Home Birth Testimonial

You might remember that I had my first home birth experience as a doula back in April.¬† My client has very kindly given me a testimonial and I’m sharing it with everyone ūüôā¬† You can find more testimonials here!

“Stephanie attended the birth of our third child (first one to be born in Japan) and she was a vital part of the team. Prior to delivery, she was available to answer questions about the different birthing options in Japan and provide examples from some of her experiences at different hospital settings. We chose a planned home-birth with midwives from Matsugaoka and together, I was able to have a happy and healthy birth. While the midwives did checks throughout labour and provided massage, Stephanie recommended different positions to labour in for comfort and to help move things along. Though she is not a translator, she did explain to my husband and I what was going on as the midwives spoke among themselves. She was also a positive voice when the day became long and I became tired. I highly recommend Stephanie as she was very professional and provided peace of mind throughout my pregnancy, labour and delivery.”


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‚Äôs 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.‚ÄĚ


I wanted to share a lovely testimonial I received from one of my November clients ūüôā¬† I hope you enjoy reading it.¬† It’s always nice for me to hear how I was a benefit during labour.¬† ¬†You can read some more testimonials here.

When I decided to have an unmedicated birth, I did a lot of research about the best ways to manage the intensity of labor without an epidural. One of the number one recommendations I received was to hire a doula! Luckily, Stephanie was available for my birth month of November and now that my baby is born I can honestly say that I would not have been able to do it without her! She was a constant support for me before my delivery, particularly through her breathing classes. During labor, she directed my husband and I through each phase and captured some incredible moments at the time of birth. She has also been a huge resource for me in these first weeks with baby. Overall, I am so happy to have worked with her and would recommend her to every pregnant woman in Tokyo! Thank you so much Stephanie!

Lovely Testimonial

I wanted to share a lovely testimonial one of my clients (she had her baby in October) wrote for me ūüôā

I was really touched to read it!

“Having a baby so far from home, and doing it all for the first time is incredibly nerve wracking. Stephanie proved to be a fantastic support during my pregnancy, on hand to answer any questions or concerns, and helping me write my birth plan – providing insight and advice on the ‘Japanese system’ to help me work out what was going to be most appropriate for me.

During my labour Stephanie was the most wonderful, calm and knowledgeable supporter. She helped my husband and I relax throughout, kept us updated with how things were progressing, and provided reassurance and ideas. My labour was deemed ‘high risk’ so could so easily have been daunting and scary, but Stephanie’s presence helped guide us through the whole journey and keep us calm. After my labour Stephanie was a lovely lovely presence, as my daughter was away from me for quite some time. I really appreciated her staying with me throughout that emotional time, and keeping my mind occupied with inane chat whilst my husband and baby daughter were away from me.
Breastfeeding has so far been great for me, and a lot of that I put down to Stephanie’s lobbying for kangaroo care immediately after birth (something which, due to the high risk nature of her delivery I don’t think we would have managed to secure ourselves). She has also been fab at answering all my questions and helping with any concerns.
I couldn’t recommend Stephanie’s services more, she has become someone I would class not only as a brilliant doula, but also now a friend. “

Lovely Testimonial and Dr Sen

One of my recent births, as I mentioned in my previous post, was at Aiiku hospital with Dr Sen. ¬†It was the first time I had been at a labour where Dr Sen was the doctor and I was genuinely so impressed her skills, her manner and her “way” of managing things. ¬†It was a really relaxed environment for the parents from start to finish and Dr Sen was wonderful in respecting fully all of her patient’s wishes and requests without question. ¬†My client, her patient had the labour she hoped for from start to finish. ¬† Of course, a lot of this is due to things just going smoothly on the day but I also think a big part of it is that Dr Sen was progressive in her practice to not manage the labour unnecessarily. ¬†Once example is during the pushing phase. ¬†quite often the expectation with most doctors here is to be on your back on the bed for this part of labour. ¬†However, Dr Sen, was very much open to the mother pushing how she wanted – whether that be on the bed, on all 4s, squatting and so on. ¬†Following the mother and how her body naturally wants to move (as it should be when everything is going very smoothly and without complications). ¬†So I would certainly very much recommend Dr Sen to anyone!

As for myself, ¬†my client in the above labour – the lovely Amanda – very kindly wrote a testimonial about me which I’m happy to share with all of you ūüôā

“Having a doula for my first labor and delivery was the best decision my husband and I could have made in preparation for the birth of our son. I’ve always known I wanted a natural birth but I just wasn’t quite sure how to go about achieving this or if I would even be able to cope with the pain once the time came. Now I can honestly say that by having Stephanie there with me got me through the hardest parts and I also believe she helped speed up my labor.
My husband wasn’t keen on the idea of having a doula at first. He had never heard of a doula nor is it a very popular in Japan in general as far as I know. He now believes that every women should have a doula. Not only did Stephanie help me get through delivery she helped my husband help me which kept stress levels down for everyone.
Not to mention she was even able to capture photos of the delivery of my son, I will cherish these photos forever and am eternally grateful for  this.
I would recommend Stephanie to anyone wanting to have a memorable, relaxed, enjoyable labor and I have every intention of calling on her again once we try for a second child.”.




I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

I just wanted to share a testimonial with you all ūüôā ¬†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 ūüôā


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 c¬≠section 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 counter¬≠pressure 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 Õĺ) 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!