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Japanese Birth Traditions


13 Sep 2003
I am not sure if this should go here or where, but anyways, I am having a hard time digging up information on Japanese Birth Traditions and Birth in general in Japan. I am just presenting a breif five minute presentation on the topic at school, but I am a little miffed. Any help would be appricaited. Thanks C
Having just gone through the process with my wife, here's what I know in a nutshell.

Japanese husbands are not really expected to attend the birth. I know many who continue to work on that day.

Few hospitals offer epidurals.

Midwives conduct most of the proceedings immediately prior to the actual delivery. And, I mean mere seconds before! Our doctor didn't even show up until the head was showing!

After a baby is born, it is expected that mom and baby will stay in the hospital for about a week, then many stay with their parents for 2-4 weeks to give the new mom a chance to recover.

Did you have some specific questions?
Also, as far as gifts are concerned in Japan, usually money is always given to the new parents. They don't have showers like we do in the west--they consider that bad luck. Friends and family of the new parents will give gifts of money and traditionally, the new parents are supposed to give them some little token/gift in return.

I was amazed at how much money my husband and I received at the birth of each of our sons. It was quite nice. Of course, it kind of dwindled down fast...
my grandmother still has the strings used to tie umbilical cords for my dad and uncle ('NEVER tell your father i have this')

err.. i dunno if that's a one off thing tho :eek:
Yeah, I had forgotten about that. Knowing that it was Japanese tradition to keep the umbilical cord stump after it falls off, my husband kept our sons'. He also kept the band that was used to tie each one off.
yup! you keep the cord in a wodden box , wrapped in a thin sheet of paper. Discusting I know but they think it's good luck or something. I refused to keep our daughter's but the wife insisted. Kirei na me was right about the money thing too. He he , we have rather a large family of in-laws and so on ... ended up with over 800,000 yen here and mine also ... diminished rather fast. I attended the birth of my daughter and held my wife's hand during the whole thing , but as someone else said : It's not expected of the husband and nobody will think bad of you if you don't. Hospital fees are rather .. well ... extortionate here in Japan so be prepaired. Cost us over 2 million en total.

Another thing to note : Japan says your pregnancy is 10 months. Yet everyone has their baby early ( 9 months ) ... I believe this has something to do with the traditions to do with the number 9 "ku" and the word "kurushi" meaning a tightness or strangling. This would be bad luck to the Japanese. This also counts for things like hospital room numbers; there are no room 4 or 9 in the local hospital here. 4 = shi = Shinda = dead = bad luck. He he I forgot the rest.
As to the Japanese being pregnant for 10 months, it is because they are referring to the lunar month which consists of 4 weeks rather then the calendar month which is more commonly used in the US. So since a pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, 40 divided by 4 gives us ten months of pregnancy.

I am very glad I didn't give birth the hospital your wife did, of my 3 births in Japan the most expensive was \400,000! and this was for a 6 day stay, my sister paid the same amount in the US for a 30 hour stay. I always thought Japan was quite economial on the birth front.
I guess I paid that much because the hospital we went to was the only one around here within 2 hours drive. Small , secluded areas ... don't ya just hate em? 😄
No no! Azumi hospital ( closest to me ) charged me freaking 35,000窶ー~-something for a x-ray and some pain killers after i fell down some stairs.
I'm doing a power point of this subject and i was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions? Also hi im shiori and im new to the site
Sep 24, 2003, 05:23 -------------> January 5,2010, 20:59
WOW how could you find this thread :D
He means that because the thread is over 6 years old how did you find it, but I think you just used the search button or used google which gave you a link to this thread when you were looking for Japanese birth traditions or something among those lines.
Atleast they used a search function.

GL with your report. we have a few Japanese native women on site they should be able to help you out abit.
It's ten months because the first day of the pregnancy is still considered the 1st month - they don't count weeks, then at 4 weeks say it's 1 month. So at 10 days it's still the first month, not zero, and at 32 days it's 2 months.

We paid about 300,000 per birth, but my wife had good insurance, so we actually got more than that back from the insurance company. Midwives managed to keep me out of the birthing room on the 2nd and 3rd births, even sent me home on the 2nd, because men weren't allowed in the OB hospital at night. I got a phone call announcing the birth.
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