September Doula Cafe

September’s Doula Cafe will be on Wednesday 19th from 10am-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks 6F in Harajuku.  This is the first Doula Cafe since the summer holidays, so I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone.

If you’re interested in having a Doula at your birth, please come along to find out more. Questions are very welcome about my services as well as about pregnancy and childbirth in Japan in general.  There is limited availability left for my birth doula service for the rest of this year, but lots of spots are open from January onwards.

If you plan on coming, please let me know by sending me an email!

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Breathing for Birth Classes

I’m back from my holidays and looking forward to getting back to the breathing classes again.   Feedback has been great since I started these classes a year ago and I hope many more women find the breathing techniques useful.

The class details are below and I’ve updated the schedule for the next part of 2018.

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:  10:30-11:30am

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

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:

2018

September  12th, 26th

October  10th, 24th

November  14th, 28th

December  12th, 26th

July Doula Cafe

July’s Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday 17th from 11am-12pm at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks 6F in Harajuku.  This will be the last Doula Cafe until September as I’ll be away over the summer visiting my family in the U.K.

If you’re interested in having a Doula at your birth, please come along to find out more.  Questions are very welcome about my services as well as about pregnancy and childbirth in Japan in general.

If you plan on coming, please let me know by sending me an email here.

Home Birth Testimonial

You might remember that I had my first home birth experience as a doula back in April.  My client has very kindly given me a testimonial and I’m sharing it with everyone 🙂  You can find more testimonials here!

“Stephanie attended the birth of our third child (first one to be born in Japan) and she was a vital part of the team. Prior to delivery, she was available to answer questions about the different birthing options in Japan and provide examples from some of her experiences at different hospital settings. We chose a planned home-birth with midwives from Matsugaoka and together, I was able to have a happy and healthy birth. While the midwives did checks throughout labour and provided massage, Stephanie recommended different positions to labour in for comfort and to help move things along. Though she is not a translator, she did explain to my husband and I what was going on as the midwives spoke among themselves. She was also a positive voice when the day became long and I became tired. I highly recommend Stephanie as she was very professional and provided peace of mind throughout my pregnancy, labour and delivery.”

June Doula Cafe

The June Doula Cafe will be on Monday 18th from 10-11:30am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6F) on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

I’ll be sharing my experiences at different hospitals and talking in general about childbirth in Japan.  If you have questions about your hospital or your birth plan, we can talk about that.  If you’re interested in having a doula at your birth, please come along to find out more while we chat over tea or coffee.

If you’d like to come, please let me know at the email address here.

Weekend Doula Cafe

This month I will be offering a special weekend Doula cafe – something that I’m not usually able to do often at all!

It will be on Saturday, May 26th from 11am-12pm at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6F) on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

This is a great chance for those who can’t usually come to weekday meetings and partners are welcome.  If you’re interested in having a doula at your birth, please come along to find out more while we chat over tea or coffee.

If you’d like to come, please let me know at the email address here.

Home Birth in Tokyo

I recently had the exciting opportunity to attend a home birth.  It was my client’s 3rd baby but her first birth in Japan.  She’d had a previous home birth back in Canada and wanted to have another one here.

A lot of English-speakers in Tokyo don’t even know that home birth is an option  – mostly because of the lack of information in English about it.  I will share what I have learned about it over the past  little while.

Midwife-run birth houses are often able to support home births.  There are 2 birth houses that I know of who have midwives who can speak enough English for English-speaking patients:  Matsugaoka Birth Center and Mejiro Birth House.  I’ll put the links for these at the bottom.  There may be other birth houses that can support home births with some English-speaking midwives but I personally don’t know of them.

My client chose to be supported by So-san from Matsugaoka Birth Center.  She’s a lovely lady and very, very experienced.  My client was offered 3 options:  a birth at the birth house, a birth at a hospital but with only the midwife So-san as the care-provider during labour, or a home birth.

With the home birth option, my client had most of her appointments directly at the birth house with only 2-3 appointments at the back-up hospital (in case of emergency) so that she was registered there as a patient and for the more detailed 20-week anomaly scan etc.   The back up hospital with who So-san was connected with was Nisseki in Hiroo (the Japan Red Cross hospital).    I attended one of my client’s appointments at Matsugaoka Birth Center and So-san was very supportive of me being at the labour as a doula – apparently it would be their first time to work with a doula.

When my client was in labour, So-san, another midwife who was able to administer antibiotics via IV as my client was GBS positive, and a trainee midwife were there along with myself.  I can honestly say it was one of my most favourite birth experiences so far in almost 4 years.  My client had absolutely no restrictions placed on her on what she could or couldn’t do and it was as free as it gets with birth being completely patient-led.  With myself and the midwives all there together, there wasn’t a time at all where my client wasn’t being massaged or helped with positions, breathing or comfort.

For me as a doula, it was a great experience and I learned a lot.  It also made me wish I’d had that experience personally, too.

There are a lot more details to go and far too much for me to write, so if anyone has any questions I’d be more than happy to discuss through email or perhaps at a Doula Cafe get-together.

Matsugaoka Birth Center:  https://matsugaoka-birth.com/english/

Mejiro Birth House:  http://www.birthhouse.com/en/