Nicky Washida comments

Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Cos - thats a very good point you make. Just as young girls are hitting puberty earlier these days, people are also living longer and fitter lives. My Mum was 54 when she became a granny. Now at 64 she is still travelling all over the world, going to pilates, out drinking, and when here playing with the kids, carrying them around, no bother at all. 64 is still young but when I compare it with her Mother (my grandmother) at 64 - she was an old woman by then, having difficulty walking and medical issues building up. In general people are having babies later, but are younger and fitter for longer than even 30 years ago.

Yes, you are right, they do put women on restricted diets for gestational diabetes in the west BUT - that is usually when they are overweight to start with and gain a more realistic 15-20 kilos. They also dont make them diet to lose weight - just try to restrict or control further gain. 8 kilos is only about 17 lbs. Read any modern pregnancy book and they will tell you you need to gain anywhere from 25-50lbs depending on your own individual factors. Thats the key - individual. They recognise overseas that one size literally DOESNT fit all. Being significantly over OR underweight DOES put the child at greater risk (Bussell 2000) and that is why some women (usually heavily overweight) are restricted when pregnant - for the majority of Japanese women that does not and should not apply.

I was told to gain only 8 kilos in my first pregnancy. I am 164cms and was 45 kilos (very very sick). Had I listened I would have gone up to 53 kilos in total, still underweight for my height even if I wasnt pregnant, which is just as unhealthy! As it was I barely managed 8, but that was on top of regaining the weight I lost being sick,and not for want of trying.

Finally for the frst time in my 3rd pregnancy a midwife sat down with me and actually calculated from my base weight and height what they recommended I try to gain (13 kilos, she said. Woohoo!). I asked her about it, and she said these were "new recommendations" (in 2009!). However, despite these new recommendations, I am forever meeting pregnant women around here telling me they are still being told to only gain 8lbs. The word isnt even getting out to the clinics here, or if it is, they are sticking with their old ways of doing things.

Recent research suggests that low birthrate babies (directly related to maternal nutrition) are at higher risk for heart problems and type 2 diabetes in later life (The Acheson Report 1998, + Barker 1992). But mention that research to virtually any OBGYN here and they dont even know about it. (Sorry to throw references at you - it was part of my research on a project I was working on a few years ago!).

If your friend lost 10kgs then yes, that is highly unusual. It would suggest though, that your friend had it to lose in the first place (I am assuming (and hoping) her child was born healthy?). I barely managed 10kgs in my 1st and 2nd pregnancies! I tried (God knows, I tried!) but it was just not natural for me. My friend however gained 17kgs, was stressed out by the constant pressure of the doctors but could do nothing about it - it was about 5kgs of water which she lost a week after delivery - but the doctors wouldnt even recognise that and put her on a "diet" - how do you diet off water retention??!

Again - the reason this debate gets so heated is because everyone is an individual. I conceived mine and popped them out no problems at all aged 30-36. My 27 year old friend had to ensure horrific rounds of IVF to get her lovely boy. My other friend in her 20s had miscarriage after miscarriage and eventually gave up. It wasnt till she was 36 that they discovered an ovarian condition, operated and bam - 2 babies in 3 years! My grandmother - 9 between the ages of 24 and 48 (actually - that explains her old woman-status at 60!). But my point is - everyone can come up with examples of individuals who buck the trends. But there are certain general consensuses (consensii??!) about certain aspects of obstetrics - like not gaining too much or too little weight.

I dont disagree with what this doctor is saying, but the decision to have a baby, for virtually everyone, is not simply a medical one, and I feel his advice is dangerous as it ignores other important factors in favour of simply pumping out babies - which yes, smacks of political motivation and/or an old fashioned approach to me.

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context


A leading specialist in JAPAN. A country so backwards when it comes to obstetrics at times that yes, I would put money on some JTers knowing as much as the "specialists" do. This is a country that still puts pregnant women on diets and won't let them gain more than 8 kilos for Gods sake!

Even my own obstetrician admitted to me that there are some "leading specialists" here that should have been pensioned off years ago. He told me about an obstetrician he knows here who makes women chop wood with an axe to "prepare for delivery". He said the local hospitals hate him as emergencies are always coming their way from this guys clinic.

So no - I don't put a lot of faith in the majority of specialists here. As I said before this guy makes some medically valid points but modern medicine is more holistic than this and considers a patients emotional health as well. Something clearly missed in this report.

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Posted in: Super Girl See in context

At least 2 more cups sizes and she would be perfect. Until then.. sighs...

