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hehe interesting! I'm at 36 weeks currently and my SIL just had her baby in Japan (she's japanese) and I'm 'up the duff' in australia as a small half japanese girl, we skype sometimes about the different foods they say to stay away from here vs there, down to the laboring techniques and how much weight to gain. Here they encourage weight gain up to 15kg sometimes depending on previous bmi, and there in japan it's a maximum of 8-9kg or you're in danger? How has that been brought up for you. All the midwives here are so concerned I'm not gaining enough it's hilarious.


one way of expressing pregnancy here (fukuoka? japan?) is ookii. i think. as in, 'onaka ga ookii?' it REALLY threw me for a loop the first time i heard it and i was actually rather offended. LOL

i hope the next few weeks are smooth sailing for you and the bub!


p.s. i LOVE your new profile pic! yay!

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Congratulations on being heavy with feet.

I had this apprehension that you may not post regularly. It's always great to see your posts. My daughter is now pregnant and I have recommended your blog to her.


This is spot on! I am married to a pregnant Japanese. Im a guy + I'm not Japanese, can you imagine how lost I am? I can't tell if what my wife tells me is just a Japanese thing or a universal thing.

Also she has a pregnancy book in Japanese. I have one in English(an American book). Mine says pregnant women should not eat honey, hers says honey is ok!

Whats a confused gaijin guy to do?

p.s. illahee , are you from Fukuoka as well?


Congratulations Lil! The 8-9kg is pretty typical here, and it tends to be strictly enforced. My midwife recommended a generous 12kg (A goal I reached a month ago!) and my doctor said 8kg. They are both relatively laid back about it, but I've heard of doctors and nurses causing total misery by badgering patients who gain more than 8kg.

Thanks Illahee! I wonder if that's a Fukuoka/Kyushu thing? Maybe the regional dialects do have expressions for pregnancy- there goes my theory!

Thanks Aurore1, and congrats! I'm sure I'll be posting even less from mid-September...

Kaeru, congratulations! My advice is to do tonnes of research, keep an open mind, and don't pester her too much about her diet (not that I'm assuming you are). Don't worry about the honey, (but definitely no honey for the baby in the first year!). North Americans/westerners tend to worry much more about food, and your book (and most other English language resources) will have a long list of foods to avoid. Some of them are just silly (like the honey), some don't apply to Japan (like sushi) but a few are worth discussing with your wife. In general Japanese are not well educated about the dangers of listeria and mercury during pregnancy. The information is out there (in Japanese, I mean) but not always mentioned in Japanese pregnancy books or by doctors. Look it up and discuss it with your wife.

And make sure she's taking a prenatal multivitamin, or at least a folic acid substitute! Also, check out stippy.com's series on pregnancy in Japan (written from a similar perspective to yours), here is part 1: http://www.stippy.com/japan-life/getting-pregnant-in-japan-1/. Part 4 and 5 are about nutrition and mercury so may be of special interest to you.


Wow, Amy, These are great tips! Will certainly look into listeria and mercury, though I think she is aware that large fish can contain mercury. (The only time she won't eat sushi). Thanks for the links as well. Have just read the first one but definitely helpful!

I'd be curious to read a post about pre-natal care in Japan, what with those little notebooks they hand out to every pregnant mother that they need to bring to the doctor regularly to fill up..or maybe that is just in Fukuoka?


i am in fukuoka-ken, it's a great place to live!

i think you mean the boshi-techo? all expecting mothers get them, even foreigners! :D

amy, i'll have to ask my husband a bit more about expressing pregnancy, but as he's a man (well, duh) he may not know a lot about it. maybe i'll ask at japanese class, as all the volunteers there are older japanese women. i know that when i use 'ninshinshiteiru', a lot of people don't get what i'm talking about at first! could be my pronunciation, though....


Have been through this once in Japan already, and now getting ready for part 2! The method of counting the months and the weeks has always mixed me up, and not sure I will ever get used to the different counting methods...

Good luck! I can only imagine how the heat is affecting you!


Kaeru, she doesn't have to avoid sushi- there's so much out there other than tuna. And although it's true that larger fish are generally higher in mercury than smaller fish, it has more to do with the age of the fish than the size. Some small and medium fish, like kinmedai, have high mercury levels too.

About the boshi techo: there are bilingual ones available and I highly recommend you get one and start having it filled in, as it will be used beyond pregnancy until six years of age. Chances are you'll occasionally have to take your child to the doctor, and having the boshi techo in English will help you understand what's going on. Ask for it at your local city/ward office or order it here: http://www.mcfh.co.jp/cat04/295.html

Illahee, I've also had people not get what I was talking about, but that's because I tend to mix up "ninshin", "nishin", and "ninjin". I've told more than a few people that I'm "carroting" or "herringing"!

Congratulations Sean, and I love your blog. The heat is not that bad as I usually time my outings in the early mornings or evenings. And I'd much rather deal with a pregnant belly in this heat than a newborn baby!

Anthony Fensom

Interesting - my wife was told in Japan she had to lose weight but in Australia she was told to gain it! Think they tend to keep them in longer in Japanese hospitals also, although my wife quite enjoyed her stay in a private room at Brisbane's Mater Hospital. Best of luck with everything!


Anthony, I've heard of Japanese doctors telling pregnant women to lose weight, and think it's outrageous. These days a five day stay after birth is the norm, and I'm really looking forward to mine!

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