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Gestational Diabetes Myth-conceptions via Pregnancy App for phone

Expectant momma Julie Ann Samples shared on Facebook today, "One of my pregnancy apps on my phone updated me to 24 weeks today and informed me that if I am found to have gestational diabetes, then my baby will have to be born by cesarean section, ugh!!! I'm glad it was a free app!" Thankfully, Julie knew that this advice was wrong.

She said that the app is an Android app called Pregnancy Assistant. When she went to their website to leave a review, she saw that her fellow pregnant mommas gave it 4 1/2 stars! Augh! Most of the moms

using the app are likely not reading all the Cochrane Reviews or Medscape journals or even ACOG's own recommendations and have NO IDEA what advice is evidence-based and what is thoroughly fabricated, such as advising a 24 week pregnant mother that if she is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, that a cesarean birth would be necessary.

The fact of the matter is that gestational diabetes alone is not a medical indicator for cesarean section. Cesarean birth has serious risks both to mother and baby. If gestational diabetes is poorly controlled or not managed at all, baby can possibly grow too large and need a cesarean. If gestational diabetes is well managed (by diet, exercise, and/or medicine under advisement of OB), mom and baby have the best chance for a vaginal delivery. Isn't it far better to empower mothers to know what their options are to safely control and manage their gestational diabetes from the earliest point possible and decrease their risks of needing a C-section?

It's easy to say, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," or "You get what you pay for," but I don't think this applies to a free pregnancy phone app. This is a damaging lie, one with far-reaching consequences. It would really be better to have NO ADVICE AT ALL than to have advice that's contrary to the evidence when it comes to your health and safety. This app needs to get their act together and give factual information or get out of the business of advising pregnant women altogether.

If any of you have tried out pregnancy apps for iPhone or Android, I'd be interested in hearing a product review in the comments here. Which are neutral ("Your baby is now 24 weeks along and has such-and-such abilities and characteristics"), which are helpful, and which dispense flat-out lies?

Childbirth Connection full chapter on Gestational Diabetes from A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (pdf printable)

Edited to add: I just sent the following email to Pregnancy Assistant app's customer service address, along with the link to this blog:

"To whom it may concern,

"I am a childbirth educator. One of my clients informed me that she was using your Pregnancy Assistant app and received dangerously incorrect information in the 24 week gestation pregnancy notification. You have the duty and legal responsibility to include evidence-based information. I have blogged about this incorrect information with the hopes that pregnant women can learn the truth and avoid unnecessary major surgery.

"Sarah DeGroff
Well Rounded Birth Prep"

If you would like to send them a (professional, courteous, non-flaming) email, you may do so at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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