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Prenatal and postnatal support
for foreign women living in Japan
and multicultural childcare

User’s Voice

Ms. Thuy Linh
My name is Thuy Linh.

I am a final-year doctoral student in the Graduate School of Urban Environmental Science at Tokyo Metropolitan University in Tokyo, Japan; and also a mom of a four -month-old boy.

I could say that perhaps I have just gone through the most difficult days of my life when I had to adapt to a completely new living environment, to overcome the pressure of completing my doctoral program, and most importantly to become a mother for the first time without my family on my side.

Like all new mothers, there were times when I faced terrible depression, there were several times when I thought I am not good enough to become a mom and that I could not take care of my child.

Lucky me, I found Mothers Tree Japan organization when randomly search for the keyword “foreigner mother support in Japan” on the Internet. This organization saved me, if it wasn’t there for me, if Tsubomisan-the founder of the organization wasn’t there for me when I was most vulnerable, honestly I don’t know what would happen.

And now, when I get my life back to balance, I would like to share my story so mothers like me will know that there is an organization which is willing to give you a helping hand whenever you need with only one purpose of hoping you have the best experience of pregnancy and raising your children in Japan.

  1. MTJ provides a comprehensive guide from pregnancy through to child-rearing in Japan

    When I contacted Mother’s tree japan for the first time in May 2022, The organization sent me the free Maternity Information Kit in my native language through post office, I was very surprised by the detailed documents, nice preparations and careful packaging.

    So, from having no idea of what to expect, I have general understanding of what to do from pregnancy to raising a child while living in Japan, step by step. The smallest details like words and phrases commonly used in labor and delivery are also provided with very nice illustrations.

    Moreover, there are plenty of useful instructions on their website

  2. Mother’s tree japan guides me to have a healthy pregnancy

    I started to join the regular meeting for pregnant women of Mothers Tree Japan when I was 11 weeks pregnant.

    In every meeting, we have time to raise our questions and listen to the advice from midwives, and experts, we have time to discuss and share experiences with each other.

    I learnt a lot from the meetings, like a balanced diet, how to keep warm, which hospital should I choose…

    They provide the answers for all concerns, but not general answers, they provide details information for each mother’s situations. For example, the phone number of the taxi company which is nearest to your apartment.

  3. Personal supports

    When I was pregnant, the first challenge I had to face was the language barrier. I didn’t study Japanese before coming to Japan because my doctoral program at the university is entirely in English. But I couldn’t imagine that this barrier can cause a huge mental stress during my pregnancy and childbirth.

    I had some problems during pregnancy such as I got the flu at 14 weeks, positive with GBS, abnormal resting heartbeat rate. So I was so scared because I couldn’t understand my health conditions enough. I couldn’t understand what the doctors and the nurses said.

    I remember, there was a time that I cried a lot at home after a check-up when a nurse yelled at me because I didn’t understand what she was saying.

    I shared my feelings to Tsubomisan, then she and other volunteers from the organization gave me an enormous help. They helped me with translation every time I had a health check-up, especially every hour on the day I gave birth. Sweet words of encouragement were sent to me every day.

    My labor lasted for two days since my water broke. My cervix opened very slowly and painfully but I still ended up using the inducing medicines. I was stressful being alone in the hospital. But with what I learnt and what I was prepared by Mothers Tree Japan, I was able to control my breath better and got familiar little by little with the contractions.

    In the following time, Mothers Tree Japan helped me to understand and do the necessary actions to get my insurance benefits, to receive the subsidy of local government for maternity and newborns.

    After giving birth, I wasn’t able to join the regular meetings, but I can contact Mothers Tree Japan personally whenever I need.

    Since my son started going to the nursery school, almost every week I ask for help with translation in different issues. Tsubomisan, she always responds promptly even though I know that she is very busy.

  4. What I expect in the future?

    Well, I do hope there will be more on-site classes for mothers and babies in different cities so more mothers who are living far away can join.
    Recently, when I back to regular meetings of Mothers Tree Japan, I have noticed that there are the participation of not only pregnant women or mothers, but also those who is planning to have a baby would also join to learn experiences from experts and other moms. I’m glad that many more parents know this amazing organization. I hope the organization will get more supports to grow and expand.

    And don’t forget that other mothers and I, are always willing to be your next volunteers.


Welfare And Medical Service Agency (WAM) (Social welfare promotion subsidy business)

Sponsoring companies

Interculture Art Inc.
Hannan Chuo Hospital
Shops recommended for foreign pregnant women and mothers raising children
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