Breastfeeding Education Workshop

From this month (September) I will be offering Breastfeeding Education Workshops to help women prepare for breastfeeding and be as informed as possible before baby comes. As a doula and breastfeeding counsellor, accurate and evidence-based information regarding breastfeeding is important to me, and helping women achieve their breastfeeding goals is a huge part of the work I do.

In these workshops, you will find out about:

The benefits of breastfeeding & breastmilk

The process of breastmilk production

What to expect in the first few weeks & normal newborn behaviour

All about latching and getting a good latch

Positons

Building and protecting your milk supply

Common breastfeeding problems

How to get support for breastfeeding from your hospital

Top 5 tips to breastfeeding success

Useful items

List of resources

The first workshop will be September 16th, 11am-12:30pm in the My Body My Pilates studio in Azabu.

Cost per attendee: 2,000yen – limited to 3-5 women only.

If you’d like to attend, please get in touch here.

September Doula Cafe

September’s Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, September 15th, 11-12pm on Zoom.

We are going to be talking about preparing for labour & having a baby – class options, books, online resources and so on!

If you’d like to join, please email me here and I’ll send you the link!  Grab yourself a drink of choice, relax in the comfort of your own home, and let’s talk!  If anyone is interested in finding out about my work as a doula, how I work and how I can support you, I’m always very happy to talk about that, too.

These Doula Cafe meetings are FREE and something I enjoy doing very much.  I’m planning to hold a Doula Cafe in person at the end of the month, so watch this space!!

Baby Cafe – September 14th

The next Baby Cafe will be on Monday, September 14th at 2pm!

These meetings are FREE and a great chance to connect with others.  If you are a mum/caregiver to a baby of 0-6 months, these meetings could be of benefits to you.

In the newborn period, it can be quite overwhelming at times as you learn to adjust to your new family dynamic, get to know your baby, get used to breastfeeding and other aspects of baby care, and figure out who this new “you” is.  These Baby Cafe meetings are a chance for new mothers/parents to meet others, talk about motherhood/parenthood and baby topics, feel less isolated, and get some support if you’re finding things tough.

If you’d like to join, let me know by sending me an email to the email address here.

Group Birthing With Confidence Class – September 13th

Group Birth Preparation Classes are back from this month!

Do you and your partner want to be as fully prepared both mentally and physically for labour and birth?  Do you want to know what to expect in your Japanese hospital?  Do you want to know more about the post-partum period and breastfeeding?  My comprehensive Birthing with Confidence sessions can provide you with the hands-on tools you need to approach your upcoming labour and life with a newborn with more calmness and positivity, knowing that “you’ve got this”.

This month, the group class will be held on Sunday 13th from 3-6pm at My Body My Pilates studio in Azabu, for a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 couples to maintain distance but still enable us to connect and enjoy preparing for labour as a group.

You can see in the flyer below exactly what we cover in these sessions.  Questions are always welcome.  I draw upon my own personal experiences (having had 3 children here) as well as my vast experience in Japan with over 120 births and many different hospitals, and countless more couples who have come to me for consultations both before and after birth.

If you’d like to book a spot, please send me an email!

Online and private options are also available

September Class Schedule

Here is my September class schedule.  This month there will be a variety of both online and in-person options so everyone can choose the option they feel most comfortable with. With any classes that are in person, health precautions and proper distancing will continue to stay in place (mask wearing and extremely limited numbers).

As always, for anyone who would like to arrange a private or semi-private fully comprehensive childbirth preparation class – Birthing With Confidence – please get in touch.  And, I’ll continue to offer private sessions in-person and online for birth plan consultations, Infant Care classes, Breastfeeding support and post-partum help. If you are interested in any other type of class and wonder whether I offer it, please send me a message.

Please get in touch if you’d like to book a class or if you have any questions.  I also still have a little space left this year for birth doula clients (in-person and virtual support options).

Don’t forget, for ONLINE options, I have a ticket system available too (which includes a small discount).

September 9th – AM – In-person Breathing for Birth class (in Azabu)

September 11th – AM – Zoom Breathing for Birth class

September 12th – AM – Aiiku Hospital Virtual Tour (open only to those who are patients of the Aiiku Clinic International Unit unfortunately)

September 13th – PM – Group Birthing with Confidence (full Birth Preparation class in Azabu) – a 3 hour session.

