2019 has been an amazing year so far for my doula work! I’ve had about 30 clients in the first half of this year (wonderful!) and they have been a real mix of women – from first time mothers, to those on their 4th babies, with natural births, medicated births, c-sections and VBACS included! It’s also been great to go to so many different hospitals this year so far, too. The hospitals I’ve been to this year include:
Nisseki (in Hiroo)
Tsuchiya clinic (in Fuchu)
Minato Red Cross (in Motomachichukagai, Yokohama)
Oshio Women’s Clinic (in Urayasu)
I also had the fantastic experience of a home birth, supported by midwives from Matsugaoka Birth Center.
As I’m going to be away for 6 weeks until the end of August, I plan to write up in more detail about the various different hospitals I’ve listed here, as well as others I’ve been to in previous years that I haven’t already written about.
Please feel free to email me anytime if you have questions about doula support (birth, preparation or breastfeeding). My schedule has a little room to take on a few more clients from September to December, and I have a wide open 2020 calendar too!
One of my client’s, who had a baby in April, sent me a few words to describe why she chose me as her doula and what my support meant for her. It always makes me so happy to hear what my support means to people I work with and I’m pretty sure I would have felt very similarly if I’d had a doula for my first labour.
“Going through my first pregnancy with the prospect of giving birth in Japan without any support (apart from my extremely supportive husband of course!) was a daunting feeling. As soon as I met Stephanie I knew that she had the expertise and empathy to support me through labour, which ultimately turned out to be the most challenging experience of my life. Giving birth at St Luke’s hospital I sought a natural birth with minimal interventions, however despite agreements in advance, promises were broken for no medical reason. This is when Stephanie’s support intensified, and without her calm, encouraging, caring and understanding personality it would have been considerably more stressful. She was able to converse with the staff on my behalf and negotiate compromises in what was also a difficult landscape for her to navigate as she could not tell them what to do. The comfort and confidence that Stephanie’s presence gave me was so important during my toughest times in labour, but also gave me the strength to continue to push for my natural birth plan as much as possible. I would wholeheartedly recommend Stephanie during the most special but challenging time of your life especially if you don’t have your immediate family there to support you. I am grateful for everything she had done during my 50 plus hours of labour and will always be special to me as she played a pivotal role in an experience I will never forget” – Natalie
July’s Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, July 9th from 10-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks in Harajuku. This will be the last Doula Cafe until after the summer (the next one will be in September).
In this Doula Cafe, we’ll be talking about breastfeeding and what you can do now in pregnancy and early post-partum period to help breastfeeding got off to a positive start.
Also, if you are due to give birth from September onwards and are interested in having a doula support you and your husband during the labour, please come along or get in touch. There is still some availability for me to take on more clients.
Please send me an email if you plan to come!
A lovely client who had her second baby in Nisseki hospital in Hiroo recently sent me the following testimonial:
“I’m so pleased to have chosen Stephanie as our doula for my first birth in Japan. It was great to have regular monthly catch ups, where I would be able to ask questions, share thoughts and get advice.
I was not sure about all the different hospital options in Tokyo and which one would be most suitable. I was really looking for somewhere very baby mother led. Stephanie provided me with her experiences of being a doula at the various hospitals and how it could differ compared to my home country. It really steered me in making the best decision for us.
Stephanie was always available if I needed to message her with any questions leading up to the birth and was very responsive.
During the birth Stephanie was a calm presence in the room and very reassuring throughout, making me feel that I could do it! She also took photos and notes during the birth, which was really interesting to see afterwards.
Also Stephanie came to visit us a couple of weeks after the birth and spent time chatting over the experience and meeting our baby again.
Thanks very much Stephanie for all the support and I’m so pleased to have had you as part of my birth experience!” – Emma
June’s Doula Cafe will be on Wednesday 5th from 12-1pm at the Midtown Starbucks in Roppongi. We will talk about the post-partum period and how a doula can help you navigate that period, offering breastfeeding support and advice, infant care help, and general practical advice.
Also, if you’re interested in having a doula at your birth, please also join to find out more. I’m already taking on clients for births in September onwards. 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!
I am excited to introduce my new service: Post-partum Care Packages!
Post-partum care packages can be booked in advance during pregnancy and are great to offer a friend or family member as a gift! There are a few different packages (based on number of hours) available and scheduling days and times is done through need and communication – there is a certain amount of flexibility.
Here is an overview of the options:
10 hour package – 33,000 yen – to be used within 1 month from first booking.
15 hour package – 50,000yen – to be used within 1 month of first booking.
20 hour package – 62,000yen – to be used within 2 months of first booking.
For more details on this and other services available, please take a look here!
April’s Doula Cafe will be on Thursday 18th from 10am-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks in Harajuku. We will look at the topic of epidurals and discuss other non-medicated things you can do to manage labour effectively and positively.
If you’re interested in having a doula at your birth, please also join to find out more. I’m already taking on clients for births in September onwards. 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!