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In Japan, women are usually kept in hospital for up to a week after giving birth, while in the West, if there are no complications, mothers usually go home the next day, or even less, as was the case

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Well a clue is the large number of ATM machines you see in the lobby area of hospitals. The hospitals are run like businesses here and it would not surprise me if staff are on commission to get patients to stay in as long as they can.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

Well a clue is the large number of ATM machines you see in the lobby area of hospitals. The hospitals are run like businesses here and it would not surprise me if staff are on commission to get patients to stay in as long as they can.

1) They're not.

2) Women don't have babies in the big hospitals that you are describing. They go to birthing clinics.

-19 ( +13 / -31 )

Yes, it is probably a money issue for the most part. However, I think culturally, it may be that Japanese men are nearly useless around the home and as soon as the woman comes back home, she would be right back to work, serving said useless husband. Could also be that young Japanese women are largely ignorant about child rearing, and the week in the hospital gives staff a chance to teach the new mothers a few things. I know my wife`s time in the hospital was quite informative.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

No matter what you will be paying thousands of dollars on top of your insurance. If fees were dropped you would probably see doctors recommending you go home the next day. In any case Japanese always go the long safe route than the quickie.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

For a start, the duchess of Cambridge goes home to a palaceful of serving staff; she probably has it easier at home than in any hospital, no matter how private and exclusive. Why don't we all do things like the rich and royal do? is a bit of a non-starter.

As for the rest of us, those few extra days being waited on are precious. Being able to relax after 9 months of weight-lifting with the abdominal muscles, not worrying about cooking, cleaning or anything else, is a huge plus. Knowing that if there are any unforeseen issues either with yourself or with the baby, professional help is immediately to hand, is a great relief.

Healthy mothers going home to an appropriate environment have the option to leave hospital earlier (after her last birth, my daughter was discharged on the fourth day instead of a week - apparently this is becoming more common), but for a mother who has to go home to a nuclear family and be in charge of everything plus a new baby right from the start (and especially for those poor souls, thankfully fewer these days, who must go home to a domestically-feckless husband and domineering mil who expect her to return at once to the role of general dogsbody), those few extra days to rest and regroup her strength are precious.

18 ( +29 / -11 )

@Strangerland: 1. Yes, they are. Hotel like service costs money. KA-CHING! 2. Not always true, depends on the case. Lots of national hospitals in Japan where births are 'performed'.

7 ( +13 / -7 )

@Cooking and cleaning or anything else, isn't there another adult in the house to do that? There is in ours.

8 ( +11 / -4 )

Maybe an evolving compromise between the traditional month off in 'some East Asian societies' and the 48 to 96 hours covered by insurance (at least in the USA).

Also, it seems like our doctor (or prenatal learning materials) saying that in the old days Western women stayed in the hospital longer, so maybe it's just a matter of time for Japan to evolve (or devolve).

The wikipedia paragraph about "sitting the month" below doesn't mention Japanese, but at least one poster in a google hit said her Japanese friends also "did the month".

Another factor is, that sometimes even if Western women take a long maternity leave with permission and encouragement of lower-level (and likely-to-be-younger) managers, the older executives don't like it and the leave becomes a risk factor against continued employment on their return. That info is several years dated but customs die hard.

Whereas if I'm remembering some of the posts on JT correctly, the new moms mostly don't expect to rejoin the workforce anyway, so it doesn't matter how much time they take off. Yes, postnatal care in hospital is not the same as maternity leave, but a longer available maternity leave (including "forever") could affect customary length of postnatal care in hospital, I think.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpartum_period#East_Asia

In some East Asian cultures, such as Chinese, South Korean, and Vietnamese, there is a traditional custom of postpartum confinement known in English as doing the month or sitting the month (Mandarin zuò yuèzi 坐月子). Confinement traditionally lasts 30 days.

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_newborns.html

US Department of Labor - FAQs About Newborns' And Mothers' Health Protection

I am pregnant. How does the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996 affect my health care benefits?

