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Birth Options

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Pregnancy/Birth/Childrearing: Birth Options

By mumtobe on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 5:22 pm:

What is it like for a foreigner (non Japanese speaker) to have a baby in Tokyo. I hear some horror stories but there must be plenty of expat who start families in Japan AND do not speak Japanese.

What sort of facilities do they have on the english speaking medical front vs countries like Singapore, UK etc.

I can understand finding a doctor that speaks English but what about the general hospital staff when I have the baby.

Might be moving and having a baby.....


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 - 7:03 pm:

Many have done it before. It's not such a big deal, although if you combine moving to Japan with having a baby at the same time, it could push the stress meter.

There are several English speaking oy-gyn's,but the hospital staff speak Japanese. Whatever gap in language exists is made up by a very great caring attitude.

Although, having said that we found the custom in Japanese hospitals to be more "self-service" than we are used to in the U.S. (bring your own towel, drinks, small personal things that wwould be supplied in the U.S.) It also seems to be customary that family members provide more of the "personal service" than one might be used to. I can't compare to Singapore.

Another difference Americans might notice is the relative absence of technology. We are kind of hung up on that, maybe, so depends on how much emphasis one puts.

Our kids, who are now 8 and 11 were born in Tokyo. My wife does not speak Japanese.

I guess the short answer is that it is very possible, but be ready for some differences. Think about what your expectations are in a concrete way and check out if they will be met in Japan.

Scott


By erika d. Sandberg on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 5:56 pm:

Looking for a place to have a baby with english speaking staff.


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

Basically you will see that there is "some" English speaking staff available, but the most you could depend on would be an English speaking ob-gyn.

And even at that, although you could see that person regularly pre-natal, there is always a chance that at the moment of birth, only a non-English speaker is available. This would be something to check out with the doctor you choose.

FWIW. Scott


By melissa mcnulty on Saturday, March 2, 2002 - 4:08 pm:

Dear Mumtobe
Having a baby in any country and in any language can be a time of great anxiety because there seem to be so many unknowns. But, as Cornelia has pointed out, "knowledge is freedom". Happily, there are many people here in Tokyo who are more than willing to help you out. One website I highly reccommend is http://www.birthintokyo.com. Click on menu to see the full list of FAQs.

I also urge you to contact a chilbirth educator here in Tokyo. A good educator can help you with local resources and put your mind at rest about some of the more scary things about birth. You will also meet other mums to be, and get a support network in place for the post-partum time.BEST and CEC are the two organisations I know of who cater to the foreign community. I don't have the numbers handy, but you can call TELL, or find them listed in Japan For Kids - an excellent sourcebook. You can also see http://www.icea.org for a list of childbirth educators in Tokyo.

Good luck!


By Keely Fujiyama on Monday, June 17, 2002 - 4:54 pm:

Hi,
I am currently 13 weeks pregnant, and go to Aoyama Sanno Hospital. They provide English speaking doctors, and a medical translator if you need one for any procedure. It is a private hospital, and they have excellent facilities. It is expensive, though - 12,000 yen for the initial appointment, and 7,000 for subsequent appointments. The birth is about 900,000 yen, and you stay 5 days.

They are good with organising appointments, and you dont have to wait, unlike a lot of places. I would recommend visiting and seeing if you like it there. They have writen info in English, and I have met other Western couples there.

Good Luck!!
Regards, Keely Fujiyama


By Monique DiCarlo on Sunday, September 8, 2002 - 11:53 am:

Hi there,

Weve just moved to Funabashi from California. I am originally from Holland and in a way I am happy to see that labor is a natural thing here in Japan as it is in Holland instead of the 'medicalized' American way. I am 13 weeks pregnant and I need an OB/Gyn for my 15 weeks check up and a clinic to give birth. Ive been recommended to an English speaking doctor at the Toho Fujin Clinic in Kiba. I also need classes to prepare for labor. It is my wish to give birth in water, anyone heard of this being possible in the Tokyo area?
All info is very welcome!
Thanks, Monique
monique@dicarlo.org


By Dian Mertani on Monday, September 9, 2002 - 4:14 pm:

Hi Monique,
I don't know which hospital provide water birth in Tokyo, but I can share my experience in pregnancy and labor. I live not so far from you, in Makuhari, about 15 min from Funabashi toward Chiba side. When I was pregnant, I went to local ladies clinic here. The clinic has two OB/GYN, one of them is a female doctor. She speak limited english, but enough to communicate about the pregnancy (but the other non english speaking male doctor help me in delivery due my delivery time, he is expert). No nurse speak English but all are so friendly. I did the whole process there, a routine check up will be urine test,blood pressure, weight, USG, and 'inside' in the early and late preganacy. All USG is recorded in video tape that you can keep for you (so you can see it again at home). Your partner is allowed to accompany you in labor room with one condition, if there is no other woman in the labor process at the same time (the labor room can handle up till 3 person in labor). All was satisfactory unless a minor language problem (my husband speaks good Japanese, so not a big issue)
When I registered my pregnancy to the city office (to get 'mother and child book'- you need this to get complete record and some coupon for free check-up,etc), they assigned a volunteer lady to give me guidance about pregnancy (but she speak only Japanese). She visited my home 3 times during the pregnancy to explain things. She also can give information about pregnancy class, day care center, insurance, etc (even a bit slow). I joint the pregnacy class conducted by City heath center, for free. Exercise & breathing technique, pregnancy guidance, labour guidance and baby care is among of the things they taught in the class. Husband can also join. Not bad, only the time is not so suitable if you are a working woman.
I tried to choose a clinic or hospital that located not so far from home, in case the baby want to come out unscheduled.
Let me know if you need some other info, happy to share. You can contact me at dmertani@yahoo.com

Note from Admin: There is a page regarding the 'mother and child handbook' (boshi techo) here.


By Karen on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 2:02 pm:

Hi Monique,

I delivered my baby at the natural birth clinic in Kiba that you mentioned. Please email me - I'd be happy to discuss it with you!

I think that the only place for waterbirths in Tokyo is in Setagaya-ku at a place called the Aqua Birth House (http://www.aqua-birthhouse.com/english.html). See http://www.birthbalance.com/articles/yamada.shtml for a nice article. I've heard wonderful things about this place.

Hope to hear from you soon!
Karen ces[at]gol.com


By Cornelia on Tuesday, September 10, 2002 - 4:09 pm:

I wrote in my message under "Birth Stories" that the place I gave birth also offered a water birth option (and I saw it in action! They actually set up a temporary swimming pool in the bigger birth room.) But I forgot to include the name of where I gave birth:

Yachiyo Josanin (Yachiyo Midwife Clinic)
a short walk from Iidabashi station in Chiyoda-ku.