Oh thank God someone likes boobs.....

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

@tokyokawasaki - well said.

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Please don't invent excuses for him. He is a grown man, he should find them himself, and if he's a professional, act like one and present the evidence.

@Gaijintechie - I completely agree with you. But I wonder if the problem is not so much the professionalism of this doctor as much as the readership of the publication he is being quoted in. In the NEJM or the Lancet I can see his research being presented clinically, but this rag - I may be wrong but I dont have the impression that the readership can stretch to such terminology as "double blind trials" and "control groups".

I am trying to be as logical and rational about this subject as possible, especially given that it doesnt really affect me on a personal level. But I do find it interesting that even when women do offer strong opinions on a subject such as this, they are considered "emotional" and "irrational", yet the men expressing countering but equally strong opinions, well, arent. I think Cleo and tmarie both make some really valid points. Opinionated (in a good way) yes. Irrational? Emotional? Sorry but I am just not seeing that.

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Just to add: I agree with th posters here who wish adoption was more prominent, especially in Japan. I would have been more than happy to adopt, and brought up the subject with my husband several times but he was absolutely 100% against it.

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Women generally have some decrease in fertility starting in their early 30s and it is normal for a woman over 35 to take longer to conceive than a younger woman

Ha! I wish! I conceived my third at age 35 in about 2 minutes. Believe me - I timed it! ;)

Francesca - sounds like you and me had the same doctor :( !

I think the problem with this debate is that a) everyone is different so you just cant apply a blanket "you should" and b) if the decision to have a child was based purely on whether or not your ovaries are in full bloom the doctor would be right. But unfortunately its a bit more complicated than that, and he is ignoring the many complicated emotional, social and economic pressures that go into the decision to start a family in favour of simply stating a medical fact. It IS a fact that statistically your chances of having complications rise with age. However, for the majority of people it is a balanced risk that they accept.

There is some evidence to suggest having your first child VERY young (like, by the age of 20) can protect you from breast cancer in the future. But this is not a good reason to go ahead and start a family at 19 either!

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Posted in: Hosting 2020 Olympics would aid healing process - Tokyo bid chief See in context

I live about 2km from the planned main Olympic site. I can see the vast tracts of land planned for the village, stadiums and various other events from my balcony. It really would be right on our doorstep.

This morning I spoke to a few people around here about this news item (it is always a hot topic around here). The ordinary Japanese around here that I have spoken to also dont want it, and are also angry that words are being put in their mouths by these bureaucrats. They are also quite embarrassed that they are using the disaster to gain the sympathy vote, just as people posting here have pointed out.

For me personally, I am quite looking forward to sitting back and watching the horror unfold as thousands upon thousands of foreigners descend on the area! They think they have problems just with me, my Canadian best friend and a few Russians walking around now! But in the longer term I see huge, expensive to maintain and unable to be used to their capacity buildings just sitting around. If they do come up with a use for them, I then see traffic backed up everywhere - the road systems here are just not designed to take that kind of traffic flow.

At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with the country, the people, the pride, the nation, and everything to do with Ishiharas personal ego trip and the lining of a few greasy bureaucrats pockets with lucrative construction contracts. And that pisses me off more than anything.

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

“No one ever told me that having a child after 40 could be difficult.”

I also find this very hard to believe. Anyone who takes any responsiblity for themselves would know that this is the case. Simply a caseof googling "conception over 40". He is telling us a lawmaker of all people didnt think to do that? Come on!

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Posted in: It is very rare for an epilepsy patient to have a seizure while driving if they are receiving proper medication and treatment. I hope people do not get the false impression that epilepsy patients will See in context

Er, no, nobody is saying epilepsy patients always cause accidents. But if this doctor is being honest he would know that certain forms of epilepsy are very difficult to control and predict even with drugs.

Worried that no one will come forward for treatment for fear of stigmatisation and his department revenue will drop much?

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Just want to add: I am terribly sorry for Seiko Noda and the problems her son is having and I hope he gets better and leads a full and happy life. BUT I spent two weeks a few years ago on a paediatric ward with a whole range of very sick babies and children and some of their Mothers were still in their 20s. It can and sadly does happen to children of younger mothers too. One person who gave birth late is hardly an example to back up these claims. Again - the majority of women giving birth later in life have no problems at all.

(And I am not biased - I am one of those Mothers who had their first by 30)

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Posted in: If you want a child, do it before you're 30, says leading obstetrician See in context

Yep! Excellent reason to rush into marriage with someone you are not sure about and when you are financially unsound.