The Newborns' Act affects the amount of time you and your newborn child are covered for a hospital stay following childbirth. Group health plans, insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) that are subject to the Newborns' Act may not restrict benefits for a hospital stay in connection with childbirth to less than 48 hours following a vaginal delivery or 96 hours following a delivery by cesarean section. However, the attending provider may decide, after consulting with you, to discharge you or your newborn child earlier. In any case, the attending provider cannot receive incentives or disincentives to discharge you or your child earlier than 48 hours (or 96 hours).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Birth customs are different throughout the world. In Japan most women give birth without painkillers because of the Buddhist perception of suffering. We have a belief that labor pains act as a kind of test that a woman must endure in preparation for the challenging role or womanhood. However some women do prefer an epidural because it can create a comfortable and peaceful experience. In general our hospital stays are longer than in America. We have a minimum stay of five days for a vagina birth and ten or more days for a cesarean delivery. After leaving the hospital we often stay with the baby at our mother's home for a month or longer because it is a cultural tradition.

7 ( +11 / -3 )

Well, I think it's somewhat related to the Japanese custom of lavishing attention on children in general, but the major component is financial - Japan's national health care system (which I am a fan of) regulates the price of all medical procedures, so any margins are made on the length of the hospital stay. My experience is that inpatient hospitalization in Japan for all treatments are for much longer timeframes than in other counties.

I think that's why we see the unique practice In Japan of describing treatment for illnesses in terms of time - i.e, this __will require 3 weeks of hospitalization, etc.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I had both my children at home, with the aid of a community midwife. Hospitals and noisy and impersonal, not the best place to have a baby if you've had a healthy pregnancy. My friend went home the same day after all three of her deliveries. I think hospital stays in Japan are far too long for most health problems, let alone for normal pregnancies and deliveries.

-4 ( +4 / -9 )

We used a clinic and my wife actually liked the extra stay. Got to rest and recover properly and the staff taught us many useful things while she was there. It did somehow ease the transition into a life with a baby. That said, five-six days might be a bit too long and yes, it is expensive.

4 ( +7 / -2 )

Where I am from in Cali, for a natural birth depending on the hospital quality, it costs between $3000-$37000 for just the delivery process alone. It is more than twice that if it is a C-Section. I think I'd go home ASAP too if I was barely making ends meet. My cousin last year had a baby in the morning and was gone by the evening.

Here, I had a baby at a private clinic for ¥500,000 but over 80% was paid for by my town and that was for a 5 night stay by my wife including 3 meals a day in a private room. I find it funny though that the price changes if the mother's stay includes the weekend or National Holiday. If you have a baby during New Years vacation or Golden Week, I bet it costs a lot more.

The question that should be asked is why do women in Japan go back to their mom's house for a month or longer after birth and Western women go back to their husbands?

6 ( +8 / -1 )

Strangerland

Women don't have babies in the big hospitals that you are describing. They go to birthing clinics

I beg to differ... Our first son was born in a big hospital in Japan - and I'm not ready to forget it... The babies are whisked away and mothers only get to see them at feeding time... I would have preferred to go home... (hubby was an excellent cook).

Second son was born in France and placed in a beautiful "curtained" crib in my private room. We went back to my friends' house two days later.

6 ( +9 / -4 )

Just ask a Japanese mother. It would be basically what cleo said.

Elizabeth HeathJun. 09, 2015 - 09:41AM JST

Hospitals and noisy and impersonal, not the best place to have a baby if you've had a healthy pregnancy.

Not quite. Many hospitals specializing in obstetrics are hotel-like and are not noisy or impersonal. http://www.sannoclc.or.jp/

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Well a clue is the large number of ATM machines you see in the lobby area of hospitals.

This has more to do with the fact that Japan is a cash society where most people pay their medical bills up front and with actual yen, and not credit or via checking accounts.

In Japan most women give birth without painkillers because of the Buddhist perception of suffering.

I defy anyone to find 100 Japanese women who've had a child in the past year who have made the decision to avoid painkillers because of closely held Buddhist beliefs. Buddhism in Japan holds sway largely in matters of death and funerals than life, and more out of tradition than any concious adherence to its tenets.

In more cases than not, it's the doctor who guides the expecting mother away from painkillers -- if the doc mentions them as an option at all -- citing a lack of medical necessity in the face of potential complications from analgesics that outweigh relatively momentary discomfort. Heard this firsthand from three different obstretricians.

Hospitals and noisy and impersonal, not the best place to have a baby if you've had a healthy pregnancy.

To each their own. My wife had our child at a smaller maternity clinic and stayed for 5 days. It was safe, clean, quiet, and pleasant relative to the inevitable pain of childbirth. My wife wouldn't have had it any other way and I have no complaints about the process whatsoever. The 5-day stay allowed my wife to rest up, gave me breathing room to get the house ready, work, and get cooking sorted out for when my wife and child came home, and most importantly, allowed us as a family to get to know one another in a quiet sanctuary free of the majority of pressures our harried and hurried moderns lives normally entail. Then we went back to our own home and functioned as a nuclear family. It was nice and we have no regrets.