By Anne Takata on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 11:39 am:

I'm pregnant now with my third baby and have just logged on this site for the first time. I've read through the various experiences and since I have some experience as well I'd like to add to the list.

Both of my previous pregnancies and deliveries were here in Japan. And although I have not given birth in the States, for every horror story I've heard in Japan, I've heard two from the the other side. The fact that 1 in 4 deliveries in America are C-sections and the other 3 in 4 are out of the hospital within 48 hours is horrific enough.

I say with conviction, Japan is a good and very safe place to have your children.
But like all the important events in our lives, we need to be responsible for ourselves and take measures to ensure it is the best experience possible.

Having said that, it is of upmost importance that to shop around for a hospital or clinic that suits YOU. The range of facilities and philosophies is surprising. This can be a good thing, but you do have to do your reseach.

The first step is to get a good idea about what YOU want and expect. Reading of course in one part, but talking and listening to others with experience (both here and there) is also very important.

You can then try several places and get a feel for whether it feels right to you or not.

In the likely event that you settle for a clinic or hospital that doesn't cover ALL your needs, knowing beforehand what is lacking can greatly help you prepare for these deficiencies physically, emotionally and mentally. And ultimately make the experience a very positive one.

Whoops, this is getting a bit long. I will add my personal experiences in a new post.


By Admin on Monday, October 21, 2002 - 1:15 pm:

Aqua Birth House
Setsuko Yamada (Midwife)
4-16-21 Sakuragaoka, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0054
Tel: 03-3427-1314
Fax: 03-3427-1314
http://www.aqua-birthhouse.com/english.html
Here is a map with English directions E
http://www.aqua-birthhouse.com/map.html
Here is an article on Aqua Birth House
http://www.birthbalance.com/articles/yamada.shtml

There is a birth story published on an experience here in the password controlled section for mothers only. Use the contact form to request more information about the "okasan e-list and archive".

Keep in mind that water births are the exception and to find a place that has experience with this kind of birth near to where you live requires some research, or may not exist close by.


By Dax Thomas on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 12:16 am:

My wife and I are a few weeks pregnant and are currently shopping around for a hospital in the Yokohama area (we had our pregnancy confirmed at Showa University hospital but are not sure it's for us). My wife is japanese and though an english speaking ob-gyn would be nice for me, it's not a priority. What I'm concerned about is that all of the hospitals we've called won't allow the husband in the delivery room. Does anyone know, first, why this is, and second, if there are any hospitals that do let the partner in?


By Cornelia on Saturday, November 2, 2002 - 1:05 pm:

I think that it is still quite unusual in Japan for the parents to request that the father be present during the birth so there has not been much pressure on the "system" to accommodate this request. However, in the big cities it is happening, and I think that smaller birth clinics and alternative birthing places (not to mention home midwife delivery) are much more likely to accept, or even encourage the presence of the father. Ask, ask, ask, and keep looking until you find what you want. This subject has been discussed before in these forums so maybe do a keyword search for birth + father + hospital.

The father was certainly allowed where I gave birth at Yachiyo Yosanin in Chuo-ku, Tokyo.


By Itsuko Tochizawa on Friday, November 8, 2002 - 8:01 pm:

`Seiroka` in Chuo ward allows the partner to stay during the delivery. `Tanaka women's clinic` in Jiyugaoka also encourages the husband to be present in the delivery room. It's gradually getting popular in Japan.


By Ferdinand Ballesteros on Saturday, November 9, 2002 - 9:34 am:

TANAKA WOMEN'S CLINIC
5-25-1 Okusawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
tel # 03-3718-3181 to 2

Our son was born there last year and we were quite happy with how everything was handled. Tanaka-sensei is a very kind doctor but I am not sure if he speaks English. He allowed me and my 2-year old daughter into the delivery room to witness our son's birth. Bringing my daughter in was my idea because I wanted her to know and understand that her brother came from Mommy... and not just some kid we picked up somewhere.

Some points:
1. He is very "expert" in epidural anaesthesia. As most of you probably know, Japanese traditionally shun any kind of anaesthetics during childbirth so most hospitals won't recommend it and/or rarely do it. We didn't want to let an "inexperienced" hospital administer epidural anaesthesia so we felt better with Tanaka Women's Clinic.

2. I don't think Tanaka-sensei is an advocate of giving pre-natal vitamin supplements He is however an advocate of exercise so he will "force" the mother-to-be to "sweat"! He has "maternitibics" ("maternity aerobics"?) classes as well.

3. The clinic charges an extra 50,000 yen if you go into labor on a holiday or Sunday! Overtime pay? :-)

4. The nurses were very efficient and knew what they were doing (nothing made us uneasy). Post-natal care is also good. Also, according to my wife, the meals at the clinic were delicious (so stop thinking "hospital food".)

5. His clinic is always full so you better be there at the appointed time (but unfortunately, it is no guarantee that he can see you at the appointed time...depending on what is happening on that day.)

6. Extra note for people interested in preserving their child's stem cells. Upon my request, the clinic took the umbilical cord blood during birth and I sent this to a different company to isolate the stem cells. My son's stem cells are now frozen. It could be an expensive "insurance policy" but in a few years medical technology might advance to make such stem cells useful and worth having. Will be happy to provide details about this if anyone is interested.

Good luck!


By Sherri Leibert on Monday, January 13, 2003 - 4:51 pm:

I would like to add my thoughts on this topic. I had my daughter at Aiiku (May 2001) without any problems. I went there for all my prenatal visits and then used their hospital facilities to have my daughter.

The positive points of Aiiku
1. The doctors all speak English and the staff, nurses, midwives and admin staff can at least communicate with you (even if their English is not great--they still try) My doctor, Dr Nishiyama could speak English reasonably well but I could tell that she was not comfortable with it and sometimes it was a struggle.
If my husband showed up (Japanese) then she would speak in Japanese expecting him to interpret.
2. Lots of non-Japanese mothers are there so you are not an oddity (no stares and no hassles about being "big")
3. They have a pager system so while you are waiting for your appointment, you can wander around the facility
4. All the equipment is modern and clean
5. Plenty of private rooms if you want that when you give birth
6. You have the option of rooming in (your baby stays in the room with you) or you can ask the nurses to take care of your baby in the nursery
7. Your husband/partner is allowed to attend the birth
8. Your birthplan will be respected and followed.

Having said that, the main policy of the hospital is for a natural (no pain relief)birth and the hospital also promotes breast feeding. This is not the place to go if you want something different-- although I have heard that if you insist you will get the pain relief.

