Next Doula Cafe!

The next Doula Cafe will be on Monday March 7th and it’s free to join!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:00-12pm.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori crossing.

I’ve decided that this one will be topic-free and everyone who attends can feel free to bring along any questions or things they’d like to discuss!

There is no need to rsvp and simply turning up is fine, although it would be helpful if you did email me to let me know if you hope to join (here).  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Funabashi Chuo Byoin

I have one last client for the month of Feb and she is going to be giving birth in Funabashi Central Hospital (Funabashi Chuo Byoin).  For those who don’t know, this is in Chiba which is a prefecture to the east of Tokyo.  It’s a far train ride for me as I live in the west Tokyo suburbs but I’m glad I’ll get to experience somewhere new!

I went with my client to the hospital earlier this week to meet her doctor, who’s been looking after her pre-natal care, and midwife.  They were both extremely friendly and fun. The doctor, Yamashita Sensei spoke really good English and seem very relaxed and laid back about labour.  The fact that she was very open to the idea of my client using a doula was, of course, a great sign!

Now the wait to see when labour will start…



I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

I just wanted to share a testimonial with you all 🙂  This is a birth I was at the start of this year and story I helped write for the mother.  She has given me permission to share it with you all!

I hope you enjoyed reading it 🙂


I gave birth to my son on January 10th, four days after his estimated due date. Contractions began the night before around 2am. They were similar to the practice contractions I had been having in the days leading up, and inconsistent in length and strength, so it took a while before I was convinced that I was in labor.

At 6am when they were roughly 10 minutes apart, I called Dr. Sakamoto, and at 8am we decided it was time to go to the hospital, so I called my doula Stephanie Kawai, and my husband and I ordered the labor taxi.

At Aiiku the midwives measured my cervix ­­ I was 3cm dilated ­­ and the contractions were still quite manageable, so Stephanie, my husband, and I walked the halls of the labor ward and breathed through the contractions. Four hours later, I was still only 3cm dilated, and Dr. Sakamoto broke my waters, though he told me that if dilation didn’t progress, we should consider administering Pitocin. I continued to walk the halls and labor with my husband as Stephanie suggesting different positions and techniques until 4pm when I was 5cm dilated, and the doctor said I was making progress.

The midwives suggested I try climbing stairs, so we climbed from the 3rd floor of the hospital to the 8th and back down again. I found the activity very focusing, and at the same time, I could feel the contractions growing stronger. At 6:15pm, the midwife checked my cervix, but I was still only 5cm dilated. Just as we were discussing whether or not to use Pitocin (and an epidural, as I was unwilling to have one without the other), the baby’s heart rate dropped, and they placed me on all fours and gave me oxygen. Stephanie and my husband remained so calm and collected throughout this, that I didn’t even think to worry and just focused on breathing deeply.

The baby’s heart rate stabilized, but Dr. Sakamoto prepared me for a c­section just in case ­­ at the same time, I was measured again, and we realized that I was now suddenly 8cm dilated. I continued to labor through contractions where I felt a strong urge to push though I was not fully dilated. Through these contractions, my husband held my hands and Stephanie applied counter­pressure with a tennis ball that helped relieve some of the pressure.

At 8:30 the baby’s heart rate dropped again, and we used more oxygen to stabilize him. Dr. Sakamoto measured me, and I was fully dilated, so he decided to proceed immediately with an assisted vaginal delivery using forceps. We took one practice push between contractions, and then on the following two contractions, I pushed (with all my might!) and my son was born! The cord had been wrapped around his neck (the cause of the heart rate fluctuations), so the pediatrician had to check him right away, and I wasn’t able to do kangaroo care, though my husband was with him in the nursery the entire time.

Thankfully he was perfectly healthy with a cry that quickly grew strong and demanding ;) Though there were parts of his delivery that were difficult for me, the challenges were mitigated by the unflagging support of my husband and the wonderful midwives at Aiiku. Dr. Sakamoto himself was stellar, and at no point did I feel like I wasn’t receiving the best, safest, most competent care possible ­­ care that also made efforts to honor my birth plan at all stages.

Finally, I cannot stress enough how important and helpful it was to have my doula Stephanie at my side throughout this experience. Her very presence calmed me and eased the rough spots, not to mention the many helpful suggestions and actions she offered and performed with me. If you are on the fence about hiring a doula, I cannot recommend it ­­ and Stephanie in particular! ­­ strongly enough. I am happy to talk to anyone about my experience if it’s helpful, so please let me know. Good luck ladies. We cannot wait to see the beautiful creatures you bring into this world!

Next Doula Cafe

The next Doula Cafe will be on Monday 22nd of February and it’s free to join!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:00-12pm.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori crossing.

The theme of this get-together will be what it’s like in the first 3 months after the baby is born, for both baby and mother.  Of course, the conversation will very likely go in all other directions, too 🙂

There is no need to rsvp and simply turning up is fine, although it would be helpful if you did email me to let me know if you hope to join (here).  Hopefully I’ll get to meet some new faces again and I look forward to seeing others I’ve met before!

February’s Doula Activity!

I somehow thought that February wasn’t going to be a busy month…but it is!

I have 2 births this month and one c-section I have been asked to be there for.  I also did Feb’s first Doula Cafe yesterday (with 5 lovely women coming to that), and I will be posting details of the next one later!  Then, I’ll be doing a tour of Aiiku on the 13th and have a post-partum home visit lined up for a client.  A good month, and I especially look forward to welcoming the new babies into this world 🙂

Please get in touch if you feel you need any kind of pre or post partum support, or birth support.  There is nothing I enjoy more or find more rewarding!