I can't speak for other nations, but the American way (at least over the past 20 years or so) to get 'em in and get 'em out as quick as possible -- and for considerably more money than it would cost in Japan -- is absurd.

-2 ( +5 / -8 )

I beg to differ... Our first son was born in a big hospital in Japan

I stand corrected.

2 ( +6 / -5 )

2) Women don't have babies in the big hospitals that you are describing. They go to birthing clinics.

Hahahahaha! Good joke!

Let's be honest, it's all about the money and your average J woman not really having a clue on how to care for a baby. No babysitting culture, few kids equals less chance of experience.

I beg to differ that J men are any more useless than their western counterparts. A quick chat with friends back home might open your eyes about how many men - and women - honesty have zero experience until they have their own.

-4 ( +6 / -11 )

This difference (between Japan and the USA, at least) exists not only for childbirth but for pretty much every major medical procedure. One obvious difference between Japan and the USA is that the latter country is characterized by de facto rationing of health care by private sector insurance companies (things may have changed a bit since the start of "Obamacare" but private companies still wield great power). Representatives from those companies prowl the hallways of American hospitals every day. They pressure doctors to quickly release patients from the hospital or farm them out to lower-cost institutions in a bid to keep down the costs that insurance companies have to pay. The well-being of patients is rarely or never given first priority in such situations.

I guess Japan's system has evolved differently and therefore the power wielded by private health insurance companies (which do exist in Japan) over what are sometimes literally life-and-death decisions regarding the length of hospital stay is far more restricted.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The 3-7 day stay is to let the woman recover, they also teach her how to breastfeed and more. It. Also covers the hospital in case anything goes wrong with the mother and child.

And, yes, most births are given in birthing clinics vs hospitals, they will also do pre and post-natal care.

By Japanese law the father is entitled to 3 days sick leave which is mostly used to handle paperwork at City-hall.

Many women also go back to their parents for giving birth and stay a while.

All Parents are new to babies and books etc don't help much as every baby is different even among the same parents.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Often a pregnancy is harder for the dad so I think the Japanese system is really great for us guys... a 5 day break before the doo-dah really hits the fan...

8 ( +10 / -3 )

LFRAgain: I can't speak for other nations, but the American way (at least over the past 20 years or so) to get 'em in and get 'em out as quick as possible -- and for considerably more money than it would cost in Japan -- is absurd.

In the US, the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act is a federal law that provides hospital stay benefits to newborn children and their mothers. The act was signed into law in 1996. If your insurer provides maternity benefits and is subject to the act, it must provide you hospital stay benefits for at least 48 hours for vaginal delivery births. For cesarean section births, your hospital stay benefits can’t be restricted for 96 hours. Your attending provider can decide to discharge you or your newborn earlier -- after consulting with you. Your 48-hour or 96-hour time period starts at the time of delivery if you deliver in the hospital. It starts when you’re admitted to the hospital if you deliver outside the hospital.

The bottom line is that no two women are exactly the same and while one may wish to get out of the hospital and back to the comfort and familiarity of her own home as quickly as possible, another may wish to stay in the hospital as long as is allowed in order to gain confidence in her ability to nurse and take care of her baby. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to childbirth so hospitals and doctors should be flexible towards mothers' and their babies' needs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Our first son was born in a big hospital in Japan - and I'm not ready to forget it... The babies are whisked away and mothers only get to see them at feeding time

It depends on the hospital. Both our kids were born in big hospitals. First time, I was in a two-bed room with en suite, fabulous meals and plenty of time to relax. Babies were 'delivered' to mothers from the baby room on a trolley at feed times, if you wanted your baby with you at other times you had to ask. Second time, I was in a noisy 6-bed room, very basic hospital meals that had to be supplemented from outside, babies stayed in a crib beside mother's bed unless she asked for the baby to be taken away. The second time was way more fun.

The question that should be asked is why do women in Japan go back to their mom's house for a month or longer after birth

My daughter came back to us for a month or so after each birth. It gave her a chance to rest as she bonded with the new baby without having to rush around worrying about shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, let her husband get on with his job knowing that his wife and baby were in good hands and being looked after, and gave us the chance to get to know the new little one and help look after the older kiddies and keep them out of mama's hair. The first time, it was also a good opportunity to help the new mother through the little anxieties that inevitably crop up over the 3 B's (breastfeeding, burping, bathing) and to assure her that all the weird noises and smells were perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. The newborn and mother have their first scheduled check-up at one month, so that's a good time to up and go home.

