Weekend Doula Cafe

This month I will be offering a special weekend Doula cafe – something that I’m not usually able to do often at all!

It will be on Saturday, May 26th from 11am-12pm at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6F) on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

This is a great chance for those who can’t usually come to weekday meetings and partners are welcome.  If you’re interested in having a doula at your birth, please come along to find out more while we chat over tea or coffee.

If you’d like to come, please let me know at the email address here.

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Home Birth in Tokyo

I recently had the exciting opportunity to attend a home birth.  It was my client’s 3rd baby but her first birth in Japan.  She’d had a previous home birth back in Canada and wanted to have another one here.

A lot of English-speakers in Tokyo don’t even know that home birth is an option  – mostly because of the lack of information in English about it.  I will share what I have learned about it over the past  little while.

Midwife-run birth houses are often able to support home births.  There are 2 birth houses that I know of who have midwives who can speak enough English for English-speaking patients:  Matsugaoka Birth Center and Mejiro Birth House.  I’ll put the links for these at the bottom.  There may be other birth houses that can support home births with some English-speaking midwives but I personally don’t know of them.

My client chose to be supported by So-san from Matsugaoka Birth Center.  She’s a lovely lady and very, very experienced.  My client was offered 3 options:  a birth at the birth house, a birth at a hospital but with only the midwife So-san as the care-provider during labour, or a home birth.

With the home birth option, my client had most of her appointments directly at the birth house with only 2-3 appointments at the back-up hospital (in case of emergency) so that she was registered there as a patient and for the more detailed 20-week anomaly scan etc.   The back up hospital with who So-san was connected with was Nisseki in Hiroo (the Japan Red Cross hospital).    I attended one of my client’s appointments at Matsugaoka Birth Center and So-san was very supportive of me being at the labour as a doula – apparently it would be their first time to work with a doula.

When my client was in labour, So-san, another midwife who was able to administer antibiotics via IV as my client was GBS positive, and a trainee midwife were there along with myself.  I can honestly say it was one of my most favourite birth experiences so far in almost 4 years.  My client had absolutely no restrictions placed on her on what she could or couldn’t do and it was as free as it gets with birth being completely patient-led.  With myself and the midwives all there together, there wasn’t a time at all where my client wasn’t being massaged or helped with positions, breathing or comfort.

For me as a doula, it was a great experience and I learned a lot.  It also made me wish I’d had that experience personally, too.

There are a lot more details to go and far too much for me to write, so if anyone has any questions I’d be more than happy to discuss through email or perhaps at a Doula Cafe get-together.

Matsugaoka Birth Center:  https://matsugaoka-birth.com/english/

Mejiro Birth House:  http://www.birthhouse.com/en/

April Doula Cafe

The next Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, April 24th from 11am-12pm at the Tokyu Plaza on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

The topic will be post-partum support and my friend and post-partum doula Candice will be joining us to talk about her work.

For those who are interested in having a doula at their birth, please come along to find out more while we chat over tea or coffee.  I now have limited space to take birth clients on between now and July as I’ve been booked already by a few ladies, and then a very open schedule from October.   Please get in touch if you are considering it!

If you’d like to come, please let me know at the email address here.

Breathing for Birth Classes Schedule for Spring-Summer 2018

My Breathing for Birth classes have continued to go well, and it’s been really great to hear how women have found the breathing useful in their own labours for so many reasons.

The class details are below and I’ve updated the schedule for the next quarter of 2018.

The classes will be held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month for one hour.  The class size will be limited to 8-10 women.

In this one hour class, we will be getting in touch with our bodies and minds in preparation for labour and birth.  We will focus on our breathing and the ways in which it can help us during labour  – as an essential tool for relaxation in labour as well as the crucial role our breathing plays in helping us manage our contractions more effectively.

Breathing is the most natural thing in the world for us to do, and we breathe without even thinking that we are doing so.  Yet in labour it can be one of the most challenging parts – breathing regularly and effectively through contractions to help your uterus work as well as possible and giving you a way to stay in control of your labour can be hard work.  Through these classes, you’ll have the chance to focus just on your breathing for labour, and learn how you can use it to relax and prepare your mind for each stage of labour.

Combined together with other gentle relaxation techniques and massage, this one hour class should leave you feeling refreshed, more empowered and more in touch with your body.

