What's new

Maternity care in Japan


15 Aug 2002
Hello all,

We will be moving to Japan in January to work for one year. My wife is expecting a baby at the end of March and is getting abit worried about what she can expect.

She has contacted the people suggested by the embassy and off various websites but is having problems getting info.

Is there anyone out there who has been through this and can pass on some first hand information to us? Nothing too greusom please!
I'm not planning a trip to Japan, but I am expecting a baby here in the U.S. and am doing some research on the countries with the best maternity care and birthing practices. (I'm trying to convince my brother, who is a doctor, that home birth is safe.)

I found that Japan has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world. So, whatever they are doing, they are VERY good at it. As I find more information, I'll post it.

"In Japan, women typically spend five to seven days in the hospital after a normal delivery, and usually three weeks after a Cesarean section. It is common to have a breast feeding room where all the newborn mothers sit together and breast feed; the more experienced help the less experienced mothers learn. On several occasions, Japanese patients have asked to stay an extra day in the hospital, even if it means that they have to pay for it out of pocket."


I've also read that it is rare for husbands to be in the delivery room, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.
Well, I have never had a baby in Japan, but I've heard lots about having babies in Japan as I've had babies with a Japanese person. I've also done a lot of research on the subject since I am a doula(labor assistant) and am interested in how they approach childbirth.

There are a few different places to have a baby, from what I understand. The most popular, I believe, are the freestanding birth centers. It's somewhat like a hospital, but also somewhat like a hotel. Women can have their babies there and then stay up to 10 days after the baby is born and have everyone do everything for them. Of course, they also have the regular hospitals and midwife clinics, where I'm not sure if the new mother stays that long at those places.

The Japanese are not liberal with pain medication during labor and delivery. Epidurals and narcotics are not usually used and c-sections are extremely rare, which I think are very good points. The few negative points I've come across are that Japanese doctors are extremely strict when it comes to weight. I have heard where they think 6-8kg is plenty to gain during pregnancy and also, they are really into doing episiotomies. Every woman that I know that has had a baby in Japan has had an episiotomy, except for the few that have had their babies at midwife clinics.

I do have this site that is owned by Nora Kohri. She is a member of my husband's mailing list and has written a few books about birth in Japan and birth overseas for Japanese people. My husband bought her book for Japanese pregnant in the U.S. and found it really helpful when we had our first baby.


I might be able to find more sites, too.
I just realized that georgeb's post was made back in December and his wife was due in March. I guess it's a little late to be making posts about it now... :p I hope their experience was a good one.

Anyway, info here if anybody needs it!
Heh, make sure you're able to communicate with the hospital staff well. My mom (3rd Gen J-A) who gave birth to my younger brother back in the day was told by a nurse that she should "no take bassu." So my mom asked "then can I take a taxi?" The nurse meant that she shouldn't take a hot bath right after giving birth.

anyway, you probably won't have any problems with the baby.
Top Bottom