What a year!! This year, I’ve had 42 birth clients – and my last birth for this year was actually yesterday. A fantastic way to end the year!
Hospitals I’ve been to this year include Aiiku (of course), Nisseki (The Red Cross) in Hiroo, Tsuchiya Clinic in Fuchu, KeiAi hospital in Saitama, Minato Sekijuji Byoin (The Red Cross Hospital in Yokohama), St.Lukes, Oshio Clinic in Chiba, and Tokyo Mothers Clinic in Setagaya. I also almost had another home birth experience (although in the end, a hospital was chosen instead). In addition to these hospital (many of which I’ve been to multiple times), I’ve also been to a wide variety of other hospitals/birth clinics in and around Tokyo, so I’m always happy to share my own perspectives on what it’s like to have a baby in any of them.
This year, I’ve also continued with my group breathing for birth classes and also added in group Infant Care classes, too. And together with my partner Célia, we also started offering a group Birthing With Confidence class (the next will be February 2020). These are all in addition to the private preparation classes I offer, so lots of options are available. I’ve also continued with a lot of post-partum work (breastfeeding help, labour debriefings, hands-on help etc), and have had a great year with my LLL work, too.
In 2020, I will continue to expand, so keep an eye out for other classes, courses, packages and more! And, as always, please do get in touch if you have questions or if you’re wondering how I can support you during your pregnancy, labour and post-partum period in Japan!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Enjoy the holidays!
Since I’ve been back from my summer holidays, I’ve been to 3 births – all at Aiiku hospital. 2 with Dr Sakamoto and 1 with Dr Sen. In all 3 cases, everything went very smoothly. For anyone looking for some perspective and information about what to expect in Aiiku with either Dr Sakamoto and Dr Sen, please get in touch (you are in good hands, though).
Towards the end of this month, or possibly early October depending on when baby decides to come, I’ll also be acting as a distance doula for a client who isn’t able to have a doula for her birth in person. I’m excited to see how that will go and hope that it will be a positive experience for my client and her partner. If anyone is in a different part of Japan or has a very strict (less progressive) hospital that flat-out refuses doula support, please get in touch if you’d like to consider distance support instead!
I’m also now working on setting up a Facebook page for Tokyo Doula Support. As I often post relevant articles, advice and so on on different Facebook groups, I though it was about time (after 5 years of running Tokyo Doula Support) that I have my own page for it all. Watch this space!!
2019 has been an amazing year so far for my doula work! I’ve had about 30 clients in the first half of this year (wonderful!) and they have been a real mix of women – from first time mothers, to those on their 4th babies, with natural births, medicated births, c-sections and VBACS included! It’s also been great to go to so many different hospitals this year so far, too. The hospitals I’ve been to this year include:
Nisseki (in Hiroo)
Tsuchiya clinic (in Fuchu)
Minato Red Cross (in Motomachichukagai, Yokohama)
Oshio Women’s Clinic (in Urayasu)
I also had the fantastic experience of a home birth, supported by midwives from Matsugaoka Birth Center.
As I’m going to be away for 6 weeks until the end of August, I plan to write up in more detail about the various different hospitals I’ve listed here, as well as others I’ve been to in previous years that I haven’t already written about.
Please feel free to email me anytime if you have questions about doula support (birth, preparation or breastfeeding). My schedule has a little room to take on a few more clients from September to December, and I have a wide open 2020 calendar too!
One of my client’s, who had a baby in April, sent me a few words to describe why she chose me as her doula and what my support meant for her. It always makes me so happy to hear what my support means to people I work with and I’m pretty sure I would have felt very similarly if I’d had a doula for my first labour.
“Going through my first pregnancy with the prospect of giving birth in Japan without any support (apart from my extremely supportive husband of course!) was a daunting feeling. As soon as I met Stephanie I knew that she had the expertise and empathy to support me through labour, which ultimately turned out to be the most challenging experience of my life. Giving birth at St Luke’s hospital I sought a natural birth with minimal interventions, however despite agreements in advance, promises were broken for no medical reason. This is when Stephanie’s support intensified, and without her calm, encouraging, caring and understanding personality it would have been considerably more stressful. She was able to converse with the staff on my behalf and negotiate compromises in what was also a difficult landscape for her to navigate as she could not tell them what to do. The comfort and confidence that Stephanie’s presence gave me was so important during my toughest times in labour, but also gave me the strength to continue to push for my natural birth plan as much as possible. I would wholeheartedly recommend Stephanie during the most special but challenging time of your life especially if you don’t have your immediate family there to support you. I am grateful for everything she had done during my 50 plus hours of labour and will always be special to me as she played a pivotal role in an experience I will never forget” – Natalie
July’s Doula Cafe will be on Tuesday, July 9th from 10-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks in Harajuku. This will be the last Doula Cafe until after the summer (the next one will be in September).
In this Doula Cafe, we’ll be talking about breastfeeding and what you can do now in pregnancy and early post-partum period to help breastfeeding got off to a positive start.
Also, if you are due to give birth from September onwards and are interested in having a doula support you and your husband during the labour, please come along or get in touch. There is still some availability for me to take on more clients.
Please send me an email if you plan to come!
April’s Doula Cafe will be on Thursday 18th from 10am-11am at the Tokyu Plaza Starbucks in Harajuku. We will look at the topic of epidurals and discuss other non-medicated things you can do to manage labour effectively and positively.
If you’re interested in having a doula at your birth, please also join to find out more. I’m already taking on clients for births in September onwards. Questions are very welcome about my services as well as about pregnancy and childbirth in Japan in general.
If you plan on coming, please let me know by sending me an email!
2018 was my busiest year yet as a doula with just over 30 births, as well as some birth preparation clients and post-partum clients. I continued to go to hospitals I’m very familiar with, such as Aiiku, and also some brand new hospitals which is always interesting. How can 2019 get even better? I’m excited to see!
I’ll be adding in some new services in January and throughout the rest of this year and will also update my Breathing for Birth class schedule, and next Doula Cafe date soon.
For anyone who is interested in having a doula for their birth, please get in touch soon. Also, feel free to contact me if you’re looking for private or small group birth preparation classes, or a post-partum consultation.