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Mother and child die after birth in toilet in Aichi apartment

58 Comments

A 42-year-old woman and her newborn child died after the woman gave birth in the toilet of her apartment in Toyota City on Thursday, police said. One of the woman’s five children heard her mother groaning around 3 p.m., and when she checked on her, found her mother on the floor of the toilet alongside the newborn. The daughter called for an ambulance but the pair were already dead when personnel arrived.

Police said the baby girl was wrapped in towels and weighed 3,800 grams. They also said that the woman had apparently been in ill health over the past week. An autopsy will be conducted on Friday.

The woman lived with her husband and their five children. The husband was home at the time but was not aware of his wife’s delivery, police said.

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58 Comments
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How can the woman's husband not have noticed that his wife was giving birth in the toilet? He needs a good kick up the behind.

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that's sad...

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Oh, something's not right here.

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Actually feel sorry for this woman and the baby. She should not have done it, but at 42 years old, there would have been a good chance that she would have ended up dead anyway, after being refused by numerous hospitals. Really, cases like this are a condemnation of the health system in this country.

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How stupid her husband was. He didn't know it. I wonder how big apartment is. Well, he alone has got to take care of 5 kids all his life. I assume that he is a kind of poor, maybe no job around 3pm. His pregnant wife would be in hospital around delivery time but she was at home, as maybe no money.

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oh my god! Poor mother & child, what was the husband doing, how the hell can you not realise something was up when your pregnant wife doesnt come out of the toilet, how awful!

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Actually, labour and delivery of a sixth child could happen quite quickly. The article gives few details, so it's hard to judge. If the birth was early, she might not have realised she was giving birth until it was too late, especially if she'd not been well. Why would she be in the toilet otherwise? As an experienced mother, you'd expect her to know the routine.

Whatever the details, it's a tragic event. Poor woman, poor baby, poor family left without a wife and mother.

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I assume that he is a kind of poor, maybe no job around 3pm.

Or maybe he had taken time off to help his heavily-pregnant wife take care of 5 kids?

His pregnant wife would be in hospital around delivery time but she was at home

Pregnant women do not go into hospital 'around delivery time' unless there are complications expected. Normally you wait until the first signs and then phone the hospital and they'll tell you to come in. Healthy women do not spend the final weeks of their pregnancy hanging around in hospital.

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We all knew having big houses in Japan would be a problem. The hubby must have been in the the east wing. The husband was HOME!?!?

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cleo - In Japan all pregnant women generally go to hospital around delivery time or around a couple of days before delivery without any sign of complications. This is Japan here.

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kwatt -

I've given birth twice in Japan, I know what the procedure is. Neither time did I go into hospital until labour started, which in one case was 9 days after my due date. Healthy pregnant women do not hang around in hospital like invalids.

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it hurts

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Doctors are supposed to use medicine to cause to make artificial labor pain for woman delivery, so woman can deliver baby around planned day and time. Doctors are very busy about it, so they use particular medicne by drip for planned delivery. Naturual delivery really takes many days.

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kwatt, I am with Cleo on this one. My wife recently had a baby and so did a lot of friends and none of us have gone to the hospital without signs of the birth starting. On a practical point, who would know when to go? The birth happens when it happens.

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at 3800 gr she was close to her due date. The husband not noticing is strange. Strangest. This past week she has been ill, I imagine that is a childs remark about their parents being at each other, typical fighting between a couple. Though I really want to point to the fact that it is her 6th child, and in large families that is when the pressure is the hardest. After 7-kinda like pachinko, and yet get lucky with the 7s-it eases. It is very very sad. I imagine, neither of them had support and people who are understanding. Including family, and not to mention the opinionated ideologies of society that affect a large family more than anybody else, no matter what your economical, religious etc stances are.

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People are jumping to some pretty wild conclusions here, with few facts mentioned in the story. So far people seem to believe we're dealing with some dumb, out of work possibly alcoholic father living in a tiny apartment, and a woman who probably would have been rejected by many hospitals and died anyway.

