Having a Baby
The New York Times recently ran a brief story about the increase in home births in America. While still only about 1% of total births, the rate of homebirth has increased 20% since 2004. Readers’ experiences of homebirth and opinions about it were solicited at the end of the article. Most replies were positive, but one negative voice stood out:
Like a lot of new mums I found shopping for a pram or stroller almost as fun as shopping for teeny tiny baby outfits. Prams & strollers have progressed beyond just being a functional piece of equipment to transport baby from A to B, to rides jam-packed with features, accessories, fashionable looks, and price tags that make you wonder whether you should buy a car instead. There are many different factors involved when choosing one for your child, and if you need to buy or bring a pram or stroller to use in Japan, there will be a few extra points to consider.
Whether you decide to give birth in a hospital, birthing clinic, or at home, you may wish to take some prenatal classes and/or use a doula or other form of labour support to help you before or during the birth. Fortunately there are some excellent English-speaking maternity support services available.