September 14th – PM – Baby Cafe –  FREE SUPPORT SESSION for mothers with babies up to 6 months old

September 15th – AM – Doula Cafe – FREE SUPPORT SESSION for pregnant women

September 16th – AM – Breastfeeding Education Workshop (in Azabu)

September 18th – AM – Zoom Infant Care class

September 19th – PM – Zoom Positions & Massage class

September 23rd – AM – In-person Breathing for Birth class (in Azabu)

September 26th – AM – Zoom Couples Breathing for Birth class

September 20th – PM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

September 26th – PM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

September 27th – PM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

September 30th – AM – TBA class (in Azabu)

*Weekdays are also possible for private classes/sessions at depending on the day/time*

**For September, online group classes will continue to be 1,000yen per attendee or 2,000 yen per couple. In-person group classes will now be 2,000 yen per person due to limiting numbers. Birthing with Confidence group birth preparation will be 10,000 yen for a minimum of 3 couples to run the class (maximum of 5). For private classes, please ask as it depends on the class :)**

Home Birth in Japan

I’ve written about home birth before (see here and here) but I thought it was time to write about it again as I currently have a couple of clients I’m supporting who’ll be having home births here in the near future.

First of all, it is an option!  Not many non-Japanese women here know that home birth is a possibility.  Secondly, it’s possible to have an English-speaking midwife to support you (particularly if you’re in Tokyo).  Shoko So san of Matsugaoka Birth Center is one such midwife.  She runs a midwife birth house in Tokyo’s Nakano-ku (another option for birth here) and also supports women with home birth in their own homes, too.  She speaks English and is a very open and calming presence. Pregnancies of course need to be low risk to even be possible for home birth (which means that women with various “complications” including those who have rhesus negative blood are not able to have a home birth here, even if everything else is normal) which means that it’s not possible for everyone, but the best person to talk to about it to find out would be So san herself.

With home birth, throughout pregnancy women have check ups regularly with So san (or one of her other midwives) at Matsugaoka, at home, and also a check up 2-3 times during pregnancy at one of her associated clinics/hospitals (for blood tests, detailed ultrasounds and so on).  Essentially, the doctor will need to give the official go ahead for home birth and So san is associated with supportive doctors this way.

If you have a check up at Matsugaoka, it really is like being in someone’s home.  There is  “bone therapist” who helps to adjust your body to have a hopefully smoother birth experience, and also reflexology and aromatherapy are options.  There are also classes related to nutrition (they advocate for a more macrobiotic way of eating, avoiding wheat & gluten, dairy and so forth to minimize inflammation in the body), birthing exercises, and breastfeeding.

If you have check ups at your home, you have the luxury of not needing to go anywhere, being relaxed in your own environment, and okyu treatment (moxibustion) and massage with aromatherapy oils are a wonderful addition that you never get at hospitals here.  The midwives will also check your home layout for home birth and if you are hoping to use a birthing pool they will see if it’s a viable possibility.

At all of these check ups, they also discuss other interesting cultural aspects related to pregnancy and childbirth, such as keeping your ankles and abdomen warm (to help your circulation, encourage baby into a head down position, and reduce the risk of post-partum hemorrhage) that we don’t hear so much about in the west.  These points may sometimes be met with curious/questioning looks but these kind of alternative/more eastern medicine philosophies around childbirth come with hundreds (or thousands) of years of history behind them and can be quite ingrained culturally.

When it actually comes to the labour itself, once things seem to be getting established 2 midwives (with possibly a trainee midwife) will head over to you.  From that point on, you’ll labour entirely according to what feels instinctively right for you physically.  There are no restrictions, not continuous monitoring or other inhibiting measures, and not having to worry about when to go a hospital is a huge plus.  Being in your own environment, surrounded by everything that is personal and meaningful to you can really make a big difference with labour – it can definitely help you to relax.  There is also no separation of mother and baby after birth – baby is immediately placed on you, checked on you, and the important connection is left unbroken (this doesn’t often happen in hospitals). Together with experienced midwives (and a doula for the emotional, physical and motivational support), it can be a very empowering birth experience.  You are not “one of a number” of women and everything is all about you and what works for you.

When I was pregnant with my own first child, the idea of a home birth never crossed my mind.  But after seeing and supporting some women in home births over the past few years, I’ve come to really appreciate it as an option.  So if anyone is considering the idea of a home birth, please get in touch!