5 ( +8 / -4 )

The lack of an option for painkillers (epidural) at most hospitals is probably one factor. From what I heard from a woman who gave birth naturally for her first child and had an epidural for her second, the difference is huge. With the epidural, she felt like she could go jogging right after giving birth.

Another thing is they monitor the babies after birth so it makes sense for the mother to stay with the baby. This may be one of the reasons why Japan has a much lower infant mortality rate when compared to USA.

In general though, it is just more common and cheaper to stay in the hospital in Japan compared to some other countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

With the epidural, she felt like she could go jogging right after giving birth.

That doesn't sound like a good idea...

3 ( +5 / -3 )

@tmarie: Let's be honest, it's all about the money and your average J woman not really having a clue on how to care for a baby. No babysitting culture, few kids equals less chance of experience.

Got to love your sweeping generalizations and jump-to-conclusions logic tmarie. If you stop to think for a while you might get to think that no babysitting culture might by some distant chance also mean that women in Japan spend more time with their kids than western mothers do? And, believe it or not, no matter how much you have babysat in you teenage years and your twenties, no babysitting at that age can fully prepare you for taking care of your new-born child who depend on you 24 hours 7 days a week.

@It's me: All Parents are new to babies and books etc don't help much as every baby is different even among the same parents.

Guess some posters here do knot know how true it is.

@the rougou: The lack of an option for painkillers (epidural) at most hospitals is probably one factor.

Exactly. Most hospitals do not offer epidurals and I guess that medical science (pros and cons of epidurals aside) there are few doctors trained to administer epidurals in general. The difference of natural birth and one with epidural is huge and the latter definately makes birth a positive experience for the mother, allowing her to recover faster and thus enjoy bonding with her newborn child immediately after the baby is born.

@LFRAgain:In more cases than not, it's the doctor who guides the expecting mother away from painkillers -- if the doc mentions them as an option at all

Sorry to differ, but it is more that few doctors are trained to administer epidurals than potential complications due to modern painkillers during birth. The ones who have received proper training do not hesitate to recommend epidurals and guide you through the whole process making it indeed a positive experience.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I actually asked about that in the hospital when my son was born. They explained that lots of mothers have no idea about changing nappies/daipers, breast feeding and breast milk, not to mention new routine of 3 hours sleep at a time if they are lucky, and so on. Lots of mothers do know but lots of mothers don't, it seems. They said they were just, sort of covering the child-welfare bottom line. Incidentally my son's mum was in hospital for 6 days.

Rorting health insurance by hospitals might be one negative motive or effect, but possibly there are positive effects as well.

By the way, my mother in the 1960s in Sydney was in hospital for a week or more for each of her 6 children ( was oldest and yes I remember 5 of them. But I suppose it is getting closer to the 2060s now, so my memory may not matter any more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For comparison purposes, the infant mortality rate for Japan is 2.17 deaths per 1,000 live births, placing it at No.3 in the world behind Singapore and Iceland.

Australia - #19

The U.K. - #25

The U.S. - #34

WHO attributes part of Japan's success to its practice of keeping new moms and their newborns in the hospital longer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There is no one simple reason for infant mortality rates being lower in some countries than in others. Factors include: the accessibility to health care, education levels of expectant mothers, economic disparity, the way various countries calculate infant mortality rates (No, they don't all calculate them the same.), and so on. The leading cause of infant mortality in the US is premature birth. The reasons for that are not so simply explained either. If the US is going to be the constant go-to whipping boy for negative comparisons, at least get the facts right.

In fact, the analysis published in 2009 by MacDorman and her colleagues at the CDC found that if the United States had the same rate of preterm births as Sweden, [our] infant mortality rate would be 33 percent lower. Instead of six deaths per 1,000 births, it would be four, closer to Sweden’s rate of three per 1,000.

http://sm.stanford.edu/archive/stanmed/2013fall/article2.html

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Because in Japan, it generally takes the infant baby about a week until its urine turns from blue (like the diaper adds you see on TV) to a normal, healthy bronze colour. In the West, this stage is not necessary due largely to different diets.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I think you'll find that it really depends on the hospital / clinic. People have VASTLY different experiences. And it's changing all the time.

