In today's digital age, parental help can come in many convenient forms, including apps that parents can access through their mobile devices. We've had access to mostly foreign parenting apps, but here's one locally-made app that caters to Filipino parents.
Ready to Parent, a co-parenting app by insurance firm FWD Life Philippines, one of the country’s fastest-growing insurance companies, was launched together with the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and the Department of Health (DOH) to help parents share their experiences with each other online.
"It's [made] by Filipinos, designed for Filipinos. It's very local in context, from the articles to the community chat to even the use case, or the user experience of the journal," said FWD digital channel head Alex Sarmiento.
The app is geared towards first-time parents, who need access to correct information or can communicate other parents to hopefully lessen their anxiety and improve their disposition about pregnancy and parenting. At the moment, the app allows parents to enjoy three main functions:
1. You can chat with other parents. Parent users can share information, experiences and seek advice from fellow parents. The chat feature will also have veteran moms as moderators and host chats with experts as well.
2. You'll have access to vital information. Dubbed as the "news blog," this feature will give parents access to and download a wealth of information about pregnancy and parenting. Roche Vandenberghe of FWD Life says the content for the app is based on several sources "to ensure that whatever we put in there will resonate with Filipinos."
3. You can use the app as a journal. Keeping a journal or a diary is most helpful for pregnant women--and you can do it via the Ready to Parent app. This is especially helpful for when going to doctor checkups and for when looking back at your pregnancy and even sharing it with your future child someday.
The DOH gave a two-thumbs up for the Ready to Parent app. "Safer births begin with every parent, and technology can be used to supplement consultations with doctors and visits to their community health centers. Hopefully, parents who will use the mobile app can also help build a more well-informed community of expectant mothers by sharing the information they access online,” DOH spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said.
Obstetrics and gynecology expert Dr. Blanca de Guia added that the app will benefit expectant mothers by anticipating the risks that come with this life-changing journey. Ready to Parent is also user-friendly -- and dads can use it, too.
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Currently, Ready to Parent uses English as its main language, but Sarmiento says they are exploring other ways to make it more accessible to all Filipinos.