The negative points are:
1. Very LONG waits to see the doctor. I sometimes waited over 3 hours! Also you have to wait up to 30 minutes just to pay the fee! (They don't take credit cards, so have cash ready)
2. Hiroo Station, the nearest train station has lots of stairs. If you are coming with a small child or if you are heavily pregnant this journey gets old very fast.

I would use Aiiku again but now I have a toddler in tow so I didn't want to make the trip to Aiiku part of my life again. So I decided to try Seibo Hospital which is near Mejiro Station (and within walking distance of my house). It is a Catholic hospital with English-speaking nuns that will help you with interpreting if the need arises.

I found the admin/reception staff to be very helpful. They have forms which have been translated in English which made things easier for me. The appointment system is a bit vaguer than Aiiku. At Aiiku they gave you a time--and then you waited and waited. At Seibo they give you a time range, between say 9:30 and 11:00 and then people come between these times. It is still a long wait and I get the impression that it is better to come a bit early and get your place in line.

The doctor that I got by chance, Dr Ohshiba, seems to be very good and I am pleased with her. Her English is very natural and fluent and she is very comfortable speaking in English. She has a bedside manner (!) and volunteers information. So far I have only been to Seibo two times as I am only 13 weeks pregnant. I am not sure about their birthing facilities but I did overhear another non-Japanese woman being offered a tour by one of the nuns, so I hope to have the same treatment. If anyone has used Seibo recently I would love to hear about your birthing experience.

In any case, if you are looking for a good English-speaking doctor to see for pre-natal visits, you should try Seibo and ask for Dr Ohshiba.


By Therese Djrv on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 2:59 am:

Hello!
We are three swedish women who study to become a medical doctor. In may this year (2003) we will do a comparing study between Sweden and Japan on pregnancy, birth and post-birth care for children. We would like to come in contact with pediatrics, child-doctors, hospital, women who are going to have a baby or recently have got one.
We are interested in all experiances.
Please contact us!
Therese, Mirjam, Ylva
t.djarv[at]spray.se


By tamara on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 4:48 pm:

I am a pregnant non-Japanese speaker trying to decide where to deliver the baby. I am considering Dr Sakamoto at Seibo or Sanno. I really want to have an epidural and am more concerned about the actual delivery than how happy I am with the prenatal visits. If you have had a baby at either place, PLEASE advise me on what you thought. Thanks so much.


By ccm on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 1:15 pm:

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with prenatal visits and/or birth in Saitama, particularly Saitama Idai Hospital? I live too far from Tokyo to go to any of the English speaking clinics/hospitals mentioned here...and am hoping to find English speaking doctors in Saitama. Many thanks for any information you may have!


By Emily Homma on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 12:06 am:

Ogawa Ladies' Clinic, Matoba, Kawagoe, Saitama-ken tel: 049-233-0310
Hello ccm,
I also live in Saitama (Kawagoe) but didn't deliver my baby in Saitama Idai Hospital. I've been to this hospital though for my other child's illness. In my place in Matoba, Kawagoe, there's a popular Ladies' Clinic because of its good facilities and expert obygyne. I gave birth to my second in this clinic. My husband was with me during the delivery (upon request). Ogawa Ladies' Clinic is run/headed by Dr. Ogawa. But Dr. Ogawa doesn't speak English; his colleages (two male doctors) could speak some English but not sufficient enough if you ask them a lot of questions. Ring them up and inquire on their 'English Speaking doctors' timetable at 049-233-0310.
Emily


By Maureen on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 4:05 am:

Hi My husband and I are thinking about taking a job in Tokyo. We are planning to start a family in the near furture. Any advice for the OBGYN system in tokyo? I heard it was very different. Is that true? I also heard men can not be in the delievery room. I find that hard to believe! Any advice or good English speaking doctors will be appreciated!


By ocampo on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 9:35 am:

Hello, Maureen. We had a baby here in Japan 8 mos ago and it was really very difficult. My wife had a difficult pregnancy and unfortunately we were left with no choice but have our son here. The medical approach here in Japan is very conservative, she was begging to have a C-Section because she was already 8 days over-due but they kept insisting that she can have a normal delivery. After 4 days of unsuccessful induction, and our baby going on fetal distress, they finally gave in we had the C-Section. That is secondary to having the biggest problem of "language barrier". And take note my wife is a licensed Registered Nurse in the U.S., so just imagine how frustrating it was for her. Bottom line, we will NEVER have another delivery here in Japan!
Now, that is our personal comment and I hope that there are some who had a much better experience than us. Oh, and I was not allowed to be with my wife, thou I begged that she needed my support after what they put her through, but No, we were forbidden because she needed to go to a special delivery room which they called "a theater", where all life saving devices were needed just in case they will be needing it during the operation. That was how critical her situation was, and I WAS NOT ALLOWED TO BE WITH MY WIFE AND MY SON!

I really hope and pray that your experience will be much better than ours.


By Caroline on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 10:40 am:

Both my children were born in Japan and our family all had a VERY GOOD experience. I cannot stress enough the need to be well informed about hospital policies and procedures and to find a doctor who will support you in your choices. There are plenty of good doctors and hospitals here!


By Maureen on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 11:28 am:

Thanks ocampo and carloine for your stories! Ocampo I am sorry you had such a bad experience. One chat room said to go to St. Luke's. What hospital did you have the baby in? I am glad that your son and wife are OK! Calorine I am glad that your delievery was a good experience. What hospital did you deliver in?


By ocampo on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 6:02 pm:

Hello, Maureen. Both my wife and my son are doing great, thank you very much.

Our close friend also had a baby this year and she had it at St. Luke's and she's very happy about it. So, it might be a goood idea to check them out too.

My wife had our son in the Japanese Red Cross Hospital in Hiroo.


By Quenby Hoffman Aoki on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 2:41 pm:

I would say that my birth experience at a small clinic here in Tokyo had both positive and negative aspects. I'm pregnant again, actually, and plan to have my second baby at the same place.
I wanted to avoid a cesarian at all costs but ended up having one, and the doctor asked my husband if he'd like to be in the room during the procedure (he declined...I don't blame him at all). The best thing was that my son was given to me immediately once I was sewed-up. I was able to breastfeed him and keep him in the room with me right from the beginning, which might not have been the case at a larger hospital. I wouldn't recommend my clinic if you aren't proficient in Japanese, however.

Seibo Hospital and Aiiku Hospital are very popular with non-Japanese-speakers. I know at least fifteen women who've given birth at one or the other and most of their feedback is positive.

