Pregnancy in Japan: Key Vocabulary and Information about Giving Birth in Tokyo

Expecting a baby in Japan? In this blog article, we will be taking a look at various useful vocabulary words in Japanese related to pregnancy and childbirth!

We will also be sharing with you some information about giving birth in Tokyo, such as: what being pregnant in Japan is like, a list of English-friendly hospitals in Tokyo and some information about childbirth financial aid in Japan.


Key Vocabulary for Pregnancy and Childbirth


General Terms 

Below is a table of general medical words you may need to know when going for a medical checkup in Japan.

pregnancy in japan - general terms vocabulary list

Pregnancy in Japan – General Terms vocabulary list

Japanese Pronunciation English
産婦人科 Sanfujinka Obstetrics and Gynecology
病院 Byouin Hospital
訪問時間 Houmon jikan Visiting hours
医者 Isha Doctor
看護師 Kangoshisan Nurse
助産師 Josanshi Midwife
妊娠 Ninshin Pregnancy
妊婦 Ninpu Pregnant Woman
分娩 Bunben Delivery
入院 Nyuuin Admission
定期検診 Teiki Kenshin Regular Checkup
血液型 Ketsueki Gata Blood Type
体重 Taijuu Weight
身長 Shinchou Height
体温 Taion Body Temperature
血圧 Ketsuatsu Blood Pressure

Pregnancy & Childbirth 

The table below consists of common terms used during pregnancy and childbirth in Japanese!

Pregnancy in Japan - Pregnancy and Childbirth vocabulary list

Pregnancy in Japan – Pregnancy and Childbirth vocabulary list

Japanese Pronunciation English
最終月経 Saishuu Gekkei Last menstrual period
胎児 Taiji Fetus
胎児心音 Taiji Shinon Fetal heartbeat
胎動 Taidou Fetal movement
超音波検査 Chouonpa kensa Ultrasound examination
分娩予定日 Bunben yoteibi Estimated date of delivery
つわり Tsuwari Morning sickness
痛い Itai Painful
陣痛 Jintsuu Labor pain
頭痛 Zutsu Headache
はきけ Hakike Nausea
背中が痛い Senaka ga itai My back hurts
出血 Shukketsu Bleeding
注射 Chusha Injection
麻酔 Masui Anesthetic
分娩室 Bunben shitsu Delivery room
帝王切開 Teiou sekkai C-section
経腟分娩 Keichitsu bunben Vaginal delivery
へその緒 Heso no o Umbilical cord
いきんでください Ikindekudasai Please push
マタニティーマーク Mataniti maku Pregnancy Badge
母子健康手帳 Boshi kenkou techou Health book for mother and child

The Baby 

This table includes words and sentences in Japanese you can use after giving birth to your baby!

Pregnancy in Japan - Baby vocabulary list

Pregnancy in Japan – Baby vocabulary list

Japanese Pronunciation English
赤ちゃん Akachan Baby
双子 Futago Twins
出生証明書 Shussei shoumeisho Birth certificate
新生児室 Shinseiji shitsu Nursery
赤ちゃんにあえますか。 Akachan ni aemasuka ‘May I see my baby?’
赤ちゃんを抱っこしてもいいですか。 Akachan o dakko shitemo iidesuka ‘May I hold my baby?’
ミルク Miruku Formula
人工栄養 Jinkou eiyou Bottle feeding
母乳 Bonyuu Breast milk
母乳栄養 Bonyuu eiyou Breast feeding
母乳をあげたいです Bonyuu o agetaidesu ‘I want to breast feed.’
授乳室はどこですか? Jyunyushitsu wa doko desuka? ‘Where is the nursing room?’

Being Pregnant in Japan 

In Japan, the locals see pregnancy as a period for women to discipline themselves both mentally and physically. There is a huge “gaman” culture, which translates to ‘enduring’ or ‘bearing with it’. Hence, most Japanese women choose to give birth ‘naturally’ and not receive any kind of pain relief at all.
As a matter of fact, pain relief such as anesthetic is not a common thing at all in Japanese hospitals. So if you are looking to receive pain relief during your pregnancy and/or childbirth, do make sure to double-check with your hospital!
Did you know that in Japan, fathers are not always permitted at birth? In some hospitals, fathers are required to wait in the waiting room while the mother gives birth in the delivery room. This is because having the father present during birth can be distracting to the doctor. Though it may be a different case in every hospital, this is a good point to note when choosing the hospital you wish to deliver at!

Pregnant in Japan - maternity mark keyring

Maternity Mark keyring

In Japan, all expectant mothers are able to receive a Maternity Mark keyring from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This keyring is for showing strangers that special care should be given to you. For example, giving up a seat on the train or refraining from smoking near you. 

English-friendly Hospitals in Tokyo 

If you are finding for a hospital in Tokyo with services provided in English, rest assured that there are a couple in Tokyo which you can choose from!
Below we have included a list of some English-friendly hospitals in Tokyo.

  1. Aiiku Hospital
  2. Japanese Red Cross Medical Center
  3. Sanno Hospital
  4. Jikei Hospital, Women’s and Children’s Center
  5. Seibo International Catholic Hospital
  6. St Luke’s International Hospital

Financial Aid for Childbirth in Japan

If you are ensured by Japan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) or employed by a company in Japan, you are entitled to receive Japanese insurance benefits.
The government provides a lump sum called ‘Childbirth and Childcare Lump Sum Grant’ worth 420,000 yen, which can be used to cover the costs of giving birth.
Also, the government provides child allowance, at 15,000 yen per month until the age of three, and 10,000 yen per child per month until the third year of high school. 

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