Most mothers also just love being in hospital here. You'll find in general hospital stays are longer. Not many people are allowed to say "I'm just taking it easy". But in hospital its the only time many people can just do nothing.

Having said that.... Yes, I think these women should be out the next day, looking after the baby, cleaning up the mess that was created when they were away, and of course putting on some lingerie and getting back to being a sultry temptress between feeds.

So I thought until my third divorce.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The leading cause of infant mortality in the US is premature birth.

My guess is not being kept in hospital / bed-rest before birth is a possible reason for this. The doctors were afraid my wife would give birth prematurely so they kept her in the hospital for about 3 months and gave her utemerin as well. Necessary or not, I doubt that would have happened in the US.

If the US is going to be the constant go-to whipping boy for negative comparisons, at least get the facts right.

Nobody is making the US a whipping boy. I'm from US which is why it was on my mind as a possible reason, and LFR then provided some further information which lists Australia, and U.K. as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ishikoku.

Giving birth is not covered by medical aid(unless there are complications) as it is a nonessential procedure.

But towns and wards will give money for each registered birth, my wife had a single room and the money covered about 95% of the total cost.

There were 2 maternity clinics close to us one I wouldn't even set a foot into, the other was highly recommended.

Both close enough that we could walk there after the contractions set in.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@LFRAgainJP

That is one factor, but prenatal care and other factors may come into play. Thanks for the rankings, as I consider this to be one important metric of a nation's medical care system.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

there are lots of reasons women in japan stay in a hospital/birthing clinic for a week after giving birth. these places actually teach the basics of caring for a newborn, like bathing, breastfeeding, diaper changing and even how to hold the baby. believe it or not, most of us have no idea how to do these things. and the nurses and doctors are there to answer any questions new parents might have. There are also post natal checks on the newborm and the mom to see if everything is ok. as a new dad, it was great to have all of this support. but i'd say the biggest reason this happens in japan is because the gov't subsidizes it (up to around 400,000 yen).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Since the birthrate is of serious concern, birthing mothers should not have to pay the hospital costs. The stay should be increased to two to three weeks with great comforts and great food, like having a luxury vacation and all of this just encourage more people to have more babies. Birthing clinics need to be more like luxury hotels.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

In explaining the Duchess of Cambridge going home the same day, NHK News said Western women have a larger pelvic bone, and there is therefore less strain on the mother's body compared with Japanese women...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The assistance provided to my wife in Japan was very gentle and helpful. 5 days to recoup is a good thing. Its a tough go giving birth, and usually no painkillers. Were due again next month. Luckily, this time my wife works at a large hospital with international repute and they recently started offering epidurals. This should help reduce some of the stress at childbirth. The western way is a little too quick in my opinion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MizuameJun. 09, 2015 - 03:20PM JST

Western women have a larger pelvic bone,

Likely true.

http://anthropology.net/2008/10/06/higher-rates-of-c-section-deliveries-for-asian-mothers-white-fathers/

The average female adult has a biiliac width of 28 cm. But, east Asian populations, such as the Japanese have smaller pelvises, with less variation. The average billiac width of women from Japan is around 27.2 +/- .02 cm (Ikoma et al., 1988).

This all makes sense, east Asian people are on average smaller than white people or people from Africa. In fact, anthropologists have regularly relied on estimating body size and mass from biiliac measurements. The average Japanese woman is 153 cm tall, while European women from Germany or the Netherlands average 166 cm in height.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The difference of natural birth and one with epidural is huge and the latter definately makes birth a positive experience for the mother

No one ever suggested I might want an epidural and I never thought I might need one, but then I have a bit of a 'thing' about taking unnecessary drugs. Instead I practiced Lamarze techniques, both times, and it worked very well. I felt in control of what was happening, with no anxiety over the use of drugs and possible side effects on me or the baby: and both times the birth was a very positive experience.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As an Asian husband I was ok with my wife and child staying longer at the hospital so that a recovery after birth and rest for my wife to get strength and care while I tended and prepared the home ready for both of them to come home. Unlike most Asian men,I take responsibility for my family and wife and in the preparations hired a care worker for her so that she could continue to get rest and care and not be stressed out over house duties. This way I too had time for both family and job. This plan worked out well in both cases when it came to our children and after birth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plain and simple... they baby their people...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

