Being pregnant in a foreign country is tough, but adding new terminology in another language to that just adds to the stress of it all.
I’ll admit, although I’m a translator, I just couldn’t handle the thought of having to communicate everything about my pregnancy entirely in Japanese. The responsibility of bringing a new human into the world is stressful enough! So I looked for a clinic where the doctors could speak English, and thankfully found the perfect one.
Unfortunately, when my husband comes to appointments, the doctor switches to Japanese and at times she doesn’t understand what I mean in English so I end up using Japanese anyway. But I like her so shouganai (it can’t be helped).
Provided this, I have ended up learning words that I find are essential for pregnant women to know in Japan.
20 Must-Know Japanese Words for Pregnancy
- 妊娠 (ninshin) – pregnancy
- 妊婦 (ninpu) – pregnant woman
- 葉酸 (yousan) – folic acid
- 予定日 (yoteibi) – due date
- つわり (tsuwari) – morning sickness
- 流産 (ryuzan) – miscarriage
- 破水 (hasui) -water broke
- 産科 (sanka) – obstetrics
- 産科医 (sankai) – obstetrician
- 出産 (shussan) – giving birth
- 自然分娩 (shizen bunben) – natural birth
- 帝王切開 (teiou sekkai) – C-section
- 無痛分娩 (mutsuubunben) – epidural
- 子宮 (shikyuu) – uterus
- 胎嚢 (tainou) – fetal sac
- 羊水 (yousui) – amniotic fluid
- 心拍 (shinpaku) – heartbeat
- 超音波 (chouonpa) – ultrasound
- 母子健康手帳 (boshi kenkou techou) – Maternal and Child Health Handbook
- 妊婦健診 (ninpu kenshin) – prenatal examination
I’m hoping this list helps foreign moms-to-be in Japan. Even if you don’t know how to use these words in a sentence or how to pronounce them, just printing out this list and pointing might be helpful during your first appointment.
In the near future, I hope to also provide a list of phrases or common questions that women have for their obstetricians in Japanese.
Thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy and healthy pregnancy!