It’s a great compliment to any other comprehensive birth preparation class you are doing or may do, and I encourage women to come to as many classes as they like to get the full benefit.

Day:  Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month

Time:  10:30-11:30am

Place:  My Body My Pilates https://www.mybodymypilates.com/contact-studio-location/

Class fee:  1,500 yen per participant (limited to 8-10 women)

RSVP:  Please let me know if you’d like to come by RSVP’ing to me at skwilson88@hotmail.com

Schedule for the next few months:

 

2018

January 10, 24

February 14, 28

March 14, 28

April 11, 25

May 9, 23

June 13, 27

July 11

 

 

March Doula Cafe

March’s Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, March 13th from 10:00-11:30am at the Tokyu Plaza on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

The topic will be fear and anxieties around labour and childbirth, and how we can work to overcome them.  Labour can be quite a scary experience for some women, especially when hearing stories from friends or relatives talking about “pain” or how “bad” it was.  It doesn’t have to be like that.  Labour and childbirth can be incredibly empowering and there are definitely ways to mitigate pre-birth anxieties!

If you’d like to come, please let me know at the email address here.

New Testimonial

One of my January clients just me a testimonial and I was genuinely touched to read it.

I’m sharing it below for everyone, and you can also find this and more testimonials here.

“I had very severe morning sickness, constantly vomiting and getting dehydrated, and it lasted till about a few weeks in my second trimester.  While doing research about how to alleviate my morning sickness, I came across an article about hiring a doula.  I never heard of a doula till then but after reading about it,  I knew I wanted to hire one.  I was hoping with doula support, I can overcome my trauma with pregnancy and have a better experience in my remaining 2nd and 3rd trimesters.  Thank goodness Stephanie’s Tokyo Doula Support exists in Tokyo.

Stephanie has been tremendous in helping me overcome my trauma.  We met for the first time when I was about 21 weeks pregnant and from that time, she has been nothing but very reassuring and comforting.  She helped me build confidence that I can do this and reminded me how magical it is to deliver a baby to this world.  We met a few times to get to know each other better and at every session, she thoroughly answered my incessant questions.  My husband and I took her active birth workshop and we appreciated her remarkable breadth of knowledge about childbirth, breastfeeding, and what to expect after childbirth.  It helped ease my fear of uncertainty.  Stephanie demonstrated activities that help during labor and delivery, for example, breathing techniques, massages, birthing positions, etc.; my husband and I found this helpful and even applied it at the very time of labor and delivery.

Though it may not have felt like it at that time, I can honestly say that with Stephanie’s presence, my childbirth went smoothly.  She was there for me from start to finish of my childbirth.  She kept track of my contractions, encouraged and accompanied me to walk, go up and down the stairs, and squat, coached my husband what to do as a birthing partner, fed me water to stay hydrated, and gave me constant words of encouragement.  My husband said that because of Stephanie, we were able to keep our composure and deliver our baby without an epidural.  He even made a remark that Stephanie gave better advice than the nurses/midwives attending to me.

Dr. Sen and Stephanie respected my birth plan and enabled me to give birth as natural as it can be. Because I kept my eyes closed during the entire birthing in order to stay focused, pictures Stephanie took helped tell a story of my baby boy’s birth to the world.  I honestly would not have been able to do this without Stephanie and Dr. Sen.  My husband and I are very happy and grateful that we had Stephanie guide us throughout this journey. To this day, she continues to support me with motherhood and gives so much TLC when she visits my son.”

Doula Cafe – Birth Plans

February’s Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, February 20th from 10:00-11:30am at the Tokyu Plaza on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

The topic will be Birth Plans (or a birth wish list).  This topic has come up a lot recently at various meetings and I thought it would be a good idea to do a Doula Cafe meeting about it.  We’ll be thinking about things to consider for your birth plans – taking into account the hospital you’re at and of course you’re own thoughts on labour.

For those who are interested in having a doula at their birth, please come along to find out more while we chat over tea or coffee.  I now have limited space to take birth clients on between now and July as I’ve been booked already by a few ladies, and then a very open schedule from late August.   Please get in touch if you are considering it!   For those who are in need of post-partum support, I have space to take on 1-2 clients each month.

If you’d like to come, please let me know at the email address here.