When my wife discovered she was pregnant, her Japanese doctor decided on which day the baby would be born. She duly checked into the hospital in Tokyo the day before. By the evening of the big day she hadn't gone into labour, so it was induced with drugs(!!!) This caused problems, so she had to have an emergency ceasarian (c-section.) I was shocked by this cold adherence to the schedule. She then had her 5 days of resting in the hospital, but as she was walking out the door she collapsed and nearly died. She had a massive pituitary tumour and almost lethally low blood pressure, but the doctors hadn't noticed anything untoward. She then had to stay in hospital for a month while I looked after our newborn.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A general comment regarding some ruffled feathers caused by comparing Japan's infant mortality rate to those of other industrialized nations. I provided that data to put Japan's approach to healthcare into a specific perspective, namely concrete outcomes.

The U.S. spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world, outpacing Japan by more than double. Yet there are noticeable differences, in some cases dramatic, in terms of what the general populace is getting for that investment.

Patients in Japan generally suffer (or enjoy, depending on your perspective) longer hospital stays, pay by law into a one-payer social insurance scheme, and tend to go to hospitals or clinics for seemingly minor medical inconveniences, like common colds, to be sent home with a supply of prescription medicines, many of which are scarcely necessary.

But Japanese also enjoy a longer lifespan and a lower infant mortality rate, spending considerably less on healthcare than the leading spender in the world. There's obviously something at work there that bears closer scrutiny and can't simply be dismissed as a matter of reporting differences on how infant mortality among premature births is factored into the equation.

America leads the world in many of the most advanced medicines, of that there is little mistake. But how much of that medicine is made readily available to the general public to mitigate, say, higher infant mortality for preemies which tend to occur among Americans living at the lowest socio-economic rung of the ladder? The answer is that it's not.

So, if you're feeling a little put off by the idea that America might not be doing best with the current healthcare system it employs, then you should. People should be critical of the systems they take for granted or as a matter of course. But don't shoot the messenger because the truth makes you uncomfortable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@taiko666

I had a very similar experience with our first son... The doctor didn't check if I might be allergic to the drug he used to induce the birth - and the baby and I both almost died... I didn't need a caesarian but it almost felt like one when I was "cut" (NO pain killers...) and the baby "sucked out" leaving a big blood clot on his head...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

****The first week post partum, is critical to the newborn and its mother. This when and where he mother and child connection, start to establish. This is the time when a significant amount of weight, that was gained during pregnancy, is transferred to the newborn. It come usually in the breast milk. Mother's milk has all the nutritional ingredients that are; "must have" to the baby. Most of all it is pure Self-Molecules, so that no issues of immune compatibility exist. The mother, by relieving herself of the thirty pounds of weight gain, feels a whole lot better. She is much less depressed, Not working at home, she sleeps better(In power nap fashion of short burst), Sleeping right, is the opportunity for it, to repair and remodel itself.Consequently,milk production is far better, The newborn remains in good health. As for the husband that he is left at home, he will have a one week of quietness at home. It is then that he will prepare himself for the mother and baby arriving. Loving both of them. I think that one week in the hospital, post partum, is a good investment in the future of a nation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lots of people talking the mother child connection, interesting. There's another dynamic, the father. I watched my children being born, the doctor trying to have me leave, ha, no way dude. I was in there at the hospital every day after work... there I was, cleaning, washing, dressing and loving and looking after those children along with mum. Fathers bond too people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yo gYang.

Of course father child bond is important, but it will never be as strong as a mother child one. Easy reason we males are outsiders/spectators during the pregnancy, we don't how it feels to have something grow within us

Many women talk about a feeling of loss after birth and some got problems seeing the infant as something that was part of their body.

Giving birth also prepares a woman's body, mind and hormones for breastfeeding, an important trigger that often is not present with a C-Section.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In accordance with Say's Law, supply creates its own demand. If they've got the beds they're going to use them. It's just not just for new mothers. Average lengths of stay for all illnesses in Japan are well well above world averages.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was hospitalised here with nasty food-poisoning for two whole weeks (lost 12 kg, great diet), at the end of which I demanded to be allowed home. Despite their advice, I'd had enough of those idiot Japanese doctors and their money-grabbing, keep-you-in-hospital ways.

