Hospitals vs maternity clinics: I got to Japan when I was 22 weeks on Feb 8, 2013, and had to look for which hospital/maternity clinic to go to. I didn't really know the difference between the two so I'm really lucky I have an older sister who's had 2 babies, the first one (Hana) at the hospital and the second one (Mei) at a maternity clinic. The main difference is that at a maternity clinic they try to keep everything natural so no crazy hospital equipment and no doctors only midwives (obviously if there are any unforeseen complications during birth there's always a doctor on call and the clinics are close to hospitals so they can take you there if you need emergency help of any kind). That means you and your baby have to be completely healthy and there can't be any pregnancy complications, so if you've had complications conceiving in the first place, are taking medication or other hormones, if you've ever had a miscarriage, if you're bleeding, any other major problems that you've had either in the past or while you're pregnant, and if you have to have a C-section for any reason. The midwives are only there to help encourage you while you're giving birth and you have to use your own strength to give birth.

The hospital I've chosen has a maternity ward so I have both options but unfortunately because I came a bit too late at 22 weeks I have to give birth in the hospital delivery room with all its bright lights and dazzling gadgets. I'm not too worried about it other than the fact that I have no choice but to give birth lying on my back. I would have preferred giving birth on all fours or some other way where gravity will help but oh well! Other than that at this hospital there isn't any big difference between the two birthing choices.

Japan vs Australia: The doctors here are great. I said earlier that I was glad the GP in Australia was a woman because if it was a man I don't know if he would have had much knowledge all..only real basic stuff.. But the doctor I see here is great. He's a man but specializes in pregnancy (I don't know what they're called haha) so I feel a lot more at ease. There's always a midwife present too. The GP I saw in Australia said I only need to start worrying about which hospital to give birth in  when I get to about 30 weeks and even then go to the hospital at the very end of my pregnancy where they do other sorts of tests to make sure everything's okay. In Japan you make this decision at the very start when you find out you're pregnant and see the same doctor each time. They give you a booklet that's full of information about what to expect during pregnancy and areas for the docs to fill out each time -- weight, blood pressure, how big your belly is, how big your baby is, 3 pee tests they perform for example to check if your pee is clear of excess protein (which could lead to preeclampsia). There's also another booklet for after your baby's born where it gives you information on breastfeeding, when to start feeding solids, what to feed them etc., and an area for doctors to keep track of immunizations and other health checks. I was absolutely amazed at this. At the GP I was in and out of there in 5-10mins where she just checked my blood pressure and asked how I was doing. Here they fill out the booklet each time, see you once a month until 28 weeks, then every two weeks until 37 weeks, and every week after that until your baby's born. I really can't ask for better care.

After I give birth I'm also required to be hospitalized for about a week and this is so that you can rest and bond with your baby one-on-one. The midwives are always there to take over if you've had a difficult delivery and you're just too exhausted and they teach you basics like changing nappies, how to give them a bath, how to do breast massages if they get clogged, etc. They also keep track of your blood loss during and after you give birth. I heard that in America and some other western countries they release you after a day (is that true??) unless you've had a C-section and that's incredible. The mothers must be exhausted as well as be pretty anxious about how to go about caring for a newborn especially if it's their first child. I'm really glad I'll get to rest up at the hospital and learn all the essential things that I'm clueless about. They also make you breast feed (if you're producing milk without any problems) every 3 hours and when I went to the last maternity class they said they'll even wake us up if we're asleep lol. I've been sleeping a lot lately so hopefully I'll survive, but having Natalie there and knowing it's for her will probably make everything alright! Argghhh I can't wait to meet her!!

5/1/2013 12:19:19 pm

Yoko- Thank you so much for sharing! Majide your take on Austraila vs. Japan maternity/hospital care was sooo insightful and interesting! Watashimo I've heard how Nihon no houga they are better at making sure the mother is well rested and giving you a week to recover and unwind in the hospital vs. other places where you need to leave soon after giving birth. So happy for you and glad you choose to have Baby Natalie in Japan :) Watashimo shourai sou shitai kiga suru~! Haha!

5/1/2013 12:40:11 pm

beetanian....tte I'm assuming it's Bita?? lol :P Yeah, me mo I was clueless so thought it would be good to write a bit about it. I'm sure you'll find a place that will take good care of you but you might have to pay extra for that kind of care. Nihon wa it's normal to be hospitalized no matter where you decide to give birth so it makes it easier to choose where you want to have your baby. Other countries might require more research. If I have another baby I'll most likely be in Australia next time but knowing what I know now I'll know where to start looking and what questions to ask :)

5/3/2013 10:07:10 am

I'm not surprised about this. Australia has one of the worst health care system. I would actually rather go to the hospitals in the Philippines. You're in good hands!

10/7/2013 11:19:05 pm

A wide selection of equipment that will improve the work of your hospital


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