Before my baby was born, I felt totally prepared for the days and weeks ahead. After all, I had read the books, taken the classes, and pestered my mom friends with so many questions that I swear they started screening my calls. I was confident I knew what was I doing—well, at least as much as anyone can.
Ridiculous, right? Looking back, I have to laugh at my hubris. As any new parent will tell you, nothing prepares you for the rollercoaster of life with a newborn, and I mean nothing. Though I had a support network I tapped into regularly, most of my new-parent questions popped up in the wee hours of the night, when things seemed the most dire and when all my reliable sources were fast asleep. Late-night Googling provided some comfort—it quickly fed me signs of colic, for example—but it left me cold when it came to other issues, like being able to tell whether my son was latching on correctly.
That middle-of-the-night wondering may be a thing of the past if two new apps have their way. Glow Nurture, a free pregnancy app, recently expanded into the postpartum realm, including a focus on postpartum depression. Among the offerings are articles, daily health tips, and—the coolest part, in my opinion—access to a community of other new moms who are probably asking the same questions you are.
Doctors on Demand, on the other hand, provides virtual face-to-face breastfeeding support. The healthcare service, co-founded by Oprah's BFF Dr. Phil, has partnered with UpSpring to offer nursing moms video visits with board-certified lactation consultants. Translation: You don't have to wait for the next La Leche meeting to get help—just make an appointment through the Doctors on Demand app, choose which consultant you want to speak with, and chat with him or her on your smartphone or tablet. Even though the app is free to download, its convenience will cost you ($40 for a 25-minute session or $70 for a 50-minute session), but the peace of mind it buys may just be worth it.
Tell us: Would you try an on-demand service like these?
Find out what big changes are next for your infant by signing up for our Development Tracker.
How to Find a Lactation Consultant
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
Photo: Asian mom breastfeeding baby girl via Shutterstock