Within three days I was back with all the same symptoms plus horrible bleeding. Next time I'll listen to what they tell me....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

To make sure there are no potential psychological or emotional issue that could result in either the baby or mother being harmed. If necessary I think one week should readily extendable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My doctor student has told me on several occasions that hospitals are a business.If they can't earn money,they can't get the latest equipment to treat patients.He also said hospitals squabble to get patients when there's an ambulance looking for a hospital in an emergency.Why? To get money. Actually near where I live,the hospital will close down soon and merge with another one and the plan is to target sick people who need treatment.Not people with a cold,flu or a cough.Little money to be made with them,but people who need operations or real treatment to generate money. So it's obvious why hospitals keep women in longer than they need to.Sure it's good for the women to chill out and be "taught" what to do.Your mother could do that but anyway,it's about money.

In 1947,women in Japan were having 4.7 kids each,so women didn't have time to lay around in the hospital,because new kids would be coming in quickly.But with today's anemic birthrate,hospitals are glad to have you stay 5-7 days under the guise of why you should.But it all comes back to money and business.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Because in Japan, it generally takes the infant baby about a week until its urine turns from blue (like the diaper adds you see on TV) to a normal, healthy bronze colour. In the West, this stage is not necessary due largely to different diets.

?!?!?!?!?! This is a joke, right?!

6 ( +8 / -3 )

In Japan, the insurance policy is not designed to focus on making money and the insurance covers longer period. The society as whole cares more about the patients. In America, the money making insurance companies don't want to pay (and don't pay) for the hospital, doctors, nurses, and all necessary medical equipment more than one day. Therefore, regardless of what the patient really needs, the insurance companies basically kick the patient out of the care facilities. In this way, the insurance company can save much money. (For this reason, DO NOT let any American insurance companies come to Japan.) Other reason (this is what I heard from a doctor) is that a hospital is, after all, a place where sick people gather. As you stay longer, the contamination from the sick people around your baby can be transferred to your new baby. In the case with the Duchess of Cambridge, they probably worry about terrorist's attack or any other crazy attack. It is better to move to their own house where provides more security as soon as they can.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's the Duchess' second baby, also, she's likely got medical staff at wherever she's returned to from hospital, in addition to paramedics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In 1947,women in Japan were having 4.7 kids each,so women didn't have time to lay around in the hospital,because new kids would be coming in quickly.But with today's anemic birthrate,hospitals are glad to have you stay 5-7 days under the guise of why you should.But it all comes back to money and business.

I rather stay and pay than run the risk of seeing a child mortality rate as it was back in 1947.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I like the 5 day stay. Mothers have the option of staying with their baby or having the nurses watch them so they can get some rest. Our first baby was born in a big hospital and my wife shared a room with other mothers. She became friends with one of the mothers and our kids still meet and play with each other. The second one was at a family-owned maternity clinic. All private rooms. Both places cost about 500,000 yen. The government pays 420,000, so we only paid about 80,000 yen out of pocket. The second place asked for a deposit of 100,000 yen so I got some money back. (I should mention that we don't have to wait for the government to process the 420,000 yen. It's automatically deducted from the total bill). With both places I was able to be in the room for the birth. Staff were professional and very kind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LFRAgain: A general comment regarding some ruffled feathers caused by comparing Japan's infant mortality rate to those of other industrialized nations. I provided that data to put Japan's approach to healthcare into a specific perspective, namely concrete outcomes.

I wouldn't exactly call the comment below hard data. As for comparing Japan's data to "other industrialized nations", in this post you compared it to one - the US.

I can't speak for other nations, but the American way (at least over the past 20 years or so) to get 'em in and get 'em out as quick as possible -- and for considerably more money than it would cost in Japan -- is absurd.

I completely agree that the cost of having a child is ridiculous in the US, however the US is certainly far from being alone in having decreased the length of maternity hospital stays.

In 2009, the average length of stay in hospitals for all causes among OECD countries was the lowest in Mexico, Turkey and Israel. It was also low in Norway and Denmark, as well as in the United States, all at less than five days.

There's obviously something at work there that bears closer scrutiny and can't simply be dismissed as a matter of reporting differences on how infant mortality among premature births is factored into the equation.

I wholeheartedly agree, which is why I said "Factors include: the accessibility to health care, education levels of expectant mothers, economic disparity, the way various countries calculate infant mortality rates (No, they don't all calculate them the same.), and so on."

No country can say that it has nothing to learn from other countries, either in how well or how badly those other countries do certain things and the US is not alone in this. My point is that, on this site in particular, the US is too often the country to which Japan is compared, even when it makes no sense to do so.