I think Cleo is right. First and foremost we need to know more and not jump the gun. Secondly, we have to admit that whatever the cause, the result is a tragedy.

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And third, this is a very strange story.

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smith - The woman delivered 5 babies in the past maybe in hospital. I think that Doctors are very familiar with her, usually no problem about her 6th baby as she had much experience. I don't think she would be rejected by hospitals, but maybe husband might be drunk during her delivery in toilet.

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Doctors are supposed to use medicine to cause to make artificial labor pain for woman delivery, so woman can deliver baby around planned day and time.

They most certainly are not! Induced labour, when it is done, is done for the sake of the baby or the mother's health, not for the convenience of the doctor. Any doctor who wants to arrange a woman's labour around his schedule should be avoided like the plague.

Naturual delivery really takes many days.

Rubbish. Some women take a long time, but a normal, uncomplicated delivery is over in a few hours. I did 9 hours start to finish first time, 4 hours second time. And that's counting from the very first twinge.

maybe husband might be drunk during her delivery in toilet

What possible grounds do you have for that wild supposition??

I see nothing at all strange in a man who is trying to cope with 5 little ones not noticing that his wife (who he probably thought was lying down resting, what with her being very pregnant and a bit poorly) was a long time in the toilet.

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cleo - Using medicine to make artificial labor pain is very common in Japan whether you like or not. Doctors are very busy and might not be available when natural delivery happens. Remember there is shortage of doctors. Women usually put names on schedule list of baby delivery. I know delivering is usually within less 10 hours, but If doctors do not use medicine for planed delivery, NObody KNOWS when it happens, so they would have to wait for many days and many hours until real delivery happeing. See, I do not want to agree with it, but this is actually going on in Japan.

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Near delivery pregnant and been in ill health for a week. Why wasn't this woman in a hospital......Oh I forgot, no rooms because all the headache and ingrown toenail patients are occupying them.

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NObody KNOWS when it happens, so they would have to wait for many days and many hours until real delivery happeing

Yes, I know. I waited 9 days past my due date the first time, 4 days the second time. Had the doctor/midwife up in the middle of the night both times. It was no problem.

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Woman in Japan go into hospital early and take medicine to induce artificial labour

Don't recollect my wife having to do such a thing.

Doctors are very busy and might not be available when natural delivery happens.

A doctor will delivery the baby when its ready. Me & my wife had to pay a little extra for an out of hours delivery, but none-the-less was born in the small hours of the morning. What a nonce!!

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Again, the no can see concept. Like I live in the same house and I do not not my wife is having birth pangs.

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cleo - You were lucky. You might have had problem if docotors were NOT available at the time. On the article, That woman was ill over the past week, she should have been in hospital anyway before delivering her baby. I think that she already knew probable delivery at home.

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kwatt: YOu missed my point entirely -- I was saying that people should NOT rush to the idea that she would be rejected by hospitals, nor rush to the conclusion that the husband was some kind of unemployed bum, etc. In other words, I was saying that no one should make any assumptions before we know more details. Go back and read the post again.

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What a horribly sad story. I have had 5 kids and there is no way that a man can mistake his wife being pregnant unless they live in different countries. With so little facts, one can only say that dad is a sorry excuse for a man.

Beyond that, where was her family? Neighbors? All these walls (literal and figurative) need to come down and Japanese people need to embrace their traditional culture. I get so tired of hearing how isolation is part of Japanese culture. Traditionally, that was simply not the case. Nor is the case now in functional families. Extended families lived together as common practice as the norm until recently, and being an feudal agrarian society until practically 1900, cooperation and relationship among those that were close to you was the culture. There is no need to ever have such tragedy.

Rest in peace mom and your little one. God speed to the remaining children, they are going to need every break that comes their way.

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Wow! Talk about jumping to conclusions! For all you know the father took the day off work and was outside with his kids. That one child could have come in to use the bathroom and heard everything and went and told her father. Shame on most of you for always assuming the worst about Japanese men and Japan in general.

