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Japanese Midwives. An Expat’s View


When you start looking at birthing options, you’ll notice that most of the hospitals work with mid-wives. In the USA, mid-wives are virtually synonymous with “natural delivery.” But that’s not necessarily so in Japan. In most hospitals, mid-wives work with mothers prior to the delivery (mainly making them comfortable), but doctors delivered all the babies. Many mid-wives have confirmed that doctors monopolize control of the birth process in most situations. The lack of empowerment can really weaken the role (and, in some cases, the abilities) of mid-wives.

The nurses in Japan also work under the doctor’s firm authority. Once you check into the hospital, and ask the nurses questions about the birth process, some of the answers could be alarming, because they could completely contradict what you hear from the doctor. Despite their confident show of authority, it does prove how little the nurses are actually empowered.

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