- Wedding: December 2014 - Maui
I live in Japan and my husband is Japanese, so I’m planning on having kids here. There are some cultural differences with the west, but if you are also Asian you might have similar practices. For example:
The confinement period you mentioned is a custom here, too. Most women go back to their hometown to give birth so their mother can help them.
Doctors are strict about weight gain and only recommend a maximum 10 kg (22 lbs) weight gain during pregnancy.
It’s controversial in the west, but eating sushi or other raw food, like raw eggs, is considered safe here.
Epidurals are not widely available. If you want one, you need to schedule an induced labor during regular business hours so that the anethesiologist is available. Most births are natural and assisted by midwives.
Having an episiotomy is the norm.
Elective c-sections aren’t available. They are only available in emergency cases, like breech birth.
Hospital stay is about one week.
Everyone must be enrolled in national health insurance. This will cover most of the costs related to having a baby. There are also subsidized day care centers and paid childcare leave. I have known a few American couples teaching English here who planned on having their baby here because it’s much cheaper than in America.
Japan has a lower infant mortality rate than the US.
Most doctors can speak some English here, but not all are fluent. Volunteer interpreters are available for free, I think.
Overall, it’s not a bad place to have a baby. I’d personally rather give birth here than in my home country, the US.