In this article, we will see some tips, experiences and curiosities related to pregnancy in Japan. Japan faces a great birth problem, and pregnancy is one of the solutions to end this problem, so the government has done several projects to encourage pregnancy in Japan. Unfortunately the Japan allows abortion in some cases, and this ends up hindering the country's birth rate.
Japan has a traditional and strict culture, being a single mother or before marriage is usually considered dishonorable. Several things end up making mothers not want to have children. One of the main reasons is the employment, about 60% of the women who end up having children, stop working. Another serious problem is that 1 in 5 pregnant women end up suffering discrimination within companies. Some even hide their pregnancy for fear of losing a job. Others end up taking risks at work.
Duties of women during pregnancy
Women in Japan need to do some procedures to have a good pregnancy and receive support from the government. The first step is to have a health plan, something that is mandatory for everyone who lives in Japan. Being regular and paying taxes correctly will also influence the countless benefits that the government offers.
The first step when finding out with a pregnancy test (妊娠検査薬 - Ninshin kensa-yaku) is to schedule a medical exam and request the nishin todoke that serves as proof of pregnancy. With this voucher you must go to your city hall or public health center to continue the process.
It doesn't matter if you are a foreigner, in some cities in Japan you receive all assistance in your own language. Women can be absent from work with medical advice or prenatal examination. The pregnant woman can apply for 6 weeks of maternity leave before delivery and 8 weeks after the baby is born. This right does not apply to all female workers, you must check for more local details beforehand. The employer is not obliged to pay remuneration during maternity leave, but whoever has shakai hoken receives government aid.
The local government may offer two free tests during pregnancy, while delivery and other tests are not covered by health insurance. However, if the pregnant woman is registered in the shakai hoken or kokumin hoken, after paying for the delivery and having the child, she can receive government aid of 350,000 yen, which can exceed 500,000. If the woman is unable to pay for the delivery, there is a system of birth assistance (nyuuin josan seido).
Aid and incentives for pregnancy in Japan
Despite the problems, Japanese women want to have a child, even those who live in the corporate world. The government does its part with a series of incentives before, during and after pregnancy.
During the initial pregnancy process, the woman will receive various materials to help her during the pregnancy. Some books, notebooks, diaries and even a key ring (mataniti maaku) that serves to show that the person is pregnant and thus receive priority in transport and other places. Free lectures are held that teach all the details of pregnancy and baby care.
Japan is very concerned about pregnancy, consultations are held every 2 weeks in the first and third trimester. There are more than 15 and most with ultrasound.
When having a first child, a nurse can visit the parents for guidance. Up to the baby's first 13 months, parents are entitled to 3 free consultations. Do not forget to carry out all the procedures you have been instructed in during pregnancy so as not to miss any benefits.
To better understand the government's incentive, let's leave a video of our friend Caryn from the channel Sushi with Farofa below:
Curiosities about pregnancy in Japan
Not all hospitals in Japan offer epidural pain relief for childbirth. Some believe that pain during childbirth will facilitate the connection between mother and child.
Japanese doctors encourage women to take fruits, vegetables and milk as their vitamins rather than suggesting pharmacy supplements. Although doctors may suggest taking folic acid or other vitamins in the first trimester of pregnancy.
In other countries, pregnant women are advised not to eat any raw food such as sushi or tea. However, doctors in Japan allow women to eat this, in fact some consider it to be a part of good prenatal nutrition.
Only mothers and their babies are allowed to stay in the hospital before and after delivery. Partners and relatives can only go during visiting hours.
There are several other details about pregnancy in Japan that must be researched carefully. I hope you enjoyed this article, remember something interesting that was not mentioned in the article, leave your comments below.