Lunch I received during labour

Do you eat while in labour?

Lunch I received during labour
Lunch I received during labour

There is a debate on Babycenter’s Facebook page this morning whether women should eat during labour.  I am quite surprised by the amount of women who said they got nothing to eat, even those who were labouring for more than 24 hours. However, I am even more surprised by the amount of women who think you shouldn’t eat anything, in case of complications and/or to prevent you feeling nauseous. I never thought about this.

My hospital provides food, if you are there during meal times.  I was for all three of my kids and for two of them I was feeling great so when the staff offered me food I accepted. For those two kids I was feeling great, because I wasn’t feeling my contractions; I went for a check up, only to be told that I was in active labour!   I only feel the contractions during transition, from about 7cm dilated, until delivery.  So I was able to eat comfortably.  On my 2nd child I particularly enjoyed the food.  Japanese hospital food is delicious.

Thanks to the debate on Babycenter I can see why in some cases it might not be a good idea to eat during labour. However, I will eat again on the next one, if I am there during a meal and the time allows. I think it is more important to keep your strength up, to help you (and the baby) on your way!

Now I am curious; did you eat while you were in labour?

Dinner I received during labour
Dinner I received during labour
Week 38 リフレ (1)

Free foot reflexology massage at my maternity hospital

At the Hospital Induction Briefing, around week 34 of pregnancy, every patient is given a ticket to redeem a free foot reflexology massage in the Foot care puchi salon(フットケアプチサロン) on the ground floor. The reflexology room is located beside the cafe, toward the back of the hospital. It is a cosy little room with pleasant aromatherapy scents and beautiful relaxation music. The staff varies from day to day.
Week 38 リフレ (1)

I was lucky to get a very friendly, yet professional and very skilled reflexologist. She used oils during the massage too, which added to the sensory satiation. When you first sit down she wraps the feet in a hot towel. I never knew something so simple, could bring such pleasure, it felt amazing! She spent just under 15 minutes on each leg, working her magic on the lower leg and feet. She concentrated most of her time on the latter.  At the end of the session you receive a complementary caffeine-free hot tea.

I hadn’t told the lady that I have been suffering from reflux, because I didn’t realise that reflexology is known to reduce heartburn and reflux. However, I realised last night (and confirmed it on Google this morning!) that the reflexology has relieved me of my reflux. I also fell asleep easier last night, than I have been for the last few weeks. I will definitely consider booking another reflexology massage before going into labour. For anyone attending Keiai, please note that you cannot redeem the free session after the baby is born, it has to be while you are still pregnant.
Free drink and treat


After the reflexology I went for my weekly check up. As I am 38 weeks, that involved a NST (non stress test). Another lovely 30 minutes spent in a reclining leather comfy chair. :-) My Doctor was delivering a baby and I was told I might have to wait a while to see him so I went to the cafe after the NST and used a free ticket I had for a drink and donut.  That ticket was actually thanks to the paediatric section of the hospital. If you get your child vaccinated at keiai you receive a ticket for a free drink and donut; or if the donuts are sold out, something of similar value. Before I knew it I was called into see the Doctor and afterward promptly called to the payment counter.  (This visit’s cost, like most of the proceeding visits, was covered by a book of coupons you receive from the Government.)  I left feeling so relaxed and refreshed.


Preparing for baby number 4

Am I nesting? 
Most definitely. I didn’t recognise it on my other pregnancies, but there is no denying it is here and strong on this pregnancy.

What is nesting like?
Nesting can make you want to clean places you would never normally think to clean. What bewilders me it is often unrelated to the arrival of the baby.  For example, why I had the urge to clean under the door thresholds, behind the fridge and the inside of the washing machine is beyond me.  However, I did it and many other random places in the last few weeks.  I have also done a lot of cleaning and preparing for the baby itself, such as wash a feck load of baby clothes, blankets and other necessities. I even washed the buggies and steam cleaned them…

What am I doing differently than on my other 3 pregnancies?
Steam cleaning! I don’t think I steam cleaned the buggies or car seats for the other three. This time I find I am more efficient and also more aware of things I can have prepared to make things easier when #4 arrives. For example, I have already prepared well over 20 sets of baby underwear (that ties under the arms), placed into outerwear that also ties under the arms, so it will be easy to dress the baby after a code red nappy or bath!