Allow me finally to put in a plug for a great support group, La Leche League International. The focus is on breastfeeding, but a lot of support and information for pregnant women is available at meetings and it's a great place to meet other women with babies or babies-to-be!
Contact Iona MacNab at 3425-2534 for more info.


By Karen on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 8:23 pm:

Hi Maureen,

How exciting that you're thinking about moving to Tokyo! It's a great city to live and raise children in.

You're right, the OB/GYN system is sometimes very different here, in some ways this is a great thing, though of course there are a few negative aspects.

There is a wide range of places in which you can birth your baby in Tokyo: hospitals, OB/GYN clinics, midwife clinics, waterbirth clinics, or your very own living room!

As Quenby mentions above, Seibo Hospital and Aiiku Hospital are both very popular with expats. St. Luke's Hospital is another one.

I'll also cheer Quenby's suggestion about visiting La Leche League while pregnant. It's a great place to meet other expectant moms in Tokyo.

Good luck!


By Maureen on Thursday, April 3, 2003 - 3:17 am:

Thanks for all your information. I feel much better about the decision. I have recieved so much info. Now that I am re-assured that pregnancy seems OK in Tokyo I can move to the next million topics to research before we commit, where to live, salary...etc!!

Thanks!


By chris Antatoly on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 10:01 am:

Does anyone have any ideas, advice or stories about Tokyo Adventist Hospital. Can you please share experience with me.

By chris Antatoly on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 09:05 am:
Does anyone have any info about Tokyo Adventist hospital and their use of epidurals and facilities? Any help appreciated.
ttemily[at]aol.com Thanks


By sonali jain on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 7:03 pm:

hello!as im in tokyo and 16 weeks pregnany i would like to know some of the information....as this is my first baby im very scared how i have to proceed with this i live in kameari (katsushika-ku)i would like to know about the good hospital and doctors near my place and how much it will cost....if anyone have any idea please mail me ...sonusharoff@yahoo.com


By Steve Ballati on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 5:31 pm:

Hi everyone!

I am so glad to have found this site and am thrilled to read so many informed, experiential stories and opinions. My wife and I are newly pregnant and are currently looking for a hospital in Bunkyo-ku near Sendagi. My wife is Japanese and understandably prefers a Japanese language environment for the birth, which I am fine with. I've heard that some hospitals do not allow breastfeeding right away, rely on drugs, too readily turn to C-sections, prohibit the father to be in the room during birth, etc. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a pleasant, informed, open-minded hospital or clinic in our area.


By Sandy Cox on Saturday, October 25, 2003 - 10:07 am:

Steve, Nippon Medical School in Sendagi is the obvious choice if you prefer a hospital to a midwife clinic or home birth. All birth environments in this country are inherently in Japanese. Only with effort is it possible to find some English spoken on the part of some medical personell. See this link:
http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/35/756.html
Also Tokyo University Hospital is located quite near to you.


By Steve on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 12:14 pm:

Sandy,
Thank you for your quick response. We went to a local clinic that has connections to a midwife we are thinking about and were told everything looks positive but we should come back in a week for a better assessment and all the initial tests. After much research and helpful advice (including yours and from this forum), my wife has narrowed her sights to the Yachiyo Midwife Clinic or a clinic in Mejiro if we use a clinic, but says she likes the home birth idea best, and (to my happy surprise) is very interested in a water birth. We are still weighing the advantages and disadvantages of our options and hope to visit the clinics to see them for ourselves before choosing.

While reading through the data of all our options, I was very impressed with the variety of services and the (as far as I know) up-to-date techniques and approaches available. This has given me a much more secure feeling that everything should progress well.

I will probably find lots of little things to panic about in the months ahead, and really appreciate being able to ask you and all on this site for your input. Yoroshiku!


By Cornelia on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 4:24 pm:

By the way, even if you make one choice now, you are not locked in. You can change your mind! This may fly in the face of convention, but these are rare life events and basically there is no law that says you have to stick with your original decision. For example, the "house" physician that Yachiyo uses is not, shall we say, "sensitive" to the needs of modern women. With a bit of effort you can find another "back-up" doctor more to your liking (which is what I did) and not bother with the one they have an arrangement with. They have no rule that you must stick with him. They do water birth there. I am friends with another mom who did it and can introduce your wife if she wants to talk to someone about it (Japanese only).


By Steve on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 5:49 pm:

Thanks for the heads up on the "house" physician.

That's a good example of some of the imbedded assumptions that are so difficult to glean -- here or anywhere. I am a full believer in your advice above "Ask, ask, ask, and keep looking until you find what you want." But am constantly challenged to
find the right questions. I'm looking forward to learning a lot over the coming months and have already learned some new Japanese words and kanji for words and procedures I never even knew in English!


By Cornelia on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 - 1:04 pm:

Steve, I should add that it was 7 years ago since I used Yachiyo, so they may very well have a new "house doctor" now. I don't even remember the name of the one at the time. So if you and your wife decide on that birth clinic, then you might want to go ahead and visit their current house doctor once just to see if you get the same impression.


By Steve on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 - 1:12 pm:

We have an appointment with Yachiyo tomorrow. Our nearby clinic confirmed that we are in about our sixth week of pregnancy but has told us to come back in two weeks for the full 'initial' checkup tests. He wasn't very forthcoming with information, and I am hoping Yachiyo has a more sympathetic environment. We are glad to know the option to choose our own preferred doctor is available to us.


By Cornelia on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 - 1:38 pm:

Steve, let us know what you find out. Management changes and so on, so things may not be the same now as they were 7 years ago. The back-up doctor may also have hesitations. Mine was Dr. Horiguchi (retired from Aiku Hospital but still practicing privately), a very accommodating person and willing to take a taxi over to Yachiyo when his help was needed. Other doctors may not agree to do that.

Also, I found that 6 weeks seems to be to early in this country to treat a pregnancy as viable. This came up in another discussion. I think the magic day is much later, not sure, but maybe at the end of 3 months? Which is of course way too late according to current research findings (correct treatment of the pregnancy is important from the first day). I'm guessing it is a holdover from the past. Most pregnancies that are destined to self-terminate do so in the first tri-semester. It is really hard (if not impossible) to make a scientifically accurate statement as to how many of these may have not self-terminated if they were better "cared for". When I went to the ward office for my boshi-techo, they wouldn't give me one because I had not had my pregnancy confirmed by a doctor! I tried to tell them that I know my body, etc. but no dice. Also, miscarriages are not covered by NIH until they are at or after a certain month.


