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Ladies, using that App to track your pregnancy could be dangerous

The use of technology to track our well-being is becoming common even in critical health matters. Yet these emerging technologies are now making health experts jittery due to their inaccuracies and unreliability.

For instance, a recent study by researchers from the University of Washington concluded that period tracking Apps are not accurate. Many users have received misleading information that impacted on their reproductive health.

In Nairobi, reproductive health experts now have to contend with pregnant women who have downloaded Apps to monitor the development of their foetuses.

DELAYED CHECKUPS

Mercy Wahome, a maternal and child health specialist and a co-proprietor of Mercy Medical Centre, told Nairobi News that the Apps often lead to delayed checkups by pregnant women.

Also worrying is the increasing number of expectant mothers who delay seeking treatment because the Apps disguise some danger signs experienced during pregnancy as normal side-effects.

One popular App used by Nairobi women lists headaches and dizziness as normal side-effects of pregnancy and even recommends natural remedies for cure.

“A headache is not normal, it could be the first sign of pressure. The same applies to dizziness. There is need to have your blood levels quickly checked in cases where a mother experiences dizziness,” Ms Wahome told Nairobi News.

NEVER TOO EARLY

Another App recommends that a pregnant woman starts clinics at week eight, while Ms Wahome says the earlier it’s done the better because it is never too early.

“Most of these Apps lack the vital information and leave out the danger signs. For instance, one App at some point recommends that a pregnant mother takes folic acid and vitamin supplements. It however leaves out crucial information of some vitamin supplements, which if taken at the same time with folic acid can hinder its absorption,” observed Ms Wahome.

A first time mother, Damaris, who spoke to Nairobi News admitted to using one of the apps, What to Expect.

“I downloaded the App even before I got pregnant but I am not over-reliant on it. So far I have not seen any contradictory information because it only gives me general information and does not go into the specifics which I get from my doctor,” said the mother-to-be.

For Damaris, she counterchecks the general information from the App with searches on Google, before confirming the same during visits to the doctor.

The Apps are dangerously relied upon to provide information by mothers who can afford smartphones and internet connection, but can not afford visit to doctors.