Japanese style baby wear.  There are no seams on the inside and there are strings under the arms to tie, so you don't have to lift over the baby's head.
Japanese style baby wear. There are no seams on the inside and there are strings under the arms to tie, so you don’t have to lift over the baby’s head. This is a vest type one placed inside an outer type.

I am also indulging myself a lot more than I did on the other three.  It is important after all that Mama is well rested before going into labour!  Today, at my maternity hospital for a checkup, I once again availed of the free hand/arm massage service, and I treated myself to lunch with a cappuccino. The latter was free as I used one of the free drink coupons you get at each Mama / maternity / antenatal class.

Lunch at the cafe in my maternity hospital
Lunch at the cafe in my maternity hospital

Only a few weeks left until the baby arrives; I plan to make the most of it. I think the nesting will continue, but so will the indulgences. :-)


Halloween winding down in Japan

You can currently see plenty of halloween displays, food and goods for sale all over Japan, often in the least expected places, but the peak of Halloween is almost over. Halloween goods are sold as early as the end of August in Japan, but they also come off the shelves earlier than expected.  You can already see Halloween goods being discounted in some of the larger foreign stores, such as Babies-r-us, a sure indication that they will be removed shortly. Similarly, the 100 yen shops typically cease to restock their halloween wares from the middle of October.

100 yen shop halloween goods
100 yen shop halloween goods
Halloween items are only a 100 yen each
Halloween items are only a 100 yen each
Halloween goods at the 100 yen shop (approximately 1 Euro or Dollar)
Halloween goods at the 100 yen shop (approximately 1 Euro or Dollar)

Apart from the costumes and knick knacks that are sold during September in Japan, you can also buy seasonal halloween food.

Halloween Kitty Chan donuts by Mr Donuts
Halloween Kitty Chan donuts by Mr Donuts
Baskin Robbins Halloween treats
Baskin Robbins Halloween treats
Famous cake shop Fujiya's character, Peko-chan, dressed up for Halloween
Famous cake shop Fujiya’s character, Peko-chan, dressed up for Halloween
Fujiya halloween treats
Fujiya halloween treats
Peko chan halloween roll at Fujiya
Peko chan halloween roll at Fujiya
Fujiya's halloween bakes and cakes
Fujiya’s halloween bakes and cakes

Now is the time to get a snap of the various halloween displays as chances are they will be gone by Halloween day.

Halloween display in my local fishmongers!
Halloween display in my local fishmongers!
Halloween display at a maternity hospital
Halloween display at a maternity hospital
Halloween display at Mr Donuts, for taking your photo
Halloween display at Mr Donuts, for taking your photo
Halloween display for taking photos at Babies-r-us
Halloween display for taking photos at Babies-r-us

For more on Halloween in Japan

See how international families in Japan celebrate here:

On this blog
Halloween goods at the 100 yen shop
Halloween parade in Kanagawa prefecture
Halloween books
Halloween easy craft

On other blogs
Halloween bentos on
Halloween crafts on


Mihashi Park in Omiya

Omiya park is the most famous park in the Omiya area, but in my humble opinion it is far from the best.  The lesser known Mihashi Sougo Park, 三橋総合公園, has more to offer and is easier to navigate.

The park is conveniently located off route 17. It is has plenty of free parking.  There is an indoor community pool within the park, as well as other indoor and outdoor sporting facilities. There are 2 playgrounds, a running / cycle track and plenty of open spaces for children to play in.

The main playground boasts lots of different athletic type playground equipment. The main attraction is the ship in the centre of the playground, with its tall and curvy slides. It has a number of different climbing options, as you can see in the photo below.Mihashi park (2)

Other equipment in this playground encourages climbing skills, such as the monkey bars, climbing wall and ropes. There is also a net climbing attraction, which proves very popular, as you can see in the photo below.
Mihashi park (5)

There is good shade around the circumference of this playground, as there are lots of trees making it ideal for picnicking in the summer. And by mid afternoon the playground is mostly in the shade. There are also picnic tables dotted throughout the playground. There are vending machines that sell drinks and there is a van that sells pot noodles. :-) There are toilets beside the car park, the tennis court and in the sports facility opposite the swimming pool.

Mihashi park (3)Near the tennis courts there is another, smaller playground suited to toddlers and smaller children. It has swings as well as the roller slide pictured.

