Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be on Friday, July 7th!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 12:30-1:30 – a lunchtime gathering 🙂  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We will talk about life after baby is born, and different support options available!

This will be the last Doula Cafe before September as I’ll be away after that for the summer.

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

Looking forward to seeing those who come 🙂

Seijo Kinoshita Hospital

This week I had a birth at Seijo Kinoshita hospital in Setagaya ku,  very close to Seijogakuenmae station on the Odakyu line.

It was another new hospital for me, so I was looking forward finding out how they looked after the labour and birth.  The building itself is lovely.  It’s very modern and apparently has won some kind of architectural award.  Inside everything is very calming and quite plain – but really very nice, and there’s lot of green space, too.  I think a lot of thought went in to making it a relaxing environment.

The labour itself was quite straightforward.  Although the mother had to be induced (she was 41+4), it went smoothly – seaweed sticks followed by balloon to help dilation on day 1, then a prostaglandin drip on day 2.  The mother was going to have the Oxytocin (pitocin) drip on day 3 but the prostaglandin drip seemed to be enough to get things started and she had her baby within 6 hours of starting that.   She also wanted an epidural.  This was an integral part to her birth plan, and the hospital actually does epidurals (I believe anytime around the clock) which is not so common in Japan.  It was a “walking” epidural, though, so my client still had feeling – she just felt a lot more comfortable.

The midwives were lovely.  The were really attentive (in part because it was a quiet day for them) and hands-on with comfort measures.  They were also excited to have me there as a doula and I was made to feel very welcome.  2 of the midwives there could speak decent enough English (Mastuo san and Miyoshi san) and had a really gentle way with my client during her labour.   Kinoshita sensei could also speak decent English and was able to communicate well enough with my clients about everything.

During the actual delivery, my client was encouraged to push how she felt she wanted to. Although eventually they did get her to move on to her back (that’s basically the case with almost all hospitals here).  She really didn’t want an episiotomy and they were great with that (some hospitals here do them a lot, while others don’t).  They said “Ok, that’s fine.  We don’t think you’ll need one and we’ll do our best to make sure you don’t tear much”.  As it was, she only had a very small tear and just a couple of stitches.  I’m glad they respected her wishes on that encouraged her in a way to push that would let her perineum stretch gently.

I’d certainly be happy to recommend Seijo Kinoshita as a birthing hospital.

http://www.kinohosp.com/

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!