Recent Birth

I’ve just had a birth a few days ago at another new clinic to me – Oshio Women’s Clinic in Urayasu (Chiba)  http://www.oshio-w-c.net/original16.html

It was a small clinic (a one-doctor place), so the care felt really personal. The doctor spoke some English and the midwives were all very nice.  They couldn’t speak English really but luckily my clients and I could speak enough Japanese so that it wasn’t a problem.

The LDR room itself was small but had some great things to use during labour – including squat bar, bean bag, birth ball, and hooks on the ceiling to hang rope from to use for squatting/pulling on.  The midwives moved the bed out of the room and put a mattress down on the floor to make moving about more easy.

The labour was very freestyle for the most part in that the mum could be free to do what she wanted.  While she was initially induced, when the induction medicine was turned off (as contractions hadn’t really started), her body went into natural labour by itself – which can sometimes happen!

Always interesting to be at a labour in a new place 🙂

Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be on Thursday, June 1st!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:00-11:30.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We will talk about childbirth preparation – why it’s a good idea to do some childbirth preparation (a group or private class or course) before the arrival of your baby, at what stage of pregnancy a class is a good idea, and what class options in English are available to you in Tokyo!

Also, coming along is a great chance to find out what a birth doula does and how one can help you through your pregnancy and at your labour!  There is space for one more client in July.  My next availability isn’t until September, so please get in touch if you’d like birth support!

If you’d like to come to the Doula Cafe, please email me.  My address is here

Looking forward to seeing those who come 🙂

May Doula Cafe!

The next Doula cafe will be on Monday, May 8th!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:30-12:00.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We will talk about the hospitals where you are expecting to give birth at and I’ll share with you my experiences in these places 🙂   We’ll also talk generally about anything and everything related to pregnancy, labour and having a baby in Tokyo!

It’s a great chance to find out what a doula does and how one can help you through your pregnancy and at your labour!

If you’d like to come, please email me.  My address is here.

Looking forward to see everyone who comes!

Labour at Seibo Hospital

I had my first experience as a doula in Seibo hospital (International Catholic hospital) 2 weeks ago.   Seibo hospital is located in Shinjuku-ku near Shimo-Ochiai station and within walking distance from Takadanobaba as well.

I had heard a lot about Seibo hospital over the years having had friends who had delivered there as well as comments from others on various groups about their experiences there.  Everything I heard was generally positive, so I was very excited to have the chance to see it for myself first-hand.

My client was expecting her 3rd child and was quite new to Japan, having only arrived a few months previously.  Her hospital options were already somewhat limited due to the fact that a lot of places get booked up very much in advance (it’s not unusual for hospitals or birth clinics to require you to “book in” for your birth there anytime between 12-20 weeks depending on the place).  She’d heard of Seibo and felt comfortable there after her first visit, and was able to have a spot there for delivery so she decided to stay with it.

As it was my client’s 3rd labour, I wasn’t expecting a marathon one (although you really never know).  As it was, she arrived at the hospital at around 10:30pm and her baby was born just after 1am.   The midwives were lovely and very attentive, although those on duty didn’t speak any English so I was having to help translate for both sides when necessary.  Perhaps for someone wanting a very “natural” labour they were maybe a bit too attentive (my client was told that there would be constant fetal monitoring for no reason than it was hospital policy  – baby was absolutely fine with contractions and heart rate). With that constant fetal monitoring came hands all over my client trying to keep the monitor in place as she moved about.  We both felt this was too much, especially as my client didn’t like the feeling of hands on her abdomen during contractions and things were fine with the baby.  I asked the midwives if they could stop the constant monitoring at my client’s request…and after going away to have a talk with the doctor, it was finally agreed that it was ok for the monitor to be taken off.  I think this is one example where having a doula to advocate for you during labour is very useful.

Anyway, my client actually progressed very quickly and it wasn’t long before she was pushing.  In Seibo, the labour rooms and the delivery rooms are different places, so she had to be moved to the delivery room (some hospitals and birth clinics are like that while others have all-in-one LDRs).  She instinctively got into an all-4s position on the bed.   The midwives did ask her to lie on her back but my client wasn’t going to move (and there was no reason why she should).  I’m glad that they didn’t insist more strongly as that would have been unnecessary I think.  It was great to see baby be born smoothly that way.

Overall, her stay for a few days afterwards was really good she said.  The food was good, the nurses were kind and some could speak some English.  For her, it was her 3rd country to labour in (she has had experiences in the U.S. and New Zealand), so it was interesting to see how each place differed.

I would be really happy to help at a birth in Seibo again.  It seems that while they do have hospital policies regarding certain things in labour, they are also able to be flexible if asked when the time actually comes…although, as I said, having a doula there to help advocate is a big advantage 🙂

April Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be on Monday, April 10th!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:00-11:30.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

This will be a general doula cafe where we’ll about whatever anyone wants related to pregnancy, labour and looking after a baby!

I’m really pleased to say that I am now able to accept more birth doula clients from mid-May as Tokyo Doula Support is expanding!

If you’d like to come, please email me.  My address is here.

Looking forward to see everyone who comes!

Recent Birth Doula Experiences

I’ve had a really fun couple of weeks with births and private birth preparation classes!

On Wednesday, March 15th I supported a birth at Keiyu hospital in Minato Mirai (Yokohama) and then on Sunday, March 19th I was at a birth in Kosei hospital in Suginami ku (near Koenji).  They were, of course, 2 very different birth experiences and both went well for the mother, father and baby in each case.  They were also 2 new hospitals for me to attend.  Bringing my grand total of different hospitals I’ve been at now to 10 if my counting is correct, with over 20 birth doula clients!

Keiyu hospital had a more clinical feel to it with the LDR room (which was all one room for labour and delivery), although the doctor on call – Matsuo sensei – was able to speak quite good English.  The midwives were very attentive and this hospital offered the option of an epidural which was on my client’s birth plan.  There wasn’t much opportunity to be fully active and walk around too much as my client was on a monitor for most of the labour, even prior to the epidural.   I was able to explain what was happening when necessary, translate a little between the hospital staff and my client, and offer a lot of reassurance.

Kosei hospital was quieter and less hospital-like in the LDR area.  My client was able to labour in one room using things like a birth ball and active chair, as well as being free to walk around outside in the hallway.  They don’t offer an epidural at this hospital, so it was great for me to get really stuck in to supporting my client physically with positions and breathing.

If anyone would like a more detailed account of my experiences at either of these 2 hospitals, please let me know!

March Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be on Tuesday, March 14th!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:30-12:00.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We’ll talk about the benefits of various positions during the different stages of labour.

The Doula Cafe is a great time to come and just chat about all things related to pregnancy and birth in Japan.   I have space for 1 more client between mid-May and July (I’m fully booked up till then), so we can discuss more if you’d like birth doula support at your birth.

If you’d like to come, please email me.  My address is here.  Simply turning up on the day is also fine, too🙂  I have a birth client who is due around now, so I’ll let everyone who emails me know if I can’t make it (fingers crossed baby chooses another day to come!)!