The Doula Cafe

An idea I’ve been tossing about in my mind is to have a twice monthly Doula Cafe here in Tokyo.  I’d host a general coffee/tea meet-up either in a cafe like Starbucks or other place/home and talk all things pregnancy, birth and baby related.  It would be informal and a way for mums-to-be to get to know me as a doula as well as learn (hopefully) something.

I’m hoping to start advertising this from September once I’m back from the UK!   Watch this space 🙂

Breastfeeding appropriately?

There has been some stuff on the news recently about breastfeeding and in one case a local Queensland cafe was praised for asking a male customer to leave after he complained about a breastfeeding mother.

This article popped up on a friend’s newsfeed on Facebook this week and I couldn’t resist sharing it!  Click here to read it 🙂

I have to say, I am a very proud breastfeeding mother.  I nursed each of my children till ages 2, 2.5 and my youngest is still going strong at almost 2 (I foresee him nursing for quite a while yet).  My experiences with breastfeeding in public places in Japan have been very positive.  Of course, I use discretion as far as possible for my own comfort and the facilities here are excellent – clean and well-maintained nursing rooms in almost every department store you go into.  But, even when I’ve needed to breastfeed in less-than-ideal places (like on a crowded train for example) I have never once been openly stared at or made to feel uncomfortable or that I’m doing something inappropriate.  This is my experience over almost 8 years with 3 children.  How about yours?

Japan Times Article

A writer friend of mine and mother of 3 children herself wrote an article recently for the Japan times about pregnancy and birth in Japan, focusing on the often interesting, unexpected and sometimes strange cultural practices here.   My name was mentioned 🙂

You can read the full article here:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2015/06/03/issues/pregnancy-birth-japan-cultural-primer-foreign-mothers/

Let me know your thoughts!

Tokyo Pregnancy Group Meeting Q&A

Last Thursday, I went to the Tokyo Pregnancy Group Meeting as their speaker for the day.  It was a Q&A session and some of the ladies had prepared some questions for me.  I always thoroughly enjoy attending TPG meetings as it’s great to see so many happy mums-to-be and their bumps.  I always leave feeling energised and positive!

 

I thought it would be a good idea for this post to list some of the questions the ladies asked me.  I won’t attempt to answer them all on here but will try and focus on some of them in upcoming blog posts.  They are all good questions for mums-to-be to think about and research and I’m always happy to answer any questions directly if anyone wants to contact me 🙂

 

Anyway, here are some of the questions:

 

1.) Cloth diapers…. where to start, how to choose, what to know, how to clean, benefits of styles, where to buy, when to buy, help!

2.) Breast feeding and Breast pumps…. what to expect, what’s normal, and Hand express vs manual pump vs electric, pros and cons of each. Benefits of breastfeeding past 6 months old

3.) Baby wearing…. how to know what wraps/buckles/slings are best for babies hips/development, pros and cons of some styles

4.) Co-sleeping…. what are the benefits

5.) Things to bring to the hospital/birth clinic/birth house

6.) Things you should have ready before baby comes home

7.) Registering your baby, documents, paper work that needs to be done after giving birth

8.) Registering for maternity taxies, should we register for more than one company? How about taxies with car seats for the way home?

9.) Is swaddling safe/good for babies? I heard it can be difficult to tell when they are hungry and miss cues as there little hands and mouths tell us a lot

10.) What is the ideal weight gain in each trimester? How to effectively manage the body weight throughout the whole pregnancy?

11.) What kind of exercises are suggested and what exercises are forbidden during the pregnancy?

12.) What kind of food or drink we should say “NO” to during the pregnancy?

13.) When shall we start wearing maternity clothes? Any suggestion in choosing the right maternity wear?

14.) Suggestions for what to bring for hospital stay

15.) Best practices during the first week / month home with the baby (tips that worked well for her)

16.) What are the common practices for supplementing breast milk with formula in Japanese hospitals?

17.) What should we expect during our hospital stay? What kind of schedule will the baby keep, does the baby sleep in room, do they enforce scheduled feedings for the baby, how hands-on are the midwives, etc?