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I think that this kind of tragedy that does not often happen in Japan is irrelevant to any part of culture or anything Japanese. This case like that mother having 5 kids delivered new baby and then both died and stupid husband did not know when they died is very rare incident as far as I know and though I've been here for a long time. They are just ignorant about family.

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and when she checked on her, found her mother on the floor of the toilet

Could we call this "toilet room" please? Toilets don't have floors.

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Shame on most of you for always assuming the worst about Japanese men and Japan in general.

Bravo!

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Could we call this "toilet room" please? Toilets don't have floors

I don't know where you come from, but "toilet room" is certainly no English that I've ever heard. "Toilet can refer either to the fixture or the room. If I say that someone is in the toilet, do you imagine that they are standing in the actual bowl?

From the Online Dictionary:

a. A fixture for defecation and urination, consisting of a bowl fitted with a hinged seat and connected to a waste pipe and a flushing apparatus; a privy. b. A room or booth containing such a fixture.

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My friend's wife was given medicine to induce labour when she was 2 days late or so.It does happen.

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Kwatt - Cleo is not "lucky", she is a normal woman giving birth in Japan. I have given birth here, many of my friends (Japanese too) also and noone knows what on earth you are talking about. Yes, this is Japan. The pre-natal care I received was second to none. What are you basing your theory on? Load of nonsense! This is a very sad case with not much back-up information.

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Labour may be induced if the health of either the mother or the baby dictates it, for example if the pregnancy has gone well past the due date, high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia etc in the mother, the waters break without the onset of labour, the baby is in distress, etc. Induced labour can be much more intense and painful for the mother, and tends to involve the use of pain-killers not needed in a normal birth. There are good reasons for inducing birth, but the doctor's convenience is not one of them.

Mz -

Actually, I think I have been very lucky to have been a normal woman giving birth in Japan. Like you, I could not have received better care.

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Sorry Cleo, what I said may have come across wrongly. Indeed in a way we are lucky to have given birth here. No offence was intended to you. My remarks were directed towards Kwatt.

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Yep, I've gotta agree. The post and pre natal care is very good IF you are in a private maternity hospital. I wouldn't go to a public hospital with a broken fingernail, betterless anything serious.

However, back on topic, this woman was at home with her five kids and husband. She already has five kids, so one would conclude she is familiar with child birth. I know it is difficult to predict a delivery time or the length of the labor and it is generally understood the more kids you have the quicker the labor is, although it is only 'generally'. This creates a huge question mark for me over the circumstances of her death. The story states the baby was wrapped in towels so she must have delivered the baby herself in the toilet and been concious of it, yet she did not tell anyone in the house that she had the kid. Next, they are both dead in the dunny? C'mon! It's a murder suicide!

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Disillusioned - the infant mortality rate in Japan is among the lowest in the world

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(The husband was home at the time but was not aware of his wife’s delivery)

OMG! The apartment couldn't be that large and he couldn't hear the wife's groaning...it's unbelievable..

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Mz -

Not the slightest offence taken! :-)

Disillusioned -

Both of my kids were born in general hospitals, not a 'private maternity hospital'. The first was private, the second public and apart from the food (which was dire in the public hospital) the treatment and bills were the same.

The article says the police say the baby was wrapped in towels - I would imagine that when the woman was discovered in the toilet the husband would have done whatever he could. He surely wouldn't have left the baby naked on the toilet floor, and by the time the police arrived he had picked the baby up and wrapped it in a towel. I don't think that indicates anything sinister, in fact it would be much more sinister if the mother and baby had been left untouched on the toilet floor.

seesaw -

he couldn't hear the wife's groaning...it's unbelievable.

If he was trying to keep order with five little ones running around the place, I think it's quite believable. I'm speculating, but maybe the mother had collapsed in the toilet and was unconscious.

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Mz - What I am saying is that in Japan there is shortage of any doctors especially not enough obstetricians and gynecologists in hospitals. When natural birth happens, doctors might not be availabe or not on duty when you go to hospital. If doctors use medicine in advance to induce labor pain, doctors be there for you. There is NO obs/gyne doctor or one doctor in many hospitals when you need to go there.

