Improving a Design Space: Pregnancy as a Collaborative Information and Social Support Ecology

  • Tamara PeytonEmail author
  • Pamela Wisniewski
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS, volume 69)


Pregnancy is a major life experience that changes relationships, identities, and home environments. It is a personal, collaborative, and domestic process of health changes, behavioral adaptations, and social adjustments that goes beyond the medical care of a pregnant woman. Using the lenses of information and support ecologies, we examine whether the complexities of pregnancy are reflected in the design of mobile technologies that support this life altering experience. To do this, we analyzed 191 iOS pregnancy applications (“apps”) to understand the types of functionality they supported. We found that the majority provided static medical and birth event information but had shallow functionality for leveraging social support. Almost all apps excluded expectant fathers, used gendered interfaces and information choices, and focused primarily on fetal development or the pregnant woman’s physical health. We call for less gendered and more meaningfully collaborative mobile health technologies to support pregnancy.


Pregnancy Mobile health Information needs Collaboration Parenthood Motherhood iOS apps Scoping study 



This research has been supported financially by: the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Grant UL1 TR000127; the Tronzo Endowment for Medical Informatics at The Pennsylvania State University; a grant for mobile app research from AT&T. The first author acknowledges with gratitude the invaluable guidance of Dr. Madhu Reddy and Dr. Erika Poole on early versions of this paper, and to Stephen Carmen for his collaboration on early dataset creation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harrisburg University of Science and TechnologyHarrisburgUSA
  2. 2.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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