Childbirth is one of the most significant traditions in Japan because it marks the beginning of a new life. When the Japanese parents welcome the “Chan” into their lives, the immediate purpose and goal is to develop a strong bond with the society. Majority of the mothers who get pregnant in Japan are married. This gives both the father and the mother a chance of taking care of the child right from the first days. In this session, I will discuss the traditions that characterize childbirth in Japan.
A number of factors are important for consideration of childbirth in Japan. The environment of the mother during birth is considered an important determinant for the safety of the child. Satogaeri Shussan is a tradition that requires pregnant women to go back to their natal homes for childbirth and labor (Smith, 2005). The tradition helps to reinforce the family and meet the social needs of the mother. The woman will have her mother, mother-in-law, and other female relatives come to look after her. Unlike in the past where most of the childbirths occurred at homes, childbirth is now done in hospitals in Japan.
Drinking and eating is strongly encouraged during birth (Smith, 2005). This helps to strengthen the women for labor. The foods and drinks give the laboring woman the strength to push the baby and have a successful delivery. Pain during childbirth is believed to be the major strengthening factor between the mother and the child (Smith, 2005). Pregnancy and childbirth are respected in Japan because they determine whether the child survives or not.
As aforementioned, childbirth is an important practice in Japan because it marks the beginning of a new life. The Japanese society expects women to adhere to certain requirements for successful delivery. This includes taking the recommended foods and drinks and being ready for the labor pain.
- Smith, S. L., (2005). Japanese American Midwives: Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950. New York: Routledge