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Kwatt - OK, that might be the case but I am sure that births are not induced to be sure that there is a doctor available. I'm also even more sure that women do not enter hospital around their due date to ensure they have a doctor or bed (which you were originally saying), unless there is a problem which may need monitoring.

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If doctors use medicine in advance to induce labor pain...

...you're more likely to need a doctor.

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whatever the treatment be; the father not aware of the birth, and then a still unexplained, deaths, of both of them.3800gr is a newborn good-sized, need more info.

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I'm thinking that the police are going to have something to add to this story in the coming days/weeks. I'm not buying the "I didn't know she'd died" angle. She delivered, then wrapped the baby up in towels, yet didn't think to alert her husband?

OH COME ON!

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I cant find anything in Japanese about this?

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kwatt is not entirely wrong. there are hospitals that induce births in japan, but certainly not at the doctor's convenience. mostly the mother's. it's called a planned delivery. there's nothing wrong with having an artificailly induced labour even if the mother is not late or has no probs, if it is around the due date.

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cleo: but again, a loving husband would check on his wife to make sure she's OK. A big family like that is rare in Japan...I reckon something must be wrong somewhere in that family..

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don't hate the hubby. feel sorry for him. he's now gotta care for 5 kids and console them for having no mother.

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like most posters I have to agree about the husband. What a knob. Of course she could have been a complete B!@#$ and he did not care.

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don't hate the hubby. feel sorry for him. he's now gotta care for 5 kids and console them for having no mother.

Assuming he wasn't complicit in his wifes death, then I do feel sorry for him. 5 kids without a mother. Hope some of them are older, and not just rugrats running around. Still at 42 with 5 kids, it sounds like a couple that started earlier. So its likely that some of the kids are in their mid to late teens.

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What the hell was she doing giving birth in a toilet??.. did she not know she was gonna have a baby.. sounds strange.. or was she trying to flush it because it was the mailmans????

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A Japanese article I found stated that the daughter who found the mother in the toilet was 19 years old.

I don't think I would want to be married to any of the posters who are insisting that a 'loving husband' follows his wife to the toilet and puts a stopwatch on how long she's in there....

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This is absurd reading and belongs on a tabloid, details about the home situation would be helpful to readers yet the mother and newborn are the two who needed help huh.

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Cleo: it's alright if you wouldn't want to marry someone like me...I was just pointing out that the woman was very pregnant, due at anytime, and a loving husband should be more sensitive towards her. As to check on her when she's in the toilet for that long.....

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The husband was home at the time but was not aware of his wife’s delivery

such a big house?

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Holy...

This is the most tragic story I think I've ever read here.

The mother wasn't 16.

She wasn't hiding her pregnancy.

She had other children.

She wasn't a single mom.

She wrapped the baby in towels so she wasn't looking to harm it.

What the heck?

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It's very irritating that so many people here like to point the finger of blame, at the father for being possibly drunk and neglectful, at the mother for not calling for help. I'm pleased that there are plenty of people who see things more realistically though, but I'll add a less hostile voice to the clamour just to even things up a bit more.

This is very tragic, as such incidents always are. I'd like to know what this illness was, but I find it very easy to believe that it could have contributed to a sudden birth and seriously endangered both mother and child. Some diseases of pregnancy are like that. Why it wasn't diagnosed is a more important question.

As for the father, he could have been taking a nap, or sorting the laundry, helping other kids with homework, or any number of things that would make it more difficult for him to hear groans or feeble cries coming from another room. Don't forget she was obviously unwell and may not have had the strength to do much except wrap up the poor mite. Unfortunately being wrapped up wasn't enough to save the baby.

As for the induction of births, I have no reason to believe it's routine in Japan. Maybe some doctors or maternity units might be aggressive and stupid in that way, but the hospital I went to was very clear that we should go in when labour got to a certain point, and the doctor only offered induction because I was halfway dilated while still only 39 weeks, and with no Japanese language ability to speak of it would have been very dodgy me trying to get to the hospital on my own if my hubby was at work. It was obviously going to be a short labour once it finally got going.

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