February 2020 Doula Cafe

The February Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, February 18th, from 10-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks in Harajuku.

We’ll discuss different hospitals and birth clinics and what you can generally expect in your specific place during labour and the post-partum stay you’ll have there for a few days.

Also, if you are due to give birth from May onwards and are interested in having a doula support you and your husband during the labour, please come along or get in touch.  My schedule is already booked up till the end of April but there is some availability for me to take on 1 more client between May and June.  For those due September onwards, my schedule is wide open!

Please send me an email if you plan to come!

Water Birth in Tokyo

I recently attended a water birth in Nisseki (the Japan Red Cross Hospital in Hiroo).  In general in Japan, water birth is very uncommon.  There are very very few places that actually offer it.  In Tokyo, the places I know of through my doula work are Nisseki, Ikuryo Clinic, Sola Birth and Ladies Clinic, and midwife-run birth houses (such as Mejiro and Matsugaoka to name two).  In order to be eligible for a water birth at any of these places, the pregnancy must be considered low risk.

In Nisseki, if a pregnant couple are hoping for a water birth, they must take a water birth class first which is really just an explanation session.  It is in Japanese, so for those who don’t speak Japanese it might be good to bring an interpreter.  The session covers what water birth entails and what needs to happen on the day in order for the mum-to-be to even be allowed in the water (for example, bag of waters must not have broken beforehand, no induction, babies heart rate must consistently remain within normal levels – no random decels or accelerations etc).  It’s said that the rate of those who want a water birth versus those who actually get one when the time comes is actually quite low.

However, all that being said, water birth is possible and I was really happy that my client in Nisseki was able to get the water birth she’d hoped for.  Once it was established that baby was fine and that labour was progressing well, my client was able to get into the water.  They use monitoring pads that can go into the water as continuous monitoring from that point is standard.  My client was able to be in whichever position felt comfortable to her in the tub and pushing was completely directed by how she felt.  The midwife instructed her how to catch her baby and the doctor was standing by in case any intervention was necessary. Once baby was born, the staff brought the bed right up to the edge of the tub and helped her on.  Baby was with my client the whole time on her chest and in Nisseki having a water birth guarantees you’ll get delayed cord clamping as it isn’t done until on the bed.

There are so many benefits to water birth both for the baby and the mother, and I’ll write up a separate post later about them.

Please get in touch if you’d like any more details about water birth in Tokyo/Japan!

January Doula Cafe #2

We’ll have a second Doula Cafe this month because “why not?!”

It’ll be on Wednesday, January 29th from 10-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks in Harajuku.

We’ll look at the topic of Infant Care and Post-partum support again as it’s a popular one.  We’ll go through topics related to infant care ranging from diapering to breastfeeding and classes you can take to learn more.  We can also cover some questions you might have about infant care in Japan as well as post-partum support that you can utilise after your baby is born.

Also, if you are due to give birth from March onwards and are interested in having a doula support you and your husband during the labour, please come along or get in touch.  My schedule is already almost completely booked up for the first half of 2020 (till July) but there is some availability for me to take on 1 more client.  For those due September onwards, my schedule is wide open!

Please send me an email if you plan to come!

Birth Clinics & Hospitals in and around Tokyo

In the 5.5 years since I had my first birth client, I’ve been to many different hospitals in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures.   I was curious to see exactly how many different places I’ve had experience at with clients and, including the hospitals I birthed my own babies at, it comes to almost 30 different ones.  Some hospitals, such as Aiiku and Nisseki, I’ve been to multiple times.

Each hospital or birth clinic has been different in various ways, and it really depends on what is important for each woman (and her partner) when choosing which facility to use – such as epidural, natural/unmedicated labour, water birth option, ability to labour and birth freely, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, breastfeeding support, 24 hours rooming in with baby, husband staying overnight to name a few . Sometimes, as well, other factors influence which place is best (finances and what kind of insurance you have, distance/location, English language ability of staff and so on).

The choice for those living in Tokyo and the surrounding areas is relatively varied and there is a mix of private maternity hospitals ranging from small to large, birth clinics, University hospitals, municipal hospitals, general hospitals, midwife run birth houses and even home birth is an option.

Birth in Japan will always be a safe option – there will never be a bad options from that point of view.  Mother and baby will always be taken care of.  However, whether that care aligns with your own personal thinking and expectations depends on the facility.  So if anyone ever has any questions about their hospital, I’d be very happy to answer those questions based on my experiences and perspective.

From time to time I’ll try and edit this post to add more details about notable points about each place.  If you search some of my old posts, you’ll also see that I’ve written up about some of them already.