Yes, statistically it is true that it becomes harder to conceive as you get older. But it is still entirely possible for most women. This guy makes it sound like after 30 you are screwed and after 40 you may as well kill yourself off. Like women dont have enough pressures on them already. Far better to WAIT until you are emotionally ready to be a Mother and then let nature take its course, then to rush into a pregnancy you are not sure you want and not sure you can cope with.

But then I read this:

“Japanese sex education,” he writes, “is all about birth control.

and realised for all his credentials this guy doesnt seem to have his finger on the pulse of the real world anyway.

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Posted in: 'Black widow' sentenced to death for murder of 3 men See in context

I just feel sorry for her 5 children. What is going to happen to them now? Were they even with her in the first place?

I agree with Konpeito - extremely unprofessional writing.

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Posted in: Don’t fall into Japan’s tax traps See in context

I dont think this article is very helpful at all as it barely skims the surface and different rules apply with different homecountries. All it does is flag tax up as an issue that needs to be addressed by everyone according to their own individual circumstances.

With things the way they are these days I am far more inclined to send money OUT of Japan than bring it in anyway!

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Posted in: Woman who sought police help twice against abusive husband murdered by him See in context

So if she had visited twice to get help, what happened both those times? Key piece of information missing. Did she voluntarily return to him, perhaps because of nowhere else to go (need more shelters and other support services) or did the police tell her to go away (police procedures need changing.) Or are both of these things issues?

Either way I hope this cowardly b%$##% burns in hell. And what the hell on the neigbours??! They KNEW him to be a violent man, but they did nothing? No-one offered to take her in, hide her, send her somewhere, DO something? I understand - we dont know that information and I may be judging them harshly, but it doesnt sound like they did much.

@tokyokawasaki - glad you are out of your situation, and hope you are now recovered, well and happy after the experience. I cant understand what makes women turn violent against their spouses. Is it just inability to control or express their emotions?

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Posted in: N Korea admits failure as world condemns rocket launch See in context

Wow. And after all the hoo ha and worldwide coverage too. Thats got to be embarrassing.

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Posted in: Japan trying to clear up 'U.S. misunderstandings' over TPP See in context

What about what Japan did in the 90s-2000s, multiplying their current account surplus, and how Japan's total net value increase by 500%? Corporate Japan hoards '$2.4 trillion dollars in cash', which is a record.

And yet strangely enough the vast majority of people here are getting poorer - so wheres the money going?

High prices will only encourage savings if people have anything to save in the first place. And given that the economy has been at either zero % inflation or deflation for the best part of 20 years, why in the world would the government be trying to discourage spending? One of Japans many issues is that currency is tied up in (mostly the elderlys) savings accounts. As others have said, the only reason these exist is because of (until recently) lack of access to stocks, shares, real estate, and other investment intruments.

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Posted in: 8 dead after epileptic driver in minivan rams into pedestrians in Kyoto See in context

There's no reason that epileptics shouldn't be able to drive safely

Sorry Frungy, but tmarie just pointed out 14 reasons why epileptics cant drive safely.

I renewed my driving licence last week. Medical declarations are entirely self-declared. I was so worried about my deafness and whether I was safe to drive or not that I had a private interview with someone about it (apparently if I can hear 90 decibels at 10 metres with both ears I am ok, and that was fine for me so I got my licence.) But if I thought I was a danger to other people no way would I drive. Like drinking, it is just not worth the risk.

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Posted in: 9-year-old girl dies after being hit by truck in Tokyo's Shinagawa See in context

I am guessing from the circumstances that her bike probably skidded and tipped over on the wet road. it was raining on and off most of yesterday. She just happened to fall at exactly the wrong time, when a truck was coming.

If she was turning into a one lane road, and a truck was oncoming, she would have been cycling against the one way system. But then again what was a 2 tonne truck doing on a one lane road - are there not restrictions on heavy vehicles on narrow roads? In the wet conditions he probably would have had trouble stopping, even if he wasnt speeding. Very very tragic.

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Posted in: 15-year-old girl jumps to death from Yokohama school building See in context

Disillusioned you are right too - these schools are valued only on their results. Good results = everyone wants to enter = fees up = more money. And its the kids who have to jump to the beat and perform to ensure this happens.

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Posted in: 9-year-old girl dies after being hit by truck in Tokyo's Shinagawa See in context

orange - I dont disagree with you on the parenting thing here, but please understand her parents are Japanese, not foerign, and they were doing what they believed was right according to their norms and culture. We might not agree with it, but they did not maliciously neglect their child.

