Aiiku Tours

You may remember I mentioned in a previous post that I’d be doing tours of Aiiku hospital in English for Dr Sakamoto’s patients.  The very first one was just over a week ago on November 14th.

It went really well and I think the couples who attended left feeling a lot more positive about their choice of hospital and more reassured in what to expect when the times come for them to go there.

I’ll give a quick overview about what I included in the tour 🙂

We met in the lobby of the first floor and did some introductions and general conversation and questions about the tour and the hospital.  From here, I showed the couples the day and night time entrances and what they specifically had to do in the event they went into labour during the night.

Next, we went to the 3rd floor which has the LDR area.  We were able to spend a good amount of time looking at the open labour/delivery rooms, become familiarised with the environment and the equipment, and talk about labour positions for comfort and to help things along as well as show them additional tools they could use like the birth ball or active chair.  In the LDR area there is also a bath that can be used (providing the woman’s waters haven’t already broken).  Across from the LDR area is the operating area in the event a c-section is needed.

After this, we went to the 5th floor which has the NICU and briefly looked through the window into the room there.

We then went up to the 7th and 8th floors which have the rooms for staying in after baby is born.  There are 3 types of private rooms available – a suite-type room where the partner can stay overnight, too, a much smaller private room with toilet and shower (partner cannot stay overnight), and a private room without toilet and shower (patients are free to use the communal shower and toilets close by).  We were able to see each of these types of rooms and also wander around the floors to become more familiar with them, looking at the babies’ nursery and the day room. Although there is a nursery, it is absolutely fine to have your baby in your room with you (assuming everything is fine with baby and mother).

The 9th floor is where we went next and this has a restaurant and shop, very conveniently, where you can get anything you need during your stay in the hospital including breastfeeding pillows, slippers, nipple cream, a tokochan belt, drinks, snacks and much more.  It’s a really nice open floor.

The last floor we went to was the 2nd floor which has the maternity unit.  Dr Sakamoto is, I believe, there every Tuesday morning and it is where patients of his who choose to use Aiiku for their baby’s birth will need to go when they go to register at the hospital.  The maternity unit also has breastfeeding rooms,  breastfeeding consultation, and has aromatherapy.

Finally, we went back to the 1st floor lobby where we finished off with final questions or comments.

Celia and I will be doing tours of Aiiku monthly (each of us doing one tour a month) so if you’re interested, please check the schedule the next time you go to your appointment with Dr Sakamoto 🙂



St Luke’s Birth Clinic

2 weeks ago I had a fantastic experience attending a birth at St Luke’s Birth Clinic near Tsukiji in Tokyo!

The mother I was helping was very determined to have a natural birth and specifically chose this place for it’s midwife-led, no epidural, free-style birthing practice.

Although I wasn’t the one in labour, I have to say that it was a great experience for me as doula to have the chance to be at a really “free” place (as typically in most hospitals here you can be very limited in labouring and birthing positions).

The room was a Japanese style one and had a large, thick mattress on the tatami floor.  There were squat bars attached to the walls, a birth ball, an active chair and also a rope attached to the ceiling all to be used (or not used) if you wanted to both for the labour and for the birthing stage.

The mother coped amazingly and being so free to try such a variety of positions and movements really benefited her I think.  She actually gave birth on all 4s – it was really instinctual that she just got into that position) and it was my first time to see a birth that way here in Japan – where being on your back on a bed is the norm.

All in all, a wonderful experience for us both I feel and baby is adorable 🙂

Here is some more info on St Luke’s Birth Clinic