Prenatal Care in Japan

Find out about the prenatal care available when expecting a baby in Japan...

Finding an English-speaking obstetrician or gynaecologist

Prenatal check-ups

The Mother and Child Health Handbook is needed for each visit to the doctor.

Check-ups usually take place:

  • Once a month at the early stage of pregnancy
  • Every two weeks nearer the birth
  • Every week during the last month of pregnancy

The frequency of check-ups depends on the hospital or clinic chosen, the stage of the pregnancy, and the woman's general health during pregnancy.

Check-ups usually include:

  • Blood pressure test
  • Urine test
  • Weight check
  • Ultrasound - usually at each check-up
  • Confirmation of foetus' heartbeat
  • Internal pelvic examination
  • Measuring the girth of the woman's abdomen and uterine growth

Additional tests are carried out if required.

  • For more details about prenatal health checks from Japan Healthcare Info (JHI): Click here (PDF)

Costs

Each check-up costs about Yen 5,000, but the amount can vary. If there are additional tests that a doctor feels are necessary, these may be covered by the NHI.

  • For further information about pregnancy and delivery costs from Japan Healthcare Info (JHI): Click here

Antenatal classes

Antenatal classes (Hahaoya Gakkyu) are provided by local governments, hospitals, clinics (public or private), and are usually conducted by nurses and midwives. Classes given by local government are usually free.

Classes generally involve:

  • Exercises to do during pregnancy
  • Psychological support
  • Nutrition advice
  • Exercises for easy delivery
  • Breathing exercises
  • Caring for a baby
  • Postnatal care

Specialists are often invited, and women can also discuss anything that concerns them.

Parenting classes

Parenting classes (Ryoshin Gakkyu) are for future parents. There is information about pregnancy, how to prepare for childbirth, and how to care for a baby.

Classes are either provided by local government or hospitals and clinics.

Other classes

There are various kinds of maternity exercise classes available: yoga and swimming, for example. Finding facilities which offer these classes is relatively easy.