In our area of Tokyo (Minato-ku), and across Japan, families with new babies are entitled to a variety of post-natal services, for free.
When registering your child’s birth at the city office, you’ll receive a pink flyer which invites you to call and arrange a “Hello Baby” home visit with a local midwife. This service can be arranged for a time that suits you, and is available until your baby is 4 months old.
This week, we had our “Hello Baby” home visit, which involved the following:
– Measuring baby Hope’s weight, head and chest;
– Answering 2 questionnaires about how we’re doing post-partum (feeding, feelings, finances);
– Receiving information about the full range of free Mother and Child Health services offered by Minato-ku (vaccinations, mothers’ groups, nutrition classes, breastfeeding salons, new mum consultations, midwife calls, etc).
When my husband called to make the appointment in Japanese, he requested an English-speaking midwife.
A lot of the literature she brought had been translated into English, too, which was really helpful – and unexpected.
Although the visit took longer than I was expecting (2 hours for what was really a 20 minute job), I’m grateful to have up-to-date measurements for Hope.
She’s growing at a steady pace (around 24g per day) and at 79 days old weighs over 5kg.
Looking back, it might have been more useful to arrange the visit for an earlier date, however I’d received so much “after-care” in hospital that I wanted to wait until I felt ready for more advice -and paperwork.
How does the above compare to post-natal services in your country? How long was your visit from the midwife? I’d love to hear!
Minato Public Health Centre (to make a “Hello Baby” appointment):
“Hello Baby” visit communication tool