Mihashi park (4)

Another attraction of this park, for my kids anyway, is the abundance of insects. Today, for example, my kids and their friends (who we brought to the park with us), caught over 20 grasshoppers, beetles and crickets. :-)



Address: 5 Mihashi, Nishi Ward, Saitama City
Access by car: 10 minutes from the Yono exit of the Shuto expressway (Omiya route). Located at the intersection of R17 and R2
TEL: 048-623-0505

“Mother’s class” and more free presents from my maternity hotel

The present and free samples received at today's antenatal class
The present and free samples received at today’s antenatal class

I had my last ever antenatal class at my maternity hospital today.  :-( They call them “Mother’s class”.  Today’s was about delivery (of the baby, of course!).

The “class” was 2 hours long and divided into 2 parts, with a break between. The first part was a video of a woman giving birth, not too graphic, but not hollywood style either.  Following this, the director of the hospital gave an in-depth lecture on all you ever needed to know, but would rather not, about birthing a baby!  Actually, it was quite interesting, but the real fun part was after the recess, when we were grouped off for chatting and brainstorming.

When it was over, as with every maternity class at this hospital, we were given a present on our way out. Today, we got a buggy / stroller original cover, and as with every class, samples, magazines and a free drink coupon for the cafe on the ground floor.

I took a few random photos today, as there seems to be an interest in this topic, judging from the stats of my blog. The post Afternoon tea at my maternity hospital was shared on Facebook more than 60 times.  Prior to that post, the most a post had ever been shared was 8 times!! So a very big and very sincere thank you to everyone who shared my post on Facebook. :-)

A coupon for a free drink in the hospital's cafe
A coupon for a free drink in the hospital’s cafe
Present from the "About Birth" Mother's class at Keiai. An original buggy / stroller cover
Present from the “About Birth” Mother’s class at Keiai. An original buggy / stroller cover
Halloween display in the lobby of my maternity hospital
Halloween display in the lobby of my maternity hospital
Some of the trees in the small, but perfectly kept garden of Keiai, are illuminated at night.
Some of the trees (in the small, but perfectly kept garden of Keiai) are illuminated at night.
"Welcome to Keiai" sign in the garden of the hospital
“Welcome to Keiai” sign in the garden of the hospital


A day of free indulgence at my maternity hospital

Free massage at KeiaiI had a check up today. Thankfully, everything is great.  I knew that there were no blood tests scheduled, or other issues that would require a trip to the nurses station, so I knew I would be waiting a couple of hours to see a Doctor.  Thus, I decided to indulge myself a little while I waited.
Free lunch at Keiai
First, I went to book my free lunch.  The KI Cafe at the back of the ground floor of the hospital serves 20 lunches a day. There are 3 choices, each of them are pasta, and each of them are deeelicious. (Said with a Peppa Pig accent!) I was given a coupon for this offer at the last maternity class I attended. I did try to redeem it at my last check up, but I was too late and the lunches were finished for the day.  They told me then, that for holders of a coupon, lunch can be booked from 10am the morning you wish to have lunch. Lunch is served until 13.30.
Hand massage ad at Keiai
With that booked, next,  I went to try out the free hand massage service, in the waiting area, for the first time. This service was not available on any of the other three kids, I think they introduced it last year.   I did try to avail of this free service previously, but at the time I was only in the first trimester and you have to be at least 22 weeks pregnant for it.  It is only available during the morning (between 9am and noon) and for the last few visits I have attended in the afternoon.  The massage is supposed to last 10 minutes, but I think she takes her time when she is not busy.  Mine was at least 15 minutes long, as was the lady’s before me.  It was very relaxing, I even started to nod off.  You can use this service anytime you visit, if you are more than 22 weeks pregnant. I will be indulging again!

I waited until after my check-up and “paying” the bill (this visit was covered by coupons you get from the prefectural government) to redeem my free lunch. I wanted to be able to relax over it. You can use the cafe while waiting to see the Doctor, if you are certain time allows. The cafe mainly serves beverages and sweet treats such as cakes and doughnuts. In the past, during my 1st and 2nd pregnancy, they used to wrap your treat and drink cup in cling film, if you were called to see the doctor or nurse’s station. However, they don’t do that anymore, so it is best to time your trip to the cafe so that your food and/or drink don’t go to waste!

After satiating my hunger and relaxing over the coffee that was included in the lunch coupon, it was time to come home.  I was so refreshed after a morning of indulgence there. Great news is, I’m back there tomorrow :-)

Pregnancy, Parenting, Play in Saitama


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