By Steve on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 - 2:00 pm:

We have a photo for confirmation that the ward office should have a hard time refuting. I assume that all should be substantiated to everyone's agreement in two weeks. I wish the clinic were more helpful with health matters NOW rather than taking a wait and see stance. I've been wondering particularly about nutrition and how strongly vitamin/mineral supplements are recommended. I am of the opinion that it could only help to be taking them, but my wife isn't convinced they are necessary. Either way, both of us would feel more assured if a professional were to give us a recommendation.

I will write again after visiting Yachiyo.


By Jacqueline Henneken Wood on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 2:38 pm:

I am currently 4 months pregnant and am seeing Dr. Sakamoto at the Tokyo Clinic. He recommends using either Seibo or Sanno Hospitals for delivery but prefers Seibo for 1st babies given their better prenatal care. Does anybody have any insights/experiences with Dr. Sakamoto and Seibo? Many thanks!


By Scott Hancock on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 3:19 pm:

Jacqueline-
You are with the most often recommended doctor and hospital. I have only ever heard positive things about Dr. Sakamoto.
Have a great time.
Scott


By Anne-Catherine Higham on Sunday, November 30, 2003 - 9:13 pm:

I have just arrived in Tokyo and I am 3 months pregnanant with our 3rd child. I delivered with midwives in hospitals in the US, and I would like to do that again here. Does anyone have experience with midwives in Tokyo? Are they linked to hospitals?


By kelly pattison on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 3:07 pm:

I am 2 months pregnant, and have just started the very confusing time of trying to find a hospital/birthing center and a doctor.
I have lived in Japan for 4 years, so can get by with general conversation in Japanese, but all the medical terms are way over my head.
There are some things I am looking for in a hospital/birthing clinic:
1. English speaking staff
2. rooming in (I don't like the idea of my baby being whisked away and taken care of by nurses, although I would like their support and advice as this is my first baby)
3. breast feeding support (preferable as soon as possible after the birth)

Can anyone recommend any good hospitals/birthing centers and doctors who seem suitable for me?
Also, I am sure there are many other things which should be taken into consideration that I haven't even thought of yet. Any pointers would be welcomed.


By Ushka Wakelin on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 3:24 pm:

Dear Kelly,

I had my son last September in Seibo Hospital in Shinjuku and I would highly recommend it. They offer rooming in, providing the baby does not need any immediate medical attention, and the staff speak excellent English. Also, there is a lactation consultant, a foreigner, who visits Seibo on a weekly basis to meet up with new mums and she offers excellent advice and support. Overall my stay at Seibo (one week) was excellent and I would highly recommend this hospital.

I used one of Seibo's own Doctors for my monthly appointments but it is possible to go with Dr Sakamoto, I think he has a private clinic but delivers babies at Seibo.

Anyway, feel free to ask me if you have any further questions, I know it can seem a bit daunting with all the paperwork and things that need to be done during pregnancy but I honestly belive Japan is the safest country in the world to have a baby. Good luck.

With kindest regards

Ushka


By kelly pattison on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 11:15 pm:

Thank you Ushka. Very helpful advice. I will definately look into it. I have two more questions for now - does Seibo allow fathers in the delivery room? And, did you have Japanese National Health Insurance? I have it but am not sure how it works - do you pay up front and then claim the money back? And if so, what kind of cost will we be looking at?


By Ushka Wakelin on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:05 am:

Good morning

Yes, Seibo does allow fathers in the delivery room, this was one of my main concerns also.

Basically you pay up front and then the money is reimbursed.I have National health insurance but I chose to use my husbands work insurance instead. I had to get a piece of insurance paper signed by the doctor who delivered my son and then that went to my husband's office for processing.

The money we received back was 410,000yen and it was in our bank account about 1.5months after the birth. Try to get the insurance papers before the birth so you can get the doctors signature while you are still in the hospital, it makes it easier as you dont have to wait until your 1 month check-up for the signature.

Also, when you register the baby at the ward office afterwards, you can apply for a monthly allowance if your family earns under a certain amount of money.

I hope this is helpful. :)
Kind regards

Ushka


By Admin on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:06 am:

Cost of birthing discussion is at:
http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/35/490.html
Please continue there.


By Erin Siddall on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:04 pm:

Dear Ushka,

I am three months pregnant and shopping around for a hospital/ doctor and have a couple of questions about Seibo Hospital. I heard that the visiting hours are quite short, even for the father (to 8pm), unless you have a private room. Do you know about this at all?

I have been going to Tokyo University hospital and have gotten fed up with having a different doctor each time. They do speak English though and the costs are very low, but it feel s little like a factory and I am not convinced of the level of care (prenatal at least). I would prefer to have my child at a smaller clinic with the same doctor/midwife for the whole experience. Or at least a modern open-minded big hospital.

I hope to have my child near Bunkyo-ku (Korakuen) or in central Tokyo.
Thanks in advance!, Erin
Thanks for any additional inforamation from other people too.

By Erin Siddall on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:24 pm:
Oh yeah!!

Also forgot to ask... I have heard that there is only one doctor at Seibo Hospital that does Epidural birth and that the prenatal visits are done a clinic outside of the hospital. Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic. The hospital was reluctant to give me his name without first visiting the hospital.

Does anyone know is this is Dr. Sakamoto? I would appreciate any input about him or any other doctor who does Epidurals at Seibo.
I checked about Epidurals at Eisay (in Ogikubo), but you have no choice but to go through with it once you have scheduled it... and I would like to have a natural birth if possible with the back-up plan of an epidural.

Also, does anyone know if the cost of the Epidural is more expensive than the Siebo's normal fees? The regular cost is Y450,000 (shared room).
Thanks in advance!
Erin


By Caroline on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 8:40 am:

Hi, just thought I'd comment on my experience at Aiiku with my first child. I was seeing Dr. Bliah at the time (Dr. Takeda later) and drew a birth plan which stated that I could, if needed, have an epidural. I ended up needing it badly, as I couldn't tolerate the pain, and it was administered to me without any problem. Of course, dosage was low and not continuous, but it did help a lot and I was still able to push the baby out. Hope this helps.


By Ushka Wakelin on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 10:18 am:

Hello

Yes, I recall the visiting hours at Seibo were short but it didn't bother me so much as I wasn't rooming in with my son so my husband and I spent time in the nursery with him instead of in my shared room. They have set breastfeeding times and my husband was not allowed in during those times so they were a bit lenient about him staying later, usually until about 9pm. I think the weekend visiting hours were all day, well my husband stayed around all day anyway and they served him lunch and dinner with me so it was nice that we got to eat together I thought.

I believe that it is Dr Sakamoto that gives the epidural, when I asked about pain relief I was told there were no options and, when I asked again, I was told that I could have pethadine(?) if I really wanted it. I ended up having no pain relief at all, it hurt a lot but was soon over and I felt great afterwards.

With the Seibo monthly/weekly appointments there was always a wait of about an hour. I tried changing the day of the week of my appointment but it didnt seem to make much difference. My friend, who went with Sakamoto, said that there were the same waits with him unless you made a really early morning appointment, eg 8am.

The shared room is not so bad, I really appreciated having company and I got to practise my Japanese. :) There are curtains everywhere so you can separate off your area if you want. I took my laptop into the hospital with a wireless internet card and they had no objections about it, it was great. :)

Hope this is helpful.


By Penny Poe on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 10:57 am:

Erin,
The doctor you are referring to is Dr. Sakamoto. Tokyo Medical's telephone number is 03-3436-3028. You can call them and ask them to fax the price list to you.

I delivered twice at Aiiku. My first child was born three years ago and my second child three weeks ago. Aiiku's environment, services, attention to mother, etc have greatly improved the last three years. Almost everyone spoke some English and a few midwives were fluent English speakers. I wanted a natural delivery and that is why I chose Aiiku. I happened to deliver during the night both times so I would not have been given an epidural even if I wanted it. Epidurals are only administered during the day. Visiting hours are 3-8pm M-F and 1-8pm weekends and holidays.


By Victoria Morehouse on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:12 am:

Another option is the Tanaka Womens Clinic in Jyugaoka which specializes in epidural births. Dr. Tanaka was one of the first phyisicians in Tokyo to practice births with an epidural. You see Dr. Tanaka every time for your routine prenatal visits and he is the one who administers the epidural as well.
He is also the chairman for Maternity Bics and strongly emphasizes excercise. From the day after delivery, he has all his patients riding on a stationary bike to speed up recovery time.
The clinic is quite small and everyone has a private room. He speaks English and has English translations for all the literature he provides his patients. The fees are approx. 700,000for delivery and 5 or 6 night stay.
Although they specialize in epidurals, you can choose to have a natural delivery if you can handle the pain. They will just put the catheter in place and you can let them know whether or not you need medication.

By Victoria Morehouse on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:30 am:
I forgot to mention that at Tanaka clinic, you can have your child in the room with you whenever you want from the 2nd day. Visiting hours are from 1-9pm and on the day of delivery, the father can spend the night. You also get a free facial and massage during your stay. They also allow siblings in the room which many Japanese hospitals often prohibit.


By balman on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 2:47 am:

I am six months pregnant with the third child. I undergo a C-section with my first and second child since I cannot deliver normal This is my first pregnancy in Japan and I am quite nervous. I chose to have a general anesthesia for my third C- section. Anyone can you please, please recommend me experience doctors and staff with this circumstances.


By Mary Tokuhara on Wednesday, June 9, 2004 - 12:24 pm:

Hello, I am so thrilled to have found this forum. Could someone help me on any of their personal experience on Juntendo Urayasu Hospital? I'm 17-weeks pregnant with my first child, 39 already, so I fall into that "high-age" risk category. I've been using Sanno hospital, but it's too far from my place, I live near Kasai station on the Tozai line (East Tokyo), and the cost for delivery in Sanno is extremely high (Keely mentioned a steep 900 000yen?).
I found Juntendo Urayasu over the net, near to my place, and have gone to see it, but haven't really been IN or talked to any of the doctors yet, just taken the pamphlets at the front desk. If you have any personal experience of this hospital, PLEASE do inform me. How are the facilities, the doctors and nurses, etc? Or if you can recommend any other hospitals in my area, please let me know.
Mary Tokuhara


By Lin Wood on Friday, November 26, 2004 - 2:22 pm:

hi - writing from the u.s. now, 11/24/04, my daughter is american, married to japanese, having her first baby at age 35 around march 10 in tokyo... however she will be staying in Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken, and her husband is not interested in going into delivery, but I am. and my daughter wants me to... where can we do this together, in ichikawa area.. she speaks nihongo, but for this experience, she really should have a bilingual dr./midwife/nurses/staff... and for me too, my nihongo is bare min. at this point... any advice??? thanks. Lin


By vandana anand on Friday, December 24, 2004 - 1:56 pm:

hello
i am non japanese living in koko koen ,saitama.i wanted to know is thr any low cost hospital nearby english speaking staff if poss,.ths is my first time so i want to b with my husband intead of going back to my home land.i am planning my pregnancy in japan .got very useful information from ths site.
thanks


By ccm on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 10:05 pm:

hi, I'm not familiar with your particular town within Saitama but I gave birth at Saitama Idai, the large university hospital in Kawagoe. I met 2 english speaking obs there and the head of anesthesiology trained at one of the Harvard hospitals in Boston (wonderful person). There were also 1 completely fluent midwife (absolutely amazing - went beyond the call of duty to help me and make me feel comfortable) and another who understood English but did not speak it. It was not cheap however...we have national health insurance but the prenatal checks were not covered, and we paid anywhere between \5000-\10,000 per visit, depending on what was involved (blood tests, etc.). Usual visits were around \5000-5500 though. Good luck. We spent quite a bit of time looking around for a place near home...ended up going with Saitama Idai which was not that close to us. In the end, I went with a NON-English speaking dr., because I liked him the best out of all the doctors I met. I have a Japanese husband though, I realize you may not have the same resource available. Anyway, I hope you hear from some others as well..


By Doris Teutsch on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 6:14 am:

Hi,
My husband and I are thinking of relocating from Europe to Tokyo next year and are now wondering whether we could actually afford starting a family there. From the many messages posted here I got the impression that western standard pre-natal care (e.g. monthly checkups, examinations, ultrasounds etc.) with doctors who speak English like Dr. Sakamoto are not covered by neither the employee's health insurance nor by the national health insurance (not even in part). As my husband would probably get the same benefits/pay like any other Japanese employee (so no expat relocation compensation payments etc.) could we actually afford these examinations or are they only affordable if you are e.g. an expat in a high position of a large company (eg president, CEO etc.)? Could anybody perhaps tell me what these checkups approximately cost? Are there English speaking OBS/GYN in Tokyo that one can see under the normal employee's insurance cover?
These issues are really important to us and will determine whether we come to Japan or not.
Thanks a lot for your help in advance.

Doris


By emma on Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 2:14 pm:

Has anyone had any experiences at Tanaka womens Clinic in Setagaya Tokyo? If you have could you please share them with me especially if you had an epidural there?


By tigi18 on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 5:17 pm:

Has anyone gone to Dr. Bliah?

I am looking for an english speaking ob/gyn in the Tokyo area and she was recommended by my insurance company.

Thanks!


