I might be pregnant. What should I do?

• If you think your period is late or that you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test or go to the OB-GYN department as soon as possible.
• In Japan, you can buy pregnancy test kits at drugstores (pharmacies) (cost: ¥500-1,000). Many people first buy and take a pregnancy test themselves and then go to the OB-GYN department if the test is positive.
• Usually, you will be 5-6 weeks along by the time you realize you are pregnant.If you want to have the baby, you will want to know as soon as possible what to be careful about during the pregnancy, and if you submit a pregnancy notification, you can receive various forms of assistance (for details, see “Column: 3) What should I do if I decide to give birth in Japan?”.
• If you are unable to have the baby, you can have an induced abortion before 22 weeks gestation (up to 21 weeks and 6 days).In Japan, women who have abortions and doctors who perform them are not punished. You can have an abortion safely at the OB-GYN department (For details, see “Column: 5) What should I do if I decide not to have the baby?” .
• If you think you might be pregnant or if you are pregnant, but you don’t know what to do, don’t worry by yourself. Seek advice immediately.

[Seek Advice in Japanese]

groupkumustaka@yahoo.co.jp
Kumustaka - Association for Living Together with Migrants 

[Seek Advice in Japanese]

Provides a list of Crisis Pregnancy Hotlines around Japan for people who are concerned about an unplanned pregnancy.

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Find out more!

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Japan
If you fall pregnant, you can keep working and you can give birth in Japan.
In Japan, there is a law that says you cannot be dismissed
from your company for the reason of pregnancy or childbirth.
Women who work while pregnant and after giving birth are protected by law.Foreign technical intern trainees are also protected by this law if they fall pregnant (this is written in the Technical Intern Trainee Handbook)Seek advice if you encounter problems.

1) Am I covered by health insurance if I give birth in Japan?

Pregnancy and childbirth are basically not covered by health insurance, but local (municipal) governments pay a certain amount of money.Once you know you are pregnant, submit a pregnancy notification at your local municipal office as soon as possible so that you can access these payments.

* “Ninshin in Japan” website – Kumustaka – Association for Living Together with Migrants

2) How will pregnancy and childbirth affect visa status?

Foreign technical intern trainees who give birth in Japan or Vietnam will temporarily be suspended.However, they can return after taking maternity leave.The visa status of the technical intern trainee who is the mother can be renewed or changed.

There is also a medical care scheme for people without residence status who become pregnant.

  1. There is a scheme in which the local government will pay the cost of childbirth for people who are unable to afford it themselves (full or partial payment).You will apply at your local municipal office.
  2. You can receive a Maternal and Child Health Handbook.
  3. You can receive regular check-ups to check the health of the pregnant woman and the baby after it is born.
  4. You can be vaccinated against infectious diseases that the national government recommends that everyone needs.
  5. You will receive the vaccines at your local municipal office.

To Japanese associates

  1. There is also a medical care scheme for people without residence status who become pregnant.
  2. There is also a medical care scheme for people without residence status who become pregnant.
  3.  Issuance of Maternal and Child Health Handbook, regular check-ups during pregnancy and after birth (Article 16, Maternal and Child Health Act)
  4. Issuance of Maternal and Child Health Handbook, regular check-ups during pregnancy and after birth (Article 16, Maternal and Child Health Act)
  5. Regular immunizations (Article 5, Immunization Act)

3) What should I do if I decide to give birth in Japan?

The first thing to do is to go to your local municipal office and tell them that you are pregnant and wish to submit a pregnancy notification.They will tell you how to submit the notification.Once you have submitted the notification, you can receive a Maternal and Child Health Handbook. You can use this handbook to receive support from the municipal office’s public health nurse until you give birth.

* Kanagawa International Foundation (English/Japanese)
Childbirth and parenting in Japan and the Maternal and Child Health Handbook

4) What should I do if I decide to return to my country to give birth?

Technical intern trainees who wish to return to their own country to give birth must first ask their supervising organization to undertake the necessary procedures at the Organization for Technical Intern Training.To resume technical intern training, after having a new technical intern training plan approved by the Organization for Technical Intern Training, they can apply with the Immigration Bureau and return to Japan on a Technical Intern Trainee visa.

• Information page about pregnancy in Japan - Association of Living with Foreigners

5) What should I do if I decide not to have the baby?

• Under Japanese law, you can have an induced abortion before 22 weeks gestation (up to 21 weeks and 6 days).
• The method of abortion permitted in Japan is a surgical operation.In most cases, it is performed without the need for hospitalization. The abortion operation performed differs between early pregnancy (less than 12 weeks) and later, and the impact on the woman’s body also differs. If you decide to have an abortion, doing so early will place less burden on your body.
• Abortion operations are not covered by health insurance. Although it varies at different clinics and hospitals, an abortion in the early stage of pregnancy costs around ¥100,000.If you are in the middle stage of pregnancy and require hospitalization, you should also check with the hospital about admission charges beforehand.
• After an abortion, you may experience physical and mental changes.
* Physical … