all give opinions but with varying levels of confidence/ evidence. Very unimpressed.

    • Fe
      February 21, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Funny you should say that, I’ve found them all to be great! There are some differences on what they say (when you can have a bath with stitches has been the main one for me) but every one I spoke to gave a broadly similar answer and were happy to also provide the real life translation for when you realise some advice is totally unrealistic! That said, I did only have 2 main midwives through more than 24 hours of labouring in hospital so maybe that had more of an impact than anything else…

      • EB
        February 23, 2017 / 1:45 pm

        I guess this just goes to show how different people’s experiences with the NHS can be. I had lots of different midwives too during my long labour but each and every one of them were fantastic. I still remember all of them, 3 years on. One of the midwives assigned to us during my C-section recovery was openly quite teary when we were discharged to go home. Maybe I was just lucky but I could not have been better looked after and I wrote a long letter of thanks to the Director of Midwifery at the hospital a few weeks after my discharge.

  6. Suzi
    February 27, 2017 / 4:13 am

    Hi Ruth, I’m loving your blog posts and instagram posts – I had my baby girl on the 5th of February – so can relate to a lot of your comments and thoughts. Find myself reading your posts at 3am feeds – helping me stay awake! Great tips and info, particularly loving this app! Please do keep them coming (if you have the energy to write them).

    S x

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