It is not lazy parenting to "go native". You make judgements based on your own individual circumstances. My daughter is supervised in a group to and from school every day, on wide pavements with barriers and crossing attendants wtih flags. That does not make me a lazy parent. It makes me one that has reviewed our own individual circumstances and made a judement based on that - not anyone elses, just ours. Would I let her out unsupervised? No way. Did I allow her to walk to school alone in our old area with narrow streets, dark shady areas and no supervision. No way. But in OUR situation now, I deem our circumstances to be as safe as ifI was with her. Probably safer given that I would also have to be focusing on the other two!

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Posted in: 8 dead after epileptic driver in minivan rams into pedestrians in Kyoto See in context

I am guessing all the comments above were made before the article was updated with the epilepsy angle?

This takes me back to the incident where the crane driver had a fit and killed 6 children. Is it not illegal to drive here with epilepsy?

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Posted in: 15-year-old girl jumps to death from Yokohama school building See in context

combinibento you are right. And also a VERY high level high class school. Bullying? Pressure? Tragic loss of a young life

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Posted in: 9-year-old girl dies after being hit by truck in Tokyo's Shinagawa See in context

Given that all Japanese schoolkids go to and from school every day by themselves, sometimes on bikes and sometimes crossing horribly busy roads, I think it is amazing that this kind of thing doesnt happen more often.

My heart goes out to her parents actually - they are only doing what every other parent here (except orange!) does. They must be devastated. I will reserve judgement on who is at fault, not knowing the facts of the case. Just that my thoughts are with her family.

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Posted in: Olympus shareholders told to reject board nominees See in context

Kimoto and Fujizuka would be “internal” directors held to account if they engaged in activities that did not benefit Olympus, it said.

Like the last guys were?! You can hardly blame people for being skeptical.

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Posted in: Police to look into tightening stalker laws See in context

When I had a problem back home years ago (tens of phone calls a day) the police tapped my phone to gather evidence and gave me a special number to call 24/7 if I was concerned or feeling threatened (I was living alone at the time). A police officer sat down with me, took a detailed report, and advised me exactly how to manage the situation, how and what to record details of, when to escalate the complaint, and just took the whole thing very seriously and provided great emotional support.

Luckily for me the guy got wind that the police were involved and backed right off, but they did say they had various levels of support and assistance should I have needed it. The best thing was that they took it seriously, and that is what is needed here. It is almost as if the police here feel that stalking is "normal" courting behaviour. It is actually really scary to be on the receiving end of even a mild form of it.

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Posted in: Two inpatients arrested for murder of patient in Aomori psychiatric hospital See in context

Ok - they never mentioned in the previous report that he was in a psychiatric hospital. Now things make a little more sense.

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Posted in: Karasia See in context

These girls actually CAN sing and dance, and perform really well. I love their video for "Mister" and my sons hoikuen class doing a dance to that song last year including the hip-wiggling bit was quite the cutest thing I have ever seen!

I think they have maybe put on a tiny bit of weight since that video but so whaT? they needed to and they still look great. I LOVE their costumes though - not just in this pic but in general. Their costume designer deserves an award - very reminiscent of an early Destinys Child and not a sailor girl suit in sight. I wish them well and am happy my daughter prefers them to AKB.

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Posted in: Out and about See in context

I think that dog would be making the V peace sign if he could!

Sign of the times in graying Japan. This is a more common sight than the wild hanami parties of years past

Dont you believe it! I saw a bunch of golden oldies rocking it up in the park last weekend, putting our little group to shame with their antics! They were great fun, swigging out of bottles of Moet. Way to go grandpa!

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Posted in: Policeman in schoolgirl uniform arrested for flashing See in context

I notice that whenever something like this happens, there is a battery of people saying "she shoulda...." "she coulda..." "I woulda..." - fact is, I used to do the same until it actually happened to me. You really cant predict how you would react because in that instant all logic goes out the window. You are not sitting behind a safe screen hypothesizing about what you would do. Your heart rate shoots up, adrenalin races around your body and you can literally be frozen to the spot. I wish I had gotten my camera out, photographed the guy and taken it straight to the police. The other time I wished I had kneed the guy - but I was 9 months pregnant and terrified for our safety.

One funny story though - after the incident a month ago my husband called the police (it was near an elementary school and park in broad daylight) and the police asked me to provide a description. I said "About 10cms, quite thin and floppy, no distinguishing features". There was silence for a second, and then the policeman without batting an eyelid said "And...erm....his face?"! Whoops!

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