Recent Birth Doula Experiences

I’ve had a really fun couple of weeks with births and private birth preparation classes!

On Wednesday, March 15th I supported a birth at Keiyu hospital in Minato Mirai (Yokohama) and then on Sunday, March 19th I was at a birth in Kosei hospital in Suginami ku (near Koenji).  They were, of course, 2 very different birth experiences and both went well for the mother, father and baby in each case.  They were also 2 new hospitals for me to attend.  Bringing my grand total of different hospitals I’ve been at now to 10 if my counting is correct, with over 20 birth doula clients!

Keiyu hospital had a more clinical feel to it with the LDR room (which was all one room for labour and delivery), although the doctor on call – Matsuo sensei – was able to speak quite good English.  The midwives were very attentive and this hospital offered the option of an epidural which was on my client’s birth plan.  There wasn’t much opportunity to be fully active and walk around too much as my client was on a monitor for most of the labour, even prior to the epidural.   I was able to explain what was happening when necessary, translate a little between the hospital staff and my client, and offer a lot of reassurance.

Kosei hospital was quieter and less hospital-like in the LDR area.  My client was able to labour in one room using things like a birth ball and active chair, as well as being free to walk around outside in the hallway.  They don’t offer an epidural at this hospital, so it was great for me to get really stuck in to supporting my client physically with positions and breathing.

If anyone would like a more detailed account of my experiences at either of these 2 hospitals, please let me know!

2017 so far!

I’m really excited for 2017 as I already have 5 births lined up for the first half of the year!!  I still have some availability to take on 2 more clients up till mid July, so please get in touch as soon as possible if you are considering birth doula services.  As well as first-time parents, I’ll also be supporting women having VBACs and second-time vaginally-birthing mums 🙂

I’m also putting a call out to those who read – what topics about pregnancy and birth in Tokyo/Japan would you like me to cover in this blog?  Let me know here

 

 

 

2016 Births!

I’m getting ready to go back to the UK for Christmas and the New Year with my children for 3 weeks, so this will be my last post of 2016 🙂

2016 has been such a wonderful year for me as a doula.  I’ve been a birth doula to 16 women and their partners this year and been to some different hospitals and birth clinics. Each experience has been very different, each experience is one that I still remember, and I hope that for all the women I supported (as well as their husbands/partners) that their experience was more enjoyable/bearable/rich/calming/ (choose your favourite adjective) because of me being there!  You can see a few testimonials from some clients here .  I should really ask everyone to write one when they have time – which is not always possible when you have a baby to care for 😉

I look forward to getting back to more doula support in 2017 once I’m back in January from my trip.   Stay tuned for my next Doula cafe dates in the new year, and please get in touch if you are considering doula support for your labour or post-partum!

Have a great Christmas and New Year!!!

Stephanie

 

 

Doula Cafe

The next Doula Cafe will be Tuesday Dec 6th and it’s free to join!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 10:30-12:00.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We’ll talk about breastfeeding, newborn care, and what to expect after baby is born.

If you are due next year and are considering using a doula for your birth, it’s a great chance to find out how one can support you.  If you have never heard of what a doula is, come along to find out🙂  If you are due in the next few weeks/months and want to be around other women to talk about birth and baby stuff – perfect!

If you’d like to come, let me know if you can.  My email address is here.  Simply turning up on the day is also fine, too🙂   I have a client who is due to give birth soon, so hopefully I won’t have to cancel due to her being in labour then!

 

 

VBAC Success

A week ago today, I was at my first VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section).  Dr Sakamoto was the doctor, so the birth itself was at Aiiku hospital.   The mother didn’t have the best experience with the C-section she needed to have with her first child (overall stress of the experience, reaction to medication, and the long recovery time afterwards), so she was very determined to at least be able to try for a VBAC with this pregnancy.

As it was my first VBAC, I was very “excited”to be asked by the mother to be her doula 🙂 Throughout her pregnancy, as is the case with all my clients, we had regular meetings where we discussed things related to her pregnancy, the labour, what had happened at hospital appointments and so on.  I really hoped that she’d be able to get her wish of trying for her VBAC and that nothing unexpected would come up to change things.  Dr Sakamoto was willing to let her try but was cautious about the chance of success (I think this goes with his character and his role as doctor and main care-provider).

The mum went into labour the day before her due date.  A c-section had been booked already for the next week if labour didn’t start naturally because in a VBAC situation inductions are not done.  She was very very glad her labour started naturally and I got to the hospital as contractions were very close together and pretty intense.  Without going in to the full details of her labour (as that is the mum’s story to tell), her sheer will and determination to have a successful VBAC were what got her through.  There was a time where it looked like a c-section was going to be needed as the labour wasn’t progressing…but then literally in less than an hour she was ready to push and her baby was born beautifully.  It was fantastic and I was so thrilled for her!

For anyone who is considering a VBAC, I’d love to hear from you!

Doula Cafe

The next Doula Cafe will be Tuesday Nov 22nd and it’s free to join!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 11:00-12:30.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

If you are due next year and are considering using a doula for your birth, it’s a great chance to find out how one can support you.  If you have never heard of what a doula is, come along to find out🙂  If you are due in the next few weeks/months and want to be around other women to talk about birth and baby stuff – perfect!

We’ll talk about hospitals and birth clinics and experiences in them.  We’ll also talk about ways to manage labour – thinking about breathing , relaxation and visualisation techniques.

If you’d like to come, let me know if you can.  My email address is here.  Simply turning up on the day is also fine, too🙂