Let’s start by stating the obvious: You don’t want to be Seth Meyers and help deliver your baby in the lobby of your building. And while there’s no hard-and-fast rule on how long labor can last, or how long it takes until she’s fully dilated and ready to push, contraction timers can at least give you some idea of how things are progressing. Contraction timer apps work by telling you the length and frequency of contractions, and the interval between each one. Some even indicate when it might be time to head to the hospital.
“People have always timed contractions, but [contraction timers are] a simplified way to do that,” says Dr. Sidney Wu, a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York’s Weill Cornell Medicine. The apps “can be helpful as an adjunct. Are they necessary? No. But they’re not harmful. I would caution people