IMG_6614
So san and her fellow midwives during a prenatal check up at a client’s house

Baby Cafe August 31st

Since Starting these Baby Cafes in July, I’ve been able to hold 2 so far and the next one (the third) will be on Monday, August 31st at 9:30am on Zoom.  These meetings are FREE and a great chance to connect with others.  As I received some interest recently from mums of babies past the newborn stage, I’ve decided to extend the meetings to those with babies of up to around 6 months old.

In the newborn period, it can be quite overwhelming at times as you learn to adjust to your new family dynamic, get to know your baby, get used to breastfeeding and other aspects of baby care, and figure out who this new “you” is.  These Baby Cafe meetings are a chance for new mothers/parents to meet others, talk about motherhood/parenthood and baby topics, feel less isolated, and get some support if you’re finding things tough.

If you’d like to join, let me know by sending me an email to the email address here.

 

 

August Doula Cafe

August’s Doula Cafe will be on Monday, August 17th 10-11am on Zoom.

We are going to be talking about the hospital bag – what to bring.  Different hospital have different lists of items to bring and we’ll go through those as well as my own recommendations.

If you’d like to join, please email me here and I’ll send you the link!  Grab yourself a drink of choice, relax in the comfort of your own home, and let’s talk!  If anyone is interested in finding out about my work as a doula, how I work and how I can support you, I’m always very happy to talk about that, too.

These Doula Cafe meetings are FREE and something I enjoy doing very much.  With rising virus numbers again in Tokyo, I’ll continue to keep these meetings online for the time being but look forward to the day when we can meet in groups in person again.

 

August Class Schedule

Here is my August class schedule.  As COVID-19 cases are increasing a lot again in Tokyo, I’ll continue to keep the majority of my group classes online so that nobody needs to worry and can still get prepared well for labour.  With any classes that are in person, health precautions and proper distancing will continue to stay in place (mask wearing and extremely limited numbers).

As always, for anyone who would like to arrange a private or semi-private fully comprehensive childbirth preparation class – Birthing With Confidence – please get in touch.  And, I’ll continue to offer private sessions in-person and online for birth plan consultations, Infant Care classes, Breastfeeding support and post-partum help.

Please get in touch if you’d like to book a class or if you have any questions.  I also still have a little space left this year for birth doula clients (in-person and virtual support options)

Don’t forget, for ONLINE options, I have a ticket system available too (which includes a small discount).

August 7th – AM – Baby Cafe –  FREE SUPPORT SESSION for mothers with babies up to 3 months old

August 8th – AM – Aiiku Hospital Virtual Tour (open only to those who are patients of the Aiiku Clinic International Unit unfortunately)

August 9th – PM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

August 14th – AM – Zoom Breathing for Birth class

August 15th – AM – Zoom Positions & Massage class

August 16th – PM – Semi-private in-person Birthing with Confidence class (in Azabu)

August 17th – AM – Doula Cafe – FREE SUPPORT SESSION for pregnant women

August 21st – AM – Zoom Infant Care class

August 22nd – AM – Zoom Couples Breathing for Birth class

August 22nd – PM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

August 26th – AM – In-person Breathing for Birth class (in Azabu)

August 28th – AM – Zoom Breathing for Birth class

August 29th – AM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

August 30th – AM – Private class opening (at client’s home)

August 31st – AM – Baby Cafe –  FREE SUPPORT SESSION for mothers with babies up to 3 months old

*Weekdays are also possible for private classes/sessions at depending on the day/time*

July #2 Doula Cafe

I’m squeezing in another  Doula Cafe for the end of this month – on July 30th from 10-11am!  We are going to be talking about Breastfeeding – the basics and the realities.  Always a popular topic, and being as prepared as possible beforehand and knowing what support is available after you’ve had your baby if you need it to help with breastfeeding is so important.

If you’d like to join, please email me here and I’ll send you the link!  Grab yourself a drink of choice, relax in the comfort of your own home, and let’s talk!  If anyone is interested in finding out about my work as a doula and how I can support you, I’m always very happy to talk about that, too.

These Doula Cafe meetings are FREE and something I enjoy doing very much.  With rising virus numbers again in Tokyo, I’ll continue to keep these meetings online for the time being but look forward to the day when we can meet in groups in person again.