The Controversial Pregnancy Emoji You Need To See

Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
On the heels of Apple's announcement that it will add more inclusive emoji to iOS 10's update comes yet another way to up the realness factor of your emoji game. Third-party emoji app EmojiMom launched at the end of July, and it offers a wide array of motherhood- and pregnancy-related emoji.
Before you ask: Yes, the keyboard comes with the requisite smiling-mom-and-baby emoji, but it goes deeper than that these emoji get real. EmojiMom, founded by three best friends (Sarah Robinson, Natalie Ralston, and Hannah Hudson, all of whom are mothers), tackles issues like morning sickness, drinking while pregnant, and breast pain — you know, the types of things that new moms and moms-to-be actually talk (and text) about.
"There were so many funny, ridiculous, beautiful, and downright awful moments when we said to one another, 'There seriously ought to be an emoji for this,'" Robinson told Refinery29 in an email. "Of course, there weren't any emoji that depicted what we were going through."
On the official Unicode list of emoji, you can choose from a baby bottle or a smiling baby face, and not much else, as Robinson mentioned. Clearly, this doesn't even begin to reflect the full range of experiences around pregnancy and new motherhood, so EmojiMom aims to fill that gap.
"We really hoped this could be something that allowed moms to own more of the conversation about motherhood," Robinson said. And that conversation includes "the good, bad, and ugly stuff about what happens to your body, about how you feel about your newborn (sometimes, frankly, not that good), about the things you go through postpartum that no one tells you about (peri bottle, anyone?)."
Robinson hopes EmojiMom will provide women with a new, more nuanced means of communicating about motherhood, no matter where they may be in their journey. Users can share exciting news (the "I slept all night" emoji comes to mind) or express their frustration with people who will understand.
"If you have difficulty getting pregnant, or if you have a rough pregnancy, or a rough labor, and certainly when you have a newborn and things get very real, it really helps to connect with other women who have been through the same thing," Robinson said. "It beats Googling at 3 a.m."
More than anything, the aim of EmojiMom is for women to know that, not only is it okay to deal with mixed feelings around pregnancy and motherhood, it's healthy and should be discussed out in the open and with the help of the most representative emoji possible.
"Simply talking about the things that no one talks about is important, so we normalize these things," Robinson said.
EmojiMom is available for download from the App Store here. Click ahead for a sneak peek at some of the emoji.

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