By Nancy on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 5:45 pm:

Tigi

You should check if your insurance company will allow you to go to Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic. Dr. Sakamoto is the OB/GYN there. He is mentioned in an earlier post.


By Caroline on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 9:02 pm:

Dear tigi18

I used to see Dr. Bliah for my first pregnancy at Aiiku hospital. She was good and I recommend her, but she was not present at the birth. Please contact me directly if you want more info...


By Cathy Edwards on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 9:11 pm:

Tigi

I saw Dr Bliah for my 2nd pregnancy (my first was in Australia) and I had no problems with her. She does not deliver but hands you over to the Dr's at Aiiku Hospital who were also very good.

She can be a little abrupt at times but it was rare and being my 2nd I was not looking for a lot of "hand holding" as such.
Based on Tokyo Folklore, Dr Sakamoto seems to be a doctor that you either love or hate so I would recommend, if possible, meeting both and making your own decision.

Early in my 2nd pregnancy I saw a doctor at Sanno Hospital but after 2 visits decided that I would not be comfortable with her and that is when I moved to Dr Bliah.

Hope it helps.


By Sherry Wood on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 12:57 pm:

My husband and I just found out that we are pregnant with our first child. We have been living in Osaka (minoo area) for just 3 months and don't really know where to begin in choosing a hospital and/or doctor. Being my first pregnancy I am quite nervous right now being away from Canada. I would prefer a doctor that speaks some english and that is in a hospital rather than a smaller clinic. I would like to have the option of an epidural if necessary. It is also very important to have my husband with me through the entire delivery and be able to stay afterwards and I would like our baby to be able to stay with me rather than swept away to a nursery. Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences in Osaka. I am quite nervous about the whole experience in Japan because I met a couple when we first moved to Osaka and they had a horrible experience. She had a very long and tough labour and after the birth the baby died shortly after due to doctor malpractice. It was a very horrible experience for them and it has put a lot of fear in me about birthing in Japan. I have been told that birthing in Japan is a safe thing to do. Can anyone reassure me and point me in a direction of a good hospital and doctor in Osaka.


By Ccm on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 4:41 pm:

hi Sherry, I'm sorry that I don't have any information regarding birthing in Osaka but I thought I would at least contribute an encouraging word about birthing in Japan. I too was really nervous about having a baby here but I really had the most wonderful experience. I had a long labor and it could have been a nightmare but thanks to excellent care I now remember my son's birth as the most amazing experience in my life. I met a midwife who went way above and beyond the call of duty to make me feel comfortable and secure, and she still keeps in touch with me today. The team of doctors and midwives at my delivery were what my husband and I call our "dream team" - competent and compassionate. They pampered me for the 5 days I was there and took excellent care of my baby boy, who had to spend the first 2 days of his life in NICU. He left the hospital thriving, and I had very little problem recovering from the birth. There are nightmare stories everywhere, in every city and every country. You just have to keep your eyes open and go with your gut instinct. Japan enjoys, I believe, the lowest infant mortality rate in the world. I have heard from a number of foreign women who have given birth abroad and in Japan who have said that they would choose Japan again if they had to, hands down. I hope you will be able to enjoy your pregnancy and labor here. Good luck to you!


By Ccm on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 4:44 pm:

PS I want to add that my Japanese was at pretty much just a basic level and that I did not deliver at one of the expensive, fancier hospitals. But I did choose the hospital and doctor based on gut feeling - something told me I would be comfortable with my choice.


By Lynette Ellis on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 2:24 am:

I am 40 yrs old and will be in my 29th week of my third pregnancy when we move to Tokyo. My first two births were easy, one with epidural , one natural but this time I have placenta previa so I will probably have to have a c section and maybe early birth. I would like to go to Aiku Hopsital because it will be very close to where we live. I am planning to visit Dr. Sakamoto upon arriving in Tokyo. Any thoughts? Is Aiku the right hospial for a c section and possible preemie? Are c section procedures similar to in the US?


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 2:37 am:

Dr. Sakamoto is the Yoda of Ob-Gyn here. He's the one everyone swears by. Ask him about hospital choice. If he can deliver at more than one, ask him and go check them all out.

Scott


By elizabeth iino on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 9:31 pm:

Hi there...I heard that Sanno near Roppongi has been redone, and that its very clean and has the latest technology ( i also heard the food is good)!
good luck!


By Lucy Mori on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 12:50 pm:

I just returned from Aiiku Hospital having had my baby delivered by Dr Sakamoto by c-section with epidural and spinal block anesthetic. My previous delivery was emergency c-section in London. I had an excellent experience with Dr Sakamoto, the procedures and the hospital. And the Aiiku has excellent reputation for special care of small or premature babies. Dr Sakamoto can also deliver at Sanno and Seibu - he offers you the choice. Language not a problem either at Aiiku - the midwives, paedetricians and nurses apeak adequate English.


By Keya on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 2:05 pm:

Hi,

Although I am not pregnant yet, my
husband and I are planning on 'knocking
me up' at the end of the year, maybe, and
I would like to know what the procedure
is, if I am leaning towards a water birthing.
I have read about the Aqua Birth House,
and Yachiyo Josanin, which are said to
have the water birthing facility available in
Tokyo, but what about paper work? What
about other places?
This will be my first baby, and I sure would
like to give it a (hopefully)more peaceful
and calm entry into this world. Maybe it's
a bit early to be asking these questions,
but being away from a place you can
speak your language freely, one is always
a little anxious about things like this.
And with a first baby, to boot.
Any info from mothers [or others ;-)] who
have had or are about to have water births
and the procedures you have to go
through are greatly appreciated!

PS: Is Aqua Birth House English-friendly?
Like for the smallest of questions? I fear I
will be a curious child myself when it
comes to having my baby.....


By abbas khimji on Sunday, October 2, 2005 - 4:24 pm:

hello everybody

me and my wife are in the very early stages of pregnancy

we moved to japan from england

our japanese is pretty basic

we need to find out more information about clinics and delivery

we live in matsudo and would love to talk to people who have had babies in japan or have one in the oven

u can email me on abbas.khimji@hartfordlife.com

or my wife on tayibakhimji@yahoo.co.uk

we look forward to hearing from you

c u


By Admin on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 6:21 am:

OSAKA:
Yodogawa Christian Hospital
2-9-26 Awaji, Higashi Yodogawa Ku, Osaka, Japan 533-0032
http://www.ych.or.jp/e/history.html
Sorry, too late for Sherry Wood's post above, but better late than never.


By Swapnali on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 9:15 pm:

Hi
Anybody have experience of Sanno hospital's Dr. Seko? She does not speak english, but they provide translaters. I was wondering how they will handle during delivery?

