Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be on Friday, July 7th!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 12:30-1:30 – a lunchtime gathering 🙂  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We will talk about life after baby is born, and different support options available!

This will be the last Doula Cafe before September as I’ll be away after that for the summer.

If you’d like to come to the Doula Cafe, please email me.  My address is here

Looking forward to seeing those who come 🙂

Seijo Kinoshita Hospital

This week I had a birth at Seijo Kinoshita hospital in Setagaya ku,  very close to Seijogakuenmae station on the Odakyu line.

It was another new hospital for me, so I was looking forward finding out how they looked after the labour and birth.  The building itself is lovely.  It’s very modern and apparently has won some kind of architectural award.  Inside everything is very calming and quite plain – but really very nice, and there’s lot of green space, too.  I think a lot of thought went in to making it a relaxing environment.

The labour itself was quite straightforward.  Although the mother had to be induced (she was 41+4), it went smoothly – seaweed sticks followed by balloon to help dilation on day 1, then a prostaglandin drip on day 2.  The mother was going to have the Oxytocin (pitocin) drip on day 3 but the prostaglandin drip seemed to be enough to get things started and she had her baby within 6 hours of starting that.   She also wanted an epidural.  This was an integral part to her birth plan, and the hospital actually does epidurals (I believe anytime around the clock) which is not so common in Japan.  It was a “walking” epidural, though, so my client still had feeling – she just felt a lot more comfortable.

The midwives were lovely.  The were really attentive (in part because it was a quiet day for them) and hands-on with comfort measures.  They were also excited to have me there as a doula and I was made to feel very welcome.  2 of the midwives there could speak decent enough English (Mastuo san and Miyoshi san) and had a really gentle way with my client during her labour.   Kinoshita sensei could also speak decent English and was able to communicate well enough with my clients about everything.

During the actual delivery, my client was encouraged to push how she felt she wanted to. Although eventually they did get her to move on to her back (that’s basically the case with almost all hospitals here).  She really didn’t want an episiotomy and they were great with that (some hospitals here do them a lot, while others don’t).  They said “Ok, that’s fine.  We don’t think you’ll need one and we’ll do our best to make sure you don’t tear much”.  As it was, she only had a very small tear and just a couple of stitches.  I’m glad they respected her wishes on that encouraged her in a way to push that would let her perineum stretch gently.

I’d certainly be happy to recommend Seijo Kinoshita as a birthing hospital.

Recent Birth

I’ve just had a birth a few days ago at another new clinic to me – Oshio Women’s Clinic in Urayasu (Chiba)

It was a small clinic (a one-doctor place), so the care felt really personal. The doctor spoke some English and the midwives were all very nice.  They couldn’t speak English really but luckily my clients and I could speak enough Japanese so that it wasn’t a problem.

The LDR room itself was small but had some great things to use during labour – including squat bar, bean bag, birth ball, and hooks on the ceiling to hang rope from to use for squatting/pulling on.  The midwives moved the bed out of the room and put a mattress down on the floor to make moving about more easy.

The labour was very freestyle for the most part in that the mum could be free to do what she wanted.  While she was initially induced, when the induction medicine was turned off (as contractions hadn’t really started), her body went into natural labour by itself – which can sometimes happen!

Always interesting to be at a labour in a new place 🙂