Blog where midwives attend to the anxieties many moms and dads have about raising their children

Sad experiences

In my self-introduction chapter, I mentioned that I had a "painful experience" in a maternity ward when I was a nursing student, which led me to become a midwife, and I would like to write about that painful experience.

A Painful Experience Leads to Becoming a Midwife Who Can Feel the Feelings of the Mother

A 'painful experience' as a catalystBecome a midwife who can relate to the feelings of the birth mother

In nursing school at that time, we would go around to each ward every two to three weeks for practical training. We would take a patient, look at their medical history, learn about their treatment plan, understand their current condition, and formulate a nursing plan, including what they need and what we can do for them. In the obstetrics ward, I remember the training was to follow the patient who was currently in labor and assist her to deliver the baby safely. The pregnant woman I took care of seemed to have a smooth delivery.
Normally, when a baby is born and I hear the birth voice, I ask the birth mother to meet the baby, but at that time, I took the baby immediately to the newborn room without showing the baby to the birth mother. When I heard the tiny birth cry, I too wondered, "What's going on?" I wondered the same as the woman. The answer came as soon as I got to the newborn room.

In fact, the baby was an anencephalic child. Anencephalic children are those who, in utero, have a partial or major portion of the brain missing because the formation of the brain and spinal cord has been inhibited. Since there is often no abnormality in organs other than the brain, the child grows up in the belly of the mother.
When the baby is delivered, it is most often stillborn or survives only a week or so because the cerebrum and brain stem have not yet developed. For this reason, they said, they do not show the baby to the woman who gave birth.
In Japan, the incidence is 1 in 1,000.
It was the first time I had ever seen an anencephalic baby, and so was the fact that the woman who delivered the baby would not let me see the baby. As a young man, I was just in a great shock.

Since she has given birth, as a mother, her breasts become engorged and she is able to breastfeed. However, since there is no baby to drink, the mother must stop breastfeeding. We try not to irritate the breast as much as possible by wrapping a bleach cloth around it, cooling it from above, and so on.

I did not know how the doctor explained it, but the woman cried the whole time. She must have been in disbelief because she had already heard the birth voice, and she seemed to be in even more pain. I didn't know what to say to her, so I stayed by her side. All I could do was to be there for her. I was so frustrated with myself that I decided to "become a midwife" so I could be there for her. I decided to become a midwife so that I could be there for them.

I still don't know the right answer to how I should have said those words when such a difficult thing happened. However, I believe that the same action of "being there" would feel different to the woman now. I believe that I would be able to be there for the woman in her time of distress, rather than just feeling that I don't know what to do.

The Mystery of 'Birth' Always Attached to Childbirth

The Mystery of 'Birth'Always Attached to Childbirth

Anencephaly is caused by a blockage of the neural tube. If the lower part of the neural tube is blocked, the result is "spina bifida," which causes motor and excretory disorders. When the upper portion of the neural tube is blocked, anencephaly occurs, and the child is born with incomplete brain formation.
Unfortunately, the causes of neural tube defects are still not clearly understood, but the following three factors are thought to be involved.

  • Genetic Factors:It is possible that it is not an external factor but a genetic one.
  • Pregnancy Environment:It can be caused by the environment of the fetus during pregnancy, such as the presence of diabetes or obesity in the pregnant woman, epilepsy medication, high fever during the first trimester, exposure to large amounts of radiation, excessive vitamin A intake, as well as alcohol consumption, smoking, and maternal nutritional status.
  • Insufficient folic acid:It is now known that a lack of folic acid, a nutrient that promotes DNA synthesis, in early pregnancy increases the risk of neural tube closure defects in the fetus. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has issued a notice stating that pregnant and nursing mothers should actively take folic acid to reduce the risk of developing the disorder.

I then worked as a midwife and successfully delivered about 300 babies, but I never met a single anencephalic baby. It was a very valuable and unforgettable experience.

Having been involved in many pregnancies and deliveries, I feel that we must never forget that along with the mystery of "birth," there are always things that come with childbirth that cannot be said to be safe for everyone.

Updated on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month

Next time... Thursday, February 22, 2024 Update

Yoko Nanbu, Midwife
The speaker is

Midwife Yoko Nambu

After graduating from Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Nursing and obtaining a national nursing license, and graduating from the Japanese Red Cross School of Midwifery and obtaining a national midwifery license, she worked as a midwife in the obstetrics and gynecology ward of Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital, attending over 300 births and picking up babies. After that, she established "Toraube Inc.", a consultation office mainly for women's body. As a woman's ally, she provides consultation for problems at all ages. She believes that women should understand their own body as their own. She believes that this will lead to the solution of all problems and deals with them on a daily basis.
Her hobbies include traveling with her husband, listening to movies and music, and playing healthy mahjong.

What I want you to know from my experience
supporting many mothers as a midwife.

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