Living as a foreigner in Japan has conveyed its own ups and downs but giving birth in Japan is probably one of the former that gaijin (foreigners) mothers can fully treasure. Though the procedure might differ now, following the Covid-19 ongoing pandemic, it is undeniable that the puerperal care and support provided through the hospital is persistently excellent.
A survey conducted by UNICEF stated that Japan is the safest country for newborn babies in the first month of their lives. The mortality rate of this group of infants is 1 in 1,111. The record seems to be the lowest in the world next to Iceland (1 in 1,000) and Singapore (1 in 909). Parents—especially new ones—can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the process of giving birth in Japan, followed by the confinement days, will be in good hands.
Making a healthy baby takes effort. It requires foresight and self-denial and courage. It’s expensive and demanding and tiring. You have to learn new things, change many habits, possibly deal with complicated medical situations, make difficult decisions, and undergo stressful ordeals.
Let mama rest
Childbirth—a sacrifice performed by women which lies somewhere between painful and excruciating on a scale—is enough reason for mothers to be treated with gentle care soon after delivery as they need ample time to recover and rest from the rigors of labor.
While 24 to 48 hours of postpartum hospital admission is considered a norm for regular delivery in many countries around the world, women in Japan can expect much more generous ward confinement in between five to eight days and even longer for cesarean delivery. To some, the length of stay might not be the most euphoric idea especially when you are at the most fragile period you have probably ever had in your life, yet the benefits behind this whole idea are beyond substantial.
Hands-on supportive guidance for clueless mamas
With a fresh little one being born comes the sine qua non to perform a new series of daily tasks—including but not limited to breastfeeding, changing diapers, bathing, and even holding. Though they all sound as easy as pie, when they involve a newborn, they are not really. Without proper knowledge and continuous practice, performing your responsibilities as a new mom can be a daunting task.
This is when the stay comes super handy as you will be preparing yourself with the help and support from the caring and sweet staff. And the fact that mothers with new babies tend to be magnets for unsolicited advice regardless of any culture, will make them appreciate the lessons and guidance rather at the most. At the end of the stay, there is no doubt that the mommies will be more equipped, if not already a pro.
Meal to heal
Well-prepared, nutritious traditional Japanese food—or more familiarly called 和食 (washoku, “traditional Japanese cuisine”)—that consists of minimally processed small dishes of simple, fresh and seasonal ingredients are being served several times a day for the healing mothers.
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