Yes, the US can learn from what Japan is doing right in terms of maternal care but at the same time many of the lessons will not apply because the countries are so very different when it comes to demographics, education levels and styles, income inequality, distances between communities, cultural norms, etc. The knee jerk desire to always use the US as the country to which Japan is compared may satisfy an emotional urge to let others know how badly the US does things (and it does do many things badly) but it's very often not conducive to propelling a discussion in a logical or beneficial manner. If you feel that's me getting my feathers ruffled and or that I'm uncomfortable with the truth, you know me not at all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In the U.S. the standard stay, assuming a healthy mother and child, is 48 hours after the birth. That seemed about right for my family. Hospital stays in Japan often seem excessive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mizusame: In explaining the Duchess of Cambridge going home the same day....

In all likelihood the Duchess went home after a short stay for two reasons, the first being what a number of people have already said regarding the care she'd get at home and the second being to show she's like every other woman. Those are contradictory ideas, I know but that's royalty in a democracy for you.

NHK News said Western women have a larger pelvic bone, and there is therefore less strain on the mother's body compared with Japanese women...

If that's the true, the part about it being less strain on a "Western" woman's body, wouldn't natural selection have taken care of that?

What do you mean by "Western women"? I'm from a Western country and know women who are white, some from Central Europe, some from Eastern and some from Western. I know many who have direct ancestors that were African, Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern African, Chinese, Japanese, Samoan, First Nation and so on. If you mean white then you should say that or whatever it is you do mean. Many Western countries are full of people whose ancestors came from every corner of the earth and those people rightly consider themselves Westerners by shared culture, language, etc. Those people don't all come in the same size either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We had the choice between having our son born in Germany or in Japan as we constantly switch residence between the two. As the medical standards were equally high, we finally opted for Germany simply because most of our friends and family live there and the delivery was due in July - too hot in Japan.

In Germany, you stay 3-4 days in hospital after a regular delivery and up to 7 days after a C-section. Depending on the mom's condition, she can stay much longer and everything's paid by your standard health insurance. The only extra costs (€ 50 a day) you have to pay incur when you choose the 'daddy-in' option, which means the father can stay the whole time and gets his own bed, food, etc. We did that cause my husband was scared someone would 'steal his boy' while I was sleeping.

Even though I had a C-section, I was allowed to go home after two days cause a) I felt good and b) they knew that both my husband and my mom would be around 24-7 as well as my brother-in-law who is a doctor. If I hadn't had the support of my family, I would have stayed the full week. It's comforting for a new mom to know there are people who look after their lil one when she is tired, who help with diapers and preparing food, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NHK News said Western women have a larger pelvic bone, and there is therefore less strain on the mother's body compared with Japanese women...

Quack, quack!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

NHK News said Western women have a larger pelvic bone, and there is therefore less strain on the mother's body compared with Japanese women...

'Western women' (=caucasians?) maybe do have a large pelvic bone, but we also tend to have larger babies on average (3.4kg). The average birth weight of a Japanese baby is less than 3kg (average weight has fallen since the 1980s when the average was around 3.2kg, partly due to expectant mothers making a conscious effort to keep their own weight gain during pregnancy to a minimum).

Princess Charlotte weighed in at a strapping 3.71kg; I'm sure Katie had her fair share of strain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the standard of care in Japan's maternity clinics so incredibly wonderful, as some of you seem to be claiming, then why is the Japanese birthrate so incredibly low?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@pointofview

Were due again next month.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an easy delivery. I hope everything goes smoothly and mommy and baby will be fine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everyone is different and it depends how fit and healthy the mother is.

My friend - a dancer in her late thirties - had a short labour, gave birth after an hour in the hospital and was home a few hours later, having done some shopping in the way home.

A lot to be said for well -toned muscles.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

After leaving the hospital we often stay with the baby at our mother's home for a month or longer because it is a cultural tradition.

I would't allow anyone to take my baby away from me for a month - as a father. Fathers should have rights too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you've read through the thread you'll know there are plenty of good reasons for New Mama to go home immediately after the birth. If you want her and baby to come straight back home to you, presumably you'll have that time off work, as a father, to help her. If you're off work, you can go and stay with Granny too for a month, so that you can learn how to look after baby too. Fun for all.

Or you could take your parental leave after they get back from Granny's and give your wife even more of a breather.

(Being a parent isn't about 'rights', it's about getting it right.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here in NZ, and I'm sure it's the same in other western nations, the mother is told when she 'can' go home rather than when she 'has to' go home. In Japan, the mother is generally told how long she 'must' stay.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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