So I know that every pregnancy and birth is unique to that particular situation, and I know that many people are “one and done” but let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that you were willing to go through pregnancy and birth a second (or third, or fourth) time round.
If you were doing everything all over again, what would you do differently? What did you think was really good from your previous experience(s) that you would hope to do again? Is there anything specifically unique to childbirth in Japan that you liked and wish were more common back in your country of origin?
For me, I would want to be a stronger advocate for myself regarding weight gain during pregnancy. They were ever so annoying about it (as I know they are with many of us) but in the end my baby was born very healthy despite being a month premature, I know I ate healthily during my pregnancy, I didn’t have gestational diabetes, and I lost the “excess” weight as soon as I put my mind to losing it so I now know my own body well enough to be able to put my foot down about their pointless nagging, which only serves to add stress during an already stressful time.
As for the birth itself, I don’t think I’d change anything much. I took a hypnobirthing course while I was pregnant and it was a complete game-changer for me, it helped me feel so empowered. As a result, I felt fully armed with the knowledge and confidence that I needed at the time, and able to advocate for myself if I felt things going awry at any point. While I was definitely concerned about suddenly going into labour a month early, I was just so excited to meet my baby and I definitely think that helped with dealing with the pain and isolation of giving birth during the start of the pandemic! So I would definitely take a hypnobirthing refresher course, although that’s not specifically related to anything in Japan.
Regarding the hospital stay, I wish they hadn’t “properly” washed our daughter before I got to take her home. Of course we bathed her in the hospital, but before we went home they gave her a more thorough wash and somehow removed all of the wonderful newborn baby smell, so since my husband only met her for the first time 5 days after her birth, he never got to experience it!
How about you?at #7762PilafParticipant
I probably would have done more research about breastfeeding, since some of the advice I was given was a bit odd but I was too tired to question them in the hospital at the time.at #7764KayKeymaster
Thanks for the very interesting questions, Pippa, and thank you Pilaf for sharing your thoughts!
I remember reading about how the hypnobirthing course helped you when you gave birth, Pippa, and it’s something I would want to consider if I have a vaginal birth in the future.
Pilaf, if you don’t mind sharing (and if you remember), what kind of advice was odd?
And in answer to the original questions asked:
If you were doing everything all over again, what would you do differently?
Hmm, I feel like I wouldn’t have much of a choice regarding how I would ultimately give birth (C-section again because platelet problem). This would be the case if I had another child, too. Maybe I would insist on a C-section from the start rather than attempting to be induced? That was very painful. I would also try to find a better clinic/hospital that could handle high-risk cases. My original clinic had to transfer me to another hospital last minute. I had great postpartum care BUT I am forever salty about not getting the fancy food! I just got regular hospital food and I hated it.
What did you think was really good from your previous experience(s) that you would hope to do again?
Hmm… I really liked the doctor and the clinic I went to, so I guess going with a female doctor who can speak English and a clinic where you can book an appointment would be a must. Also joining a bumper group on Reddit! That helped relieve a lot of my worries and I felt a lot less alone. Oh and living somewhere that had a station where I could sit down on the train, and working at a place that let me leave an hour early with no cuts to my salary so I could sit down on the way home. That helped relieve a lot of stress.
Is there anything specifically unique to childbirth in Japan that you liked and wish were more common back in your country of origin?
The longer hospital stay so that mothers can properly recover! And the
(apparent because I never got it)amazing food. Oh and some (all?) hospitals/clinics give really nice freebies. I don’t know if Canadian hospitals do that but I was happy with what I got in Japan.
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