Right now I’m getting very booked for births up to July. I am able to take on 3-4 more clients in total between now and mid-July. I’ll then be very free to take on clients from late August onwards!
Please get in touch if you’d like to have a doula support you during your labour, and/or if you’d like childbirth preparation!
January ended up being one of my busiest months birth-wise! I was at 5 births overall – which I think is the most I’ve done in one month before! All of the babies were delivered at Aiiku hospital with either Dr Sakamoto or Dr Sen, and, as expected each labour was very different.
Dr Sen continues to impress me with each labour I’m at with her. She is definitely natural-labour-minded, allowing the woman to labour at her own pace and it seems to me that less women who have her as a doctor end up with an epidural – partly because she has to call Dr Sakamoto or another back up to administer it if a patient wants one, which puts a barrier in front of getting an epidural in the first place, but mostly because of her encouragement and approach to labour in general. While she can’t spend all labour with her patients (that’s my job as doula when I’m there), she is hands on when she can be. She often gives massages, stimulates pressure points and so on during labours which is a really nice thing and comforting thing for an OB to do. She is also great at making sure women don’t have episiotomies. I think I’ve only seen her do one once in the various labours I’ve been in with her.
My next labour so far will be a home birth, all being well. My client will be using So san from Matsugaoka Birth House as her home-birth midwife. I met her today and she’s lovely. She can speak English well-enough and is very reassuring. With Matsugaoka Birth House, you can choose to give birth there (with a midwife), at Nisseki in Hiroo with So san, or in your own home with So san. Of course, conditions apply and they can’t take on women with any complications, but for those who are looking for a very natural labour, this is a great choice – an experienced English-speaking midwife with the back up if needed of an extremely well-respected hospital. I’m looking forward to this labour very much!
I wanted to share a lovely testimonial I received from one of my November clients 🙂 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!
Since my last Doula Cafe, I’ve been at 4 labours. All in one week in fact – my busiest week so far! Thankfully everyone was at Aiiku, which was good for the 2 back-to-back labours I had! October to early Nov is always a busy time of year for labours and this year was no exception!
My Breathing for Birth classes have been going well since starting them in September. I’ll be updating with continued dates soon, but they’ll continue to be on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month.
I’m also going to be adding some new services soon. They will include Belly Casting, and night-time newborn support. I’ll post about it once these have been added!
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!
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
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!!!