Tokyo

Aiiku Hospital (both the old and current one) (Minato ku)

Nisseki (the Japanese Red Cross Hospital) (Shibuya ku)

Seibo Hospital (Shinjuku ku)

St. Luke’s birth clinic (now closed for labours) (Chuo ku)

St. Luke’s Hospital (Koto Ku)

Tsuchiya Clinic (Fuchu shi)

Kosei Byoin (Suginami ku)

Seijo Kinoshita Byoin (Setagaya ku)

Ikuryo Clinic (Meguro ku)

Katsushika Red Cross Hospital (Katsushika ku)

Higashi Fuchu Byoin (Fuchu shi)

Iino Byoin (Chofu shi)

Sanikukai Byoin (Sumida ku)

Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital (Shinjuku ku)

Tokyo Mothers Clinic (Setagaya ku)

National Center for Global Health and Medicine (Shinjuku ku)

Sanno Hospital (a birth coming soon) (Minato ku)

Home birth x2 with midwives from Matsugaoka birth house

Kanagawa

Minato sekijuji Byoin (the Yokohama Red Cross Hospital) (Naka ku, Yokohama)

Showa University Fujigaoka Hospital (Aoba ku, Yokohama)

Keiyu Byoin (Nishi ku, Yokohama)

Shin Yokohama Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Kohoku ku, Yokohama)

Birth Aoba (midwife run Japanese birth house) (Aoba ku, Yokohama)

Chiba

Oshio Women’s clinic (Uraysu shi)

Minami Nagareyama Ladies Clinic (Nagareyama shi)

Funabashi Chuo byoin (Funabashi shi)

Saitama

Saitama Medical Center (Kawagoe)

Keiai Byoin (Fujimi shi)

Infant Care Classes 2020

If you have questions and want to find out more about various aspects of Infant care, please join an infant care class!  They will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month for approximately one hour.  The class size will be limited to 8-10 women.

In this one hour class, we will be going through various different aspects of infant care – diapering, bathing, sleeping and breastfeeding (including steps women can take during pregnancy to help get breastfeeding off to the best possible start) among other topics.  We will take time to go through any questions women have about infant care and items related to having a baby in Japan.  Hopefully, everyone will leave the class feeling a little bit more confident about what they will do once baby arrives.

It’s a great compliment to any other comprehensive birth preparation class you are doing or may do, and I encourage women to come to as many classes as they like to get the full.

Day:  Every 3rd Wednesday of the month

Time:  11:00am-12:00pm

Place:  My Body My Pilates https://www.mybodymypilates.com/contact

Class fee:  1,500 yen per participant (limited to 8-10 women)

RSVP:  Please let me know if you’d like to come by RSVP’ing to me at skwilson88@hotmail.com

Schedule for the next few months:

January – 15th

February – 19th

March – 18th

April – 15th

May – 20th

June – 17th

July – 15th

Couples Breathing for Birth Classes 2020

Come along to my Couples Breathing for Birth Classes where both mum and dad-to-be can find out how the way in which we breathe during labour can make a big difference both mentally and physically.  These classes are a great chance for couples to connect together as they prepare for baby’s birth, and hopefully have a little fun, too.

In this one hour class, we will be getting in touch with our bodies and minds in preparation for labour and birth.  We will focus on our breathing and the ways in which it can help us during labour  – as an essential tool for relaxation in labour as well as the crucial role our breathing plays in helping us manage our contractions more effectively.

Breathing is the most natural thing in the world for us to do, and we breathe without even thinking that we are doing so.  Yet in labour it can be one of the most challenging parts – breathing regularly and effectively through contractions to help your uterus work as well as possible and giving you a way to stay in control of your labour can be hard work.  Through these classes, you’ll have the chance to focus just on your breathing for labour, and learn how you can use it to relax and prepare your mind for each stage of labour.

Combined together with other gentle relaxation techniques and massage, this one hour class should leave you feeling refreshed, more empowered and more in touch with your body.

It’s a great compliment to any other comprehensive birth preparation class you are doing or may do, and I encourage everyone to come to as many classes as they like to get the full benefit.

Day:  Every 2nd Saturday of the month

Time:  3:00-4:00pm

Place:  My Body My Pilates https://www.mybodymypilates.com/contact

Class fee:  1,500 yen per participant (3,000 per couple).  Minimum of 4 couples, maximum of 8.

RSVP:  Please let me know if you’d like to come by RSVP’ing to me at skwilson88@hotmail.com

Breathing for Birth Classes Jan-July 2020

Please see below for details of the Breathing for Birth classes for the first half of 2020!

The classes will be held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month for one hour.  The class size will be limited to 8-10 women.

In this one hour class, we will be getting in touch with our bodies and minds in preparation for labour and birth.  We will focus on our breathing and the ways in which it can help us during labour  – as an essential tool for relaxation in labour as well as the crucial role our breathing plays in helping us manage our contractions more effectively.

Breathing is the most natural thing in the world for us to do, and we breathe without even thinking that we are doing so.  Yet in labour it can be one of the most challenging parts – breathing regularly and effectively through contractions to help your uterus work as well as possible and giving you a way to stay in control of your labour can be hard work.  Through these classes, you’ll have the chance to focus just on your breathing for labour, and learn how you can use it to relax and prepare your mind for each stage of labour.

Combined together with other gentle relaxation techniques and massage, this one hour class should leave you feeling refreshed, more empowered and more in touch with your body.

It’s a great compliment to any other comprehensive birth preparation class you are doing or may do, and I encourage women to come to as many classes as they like to get the full benefit.

Day:  Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month

Time:  11:00am-12:00pm

Place:  My Body My Pilates https://www.mybodymypilates.com/contact

Class fee:  1,500 yen per participant (limited to 8-10 women)

RSVP:  Please let me know if you’d like to come by RSVP’ing to me at skwilson88@hotmail.com

Schedule for the next few months:

Jan – 22nd

Feb – 12th & 26th

March – 11th & 25th

April – 8th & 22nd

May – 13th & 27th

June – 10th & 24th

July – 8th