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