May Doula Cafe!

The next Doula cafe will be on Monday, May 8th!  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 will talk about the hospitals where you are expecting to give birth at and I’ll share with you my experiences in these places 🙂   We’ll also talk generally about anything and everything related to pregnancy, labour and having a baby in Tokyo!

It’s a great chance to find out what a doula does and how one can help you through your pregnancy and at your labour!

If you’d like to come, please email me.  My address is here.

Looking forward to see everyone who comes!

Labour at Seibo Hospital

I had my first experience as a doula in Seibo hospital (International Catholic hospital) 2 weeks ago.   Seibo hospital is located in Shinjuku-ku near Shimo-Ochiai station and within walking distance from Takadanobaba as well.

I had heard a lot about Seibo hospital over the years having had friends who had delivered there as well as comments from others on various groups about their experiences there.  Everything I heard was generally positive, so I was very excited to have the chance to see it for myself first-hand.

My client was expecting her 3rd child and was quite new to Japan, having only arrived a few months previously.  Her hospital options were already somewhat limited due to the fact that a lot of places get booked up very much in advance (it’s not unusual for hospitals or birth clinics to require you to “book in” for your birth there anytime between 12-20 weeks depending on the place).  She’d heard of Seibo and felt comfortable there after her first visit, and was able to have a spot there for delivery so she decided to stay with it.

As it was my client’s 3rd labour, I wasn’t expecting a marathon one (although you really never know).  As it was, she arrived at the hospital at around 10:30pm and her baby was born just after 1am.   The midwives were lovely and very attentive, although those on duty didn’t speak any English so I was having to help translate for both sides when necessary.  Perhaps for someone wanting a very “natural” labour they were maybe a bit too attentive (my client was told that there would be constant fetal monitoring for no reason than it was hospital policy  – baby was absolutely fine with contractions and heart rate). With that constant fetal monitoring came hands all over my client trying to keep the monitor in place as she moved about.  We both felt this was too much, especially as my client didn’t like the feeling of hands on her abdomen during contractions and things were fine with the baby.  I asked the midwives if they could stop the constant monitoring at my client’s request…and after going away to have a talk with the doctor, it was finally agreed that it was ok for the monitor to be taken off.  I think this is one example where having a doula to advocate for you during labour is very useful.

Anyway, my client actually progressed very quickly and it wasn’t long before she was pushing.  In Seibo, the labour rooms and the delivery rooms are different places, so she had to be moved to the delivery room (some hospitals and birth clinics are like that while others have all-in-one LDRs).  She instinctively got into an all-4s position on the bed.   The midwives did ask her to lie on her back but my client wasn’t going to move (and there was no reason why she should).  I’m glad that they didn’t insist more strongly as that would have been unnecessary I think.  It was great to see baby be born smoothly that way.

Overall, her stay for a few days afterwards was really good she said.  The food was good, the nurses were kind and some could speak some English.  For her, it was her 3rd country to labour in (she has had experiences in the U.S. and New Zealand), so it was interesting to see how each place differed.

I would be really happy to help at a birth in Seibo again.  It seems that while they do have hospital policies regarding certain things in labour, they are also able to be flexible if asked when the time actually comes…although, as I said, having a doula there to help advocate is a big advantage 🙂

March Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be on Tuesday, March 14th!  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 the benefits of various positions during the different stages of labour.

The Doula Cafe is a great time to come and just chat about all things related to pregnancy and birth in Japan.   I have space for 1 more client between mid-May and July (I’m fully booked up till then), so we can discuss more if you’d like birth doula support at your birth.

If you’d like to come, please email me.  My address is here.  Simply turning up on the day is also fine, too🙂  I have a birth client who is due around now, so I’ll let everyone who emails me know if I can’t make it (fingers crossed baby chooses another day to come!)!

Doula Cafe

The next Doula cafe will be a lunch get-together on Thursday Feb 23rd!  It will be at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks (6th floor) in Harajuku, from 12:00-1:30.  The Tokyu Plaza is on the Meiji Dori/Omotesando crossing.

We’ll talk about comfort measures during labour.

If you are due around May onwards and are considering using a doula for your birth, it’s a great chance to find out how one can support you (as a childbirth coach, guide, “mother”, motivator and encourager, advocate and so much more).  I currently have availability to take on 1 more client between May and July.  If you have never heard of what a doula is, come along to find out🙂

The Doula Cafe is a great time to come and just chat about all things related to pregnancy and birth here.  I love being surrounded by baby bumps and sharing and offering advice where I can!

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🙂

Next Doula Cafe

The next Doula Cafe of 2017 will be Monday, February 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 breathing for labour, and what are some breathing patterns that could help.

If you are due over the next few months and are considering using a doula for your birth, it’s a great chance to find out how one can support you (as a childbirth coach, guide, “mother”, motivator and encourager, advocate and so much more).  I currently have availability to take on 2 more clients between now and July.  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🙂

First Doula Cafe of 2017!

Happy New Year!

The first Doula Cafe of 2017 will be tomorrow, Tuesday Jan 17th, 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 labour – what are some signs, ways to manage labour, and what to expect in your hospital or birth clinic.

If you are due over the next few months and are considering using a doula for your birth, it’s a great chance to find out how one can support you (as a childbirth coach, guide, “mother”, motivator and encourager, advocate and so much more).  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🙂

Lovely Testimonial

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

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. “