Pregnant in Japan: Resources

pregnant in Japan, pregnancy, Japan
Perhaps you know by now that I am indeed pregnant (21 weeks!) - so I've compiled a list of  pregnancy and childbirth resources (related to Japan) I've found helpful in the last few months, and then continue in the coming weeks and months with a series about my experiences.

I know many of you have given birth in Japan and have very different experiences, so I want to invite you to please share whatever you feel comfortable sharing - if you wrote some blog posts about your experience, feel free to post a link to them in the comments. Hopefully we'll be able to provide a nice variety of information for other soon-to-be mothers (and fathers).


Childbirth Education Center  - Run by Brett Iimura, who provides information and birthing classes to the foreign community. Based in Tokyo, but she will be conducting classes by Skype now (yay!) and was very helpful to me when I sent her an email asking if she had any recommendations for birthing facilities in my area - as I was having a pretty difficult time (more on that in a later post).

Tokyo Pregnancy Group - This is probably most helpful to women in and around Tokyo, so doesn't apply to me so much, but you'll still find some very useful information and resources on their blog, which help no matter where you live in Japan.

Nagoya Foreign Mothers Group - Though most helpful to women in the Nagoya area, still more good resources and information, including list of medical/birthing-related terms in Japanese.

Japan with Kids - A forum that is a bit outdated, but still has some helpful info.

La Leche League Tokyo

Why doesn't national health insurance pay for maternity care? - From Yen for Living, in case you were wondering.

Tokyo Stroller - A resource devoted to finding and listing information in English for moms in Tokyo.

Personal Accounts

These are various blogs I've found with personal accounts of pregnancy and childbirth in Japan - all very different and worth checking out.

Blue Lotus - From 2010.

Japan Window - From around 2002. Tokyo area

Takara in Tokyo - Winter 2010/2011. Tokyo area

Industrious Ants - Recently had her baby. Small town in Kyuushu.

A Little Place in Japan - October 2010. Yokosuka.

Find a Hospital, OBGYN, Ladies Clinic, Midwife or Midwife Clinic

Of course, ask around first and see what other people in your area recommend. My husband and I asked around, (I also contacted Brett at the CEC above when we were running out of options) and did some online research. It can be difficult to find places in English if you aren't in Tokyo or another metropolis, so for that reason I found the following site IMMENSELY helpful (and I will do a write-up on it soon):

Women's Park - Search by prefecture, city, etc. Read reviews, see average costs of birth at the facilities, etc. Great information - yes it's all in Japanese but a browser translator or similar tool will help and it's really worth digging through.

Japanese Midwives Association - Look up midwives or midwife clinics in your area. Search function is Japanese only. You can also find a branch list here - some prefectures have their own websites with lists of midwives by city.

Also see, Pregnant in Japan: How to find a doctor, hospital or midwife and
Pregnant in Japan: Visiting the Doctor and What to Expect

Where to Find Maternity Clothes

This one is a bit difficult - and this coming from someone who looks high and low for resources! I've included a few links here, although I can't guarantee the styles and pricing are that great. So far my clothes still fit, even if a bit snug around my tummy, but I may just get a few items from Old Navy in the US or something like that. I don't really want to shell out a bunch of money on clothes I probably won't wear too often (and try to get items that I can potentially wear, pregnant or not). That said, some places in Japan:

Muji - pretty small selection, but a few good possibilities.

Akachan Honpo - seems to be recommended across the forums I've seen. - an OK selection, but not that extensive.


Babies R Us - Not so much in the way of clothes as inner wear, tights, bras, and similar items.

Sweet Mommy - For some reason looks like shopping for teenage clothes, but hey might be some options.

Your local department store may also have some options to check out. You can search online with these phrases: 妊娠の服 (にんしんのふく, pregnancy clothes), マタニティウエア (maternity wear), マタニティ (maternity)

Diet, Nutrition and Weight Gain

For information about what to expect in Japan, read this post: Pregnant in Japan: Diet, Nutrition & Weight Gain

That's what I've got for now - what resources or links do you have to add?

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