Yes appointments and care is good here. I had been admitted for 1 day for some trouble, and got good care


By Sirisha Komanduri on Friday, May 18, 2007 - 1:06 am:

Hello Everyone!

We are planning to have our first baby this year. I live in kajigaya and work at saginuma. Both cities are in Kanagawa. I am curious to find an English speaking Gynecologist(female if possible) either on denentoshi line,in kawasaki or near shibuya.I would like to attend prenatal classes as well near I live. Any info on where and how who have had their baby/babies in Japan would be greatly apprecited.Please share your knowledge with me.Thanks in advance and thanks for your time!

Sirisha


By Amirtha on Sunday, July 1, 2007 - 11:59 pm:

Yamato City, Kanagawa:
Hi Ms.Sirisha,
There is a AIIKU Hospital in Minami Rinkan where therez a well experienced lady doctor who can speak quite good English. Few of my Indian friends who were her clients say that shez good! I too have met her once.If its not too far for u. Do take a look at the details of this hospital by clicking the link below.
http://www.aiiku-hos.or.jp/en/information.html
2-14-13, Minami-rinkan, Yamato-shi, Kanagawa-ken
242-0006
tel: 046-274-0077

Warm wishes, Amirtha Varshini


By Pipkins on Monday, September 24, 2007 - 11:35 pm:

Anybody have any experience of Kinoshita hospital in Seijo? We ended up there by default. Our requirements are no episiotomy, Caesarean if baby is too big (grandmother had her life wrecked because of a baby that was too big) and baby not being taken away to another room.


By Koalamama on Thursday, September 27, 2007 - 4:12 pm:

Sorry I dont know this hospital. Where is Seijo? I dont know that city.

Japanese hospitals tend to be pretty rigid in their policies so you might find it hard to meet your wishes. Most hospitals routinely do episiotomys on first timers. The believe its safer and heals faster than tearing. The jury seems to still be out on this but in the west its generally considered better to have a small tear than an epi. You should probably try to find a hospital that doesnt believe in either. These hospitals will also be the type that promote "free-style" birth as opposed to flat on your back in stirrups which is very common here. These more "liberal" hospitals along with Josanin (midwive clinics) also tend to encourage kangaroo care and breastfeeding whereas bigger mainstream hospitals with supply you with and tell you to give formula top ups.

If you go to a "liberal" hospital or midwive clinic they will be less inclined to do a c-section unless they feel its medically warranted. They cant do them at midwive clinics so you would have to transfer to a hospital. Some Japanese hospitals will do c-sections for babies they deem to be too big - but in my experience those hospitals will also take the baby away and wont let you see it till the next day. Its worth knowing that HEAPS of women birth big babies all the time. Nature doesnt usually make babies too big to be born by their mother. I know its scary but chances are your Grandmothers case was due to labour mismanagment - ie. telling to push when she should be breathing the baby out causing massive tearing. In hospitals that routinely do episiotomies the midwives and Drs lack experience in guiding out babies naturally. Private midwives are very skilled in this - as are some older female Drs. Its all about timing, control and breathing.

I foolishly went into a private clinic thinking "I'm having a natural birth so no worries". I ended up having a c-section and couldnt hold my baby till the next day. I was so sad and since then have done heaps of research. I found my c-section may well have been unnecessary and my induction was unnecessary too. Next time I will be up for a fight to birth vaginally - even though my first son was 9 pounds - I wouldnt have it any other way. A friend of mine had both her 9 pound sons with midwives - one at a clinic and one at home. No tearing, no epi.

If you can read Japanese there are lots of sites that feature reviews of certain hospitals. It may also be worthwhile to go to one of the big university hospitals and seeing if there is anyone there that speaks English. You may be able to ask them some questions and they might be able to recommend a hospital that would be willing to be more flexible.

Good Luck with your journey. HTHs a little.


By Simonaloe on Friday, June 6, 2008 - 12:35 am:

Hi,

My name is Simona. Has anyone had experience with Dr. Sakamoto recently? Also, are there any good doctors are Seibo hospital that give epidural?
Thanks


By Mikehood85 on Friday, June 6, 2008 - 1:13 am:

Hi Simona, I don't know Dr. Sakamoto, but I had a negative experience at Seibo. I don't recall the doctor's name (it has been several years), but when we asked about an epidural, HE said that they were not necessary, that women were tough. I suggested that he try having a baby before making such an assumption for all women. We decided to have both of our children delivered at Isshin Hospital in Otsuka, where my wife was offered an epidural and received excellent care from day one. It was also much cheaper than Seibo. I'm happy to talk off line if you have questions about Isshin. Cheers, Mike


By Lindagondo on Friday, June 6, 2008 - 7:10 am:

Simona, I haven`t given birth yet(still 36 weeks) however so far I have been very happy with Dr Sakamoto. He leaves it up to the mother as to how she wants to manage her pregnancy) I found him to be very supportive of any decisions I made during my pregnancy and supports the whole spectrum of choices out there(eg. amnio, no amnio, natural birth, elective caesarean, epidural, no pain relief etc etc. If there are medical complications then he will of course recommend the best course you should take to have a healthy baby, however for a normal healthy pregnancy, he seems to be very supportive of whatever you want to do. I found him to be very calm and reassuring.


By Simonaloe on Friday, June 6, 2008 - 1:15 pm:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your reply. I do know that many doctors do not administer pain relief. I chose Seibo Hospital because I cannot speak Japanese and because it is close to my house.

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the information. I am also Dr. Sakamoto's patient. I have seen him only once though. He is professional, but his delivery charges are a bit expensive. I read that he is so busy and that sometimes during delivery he has limited time. I am afraid of this situation, as I have a special condition.


By Sarahyasuhara on Friday, June 6, 2008 - 1:54 pm:

Hi Simona
I had a baby at Seibo 18 months ago. I didn't have an epidural and was told that if I used one of the Seibo doctors an epidural would only be used for a C section. Of course if Sakamoto delivers you there he can provide an epidural himself, so that would not be a problem.
Good luck!


By Reemtap on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 9:10 am:

Hi
Myself Reema(Originally From India). I have just shifted from Tsurumi,Yokohama to Oji,Kita-ku,Tokyo and I am expecting a baby on December.But I don't know where I have to book hospital(with english staff/doctors).
Akabane and Ikebukuro can be reachable within 10-15 minutes. Does anyone know good hospitals(or maternity clinic) near this area where I will give birth.(Price wont be a matter for me).Currently, I am checking at Ladies clinic at Oji, but they dont have facility for giving birth.I went to ward office and collected some info. But its not so good.

Seeking help from all of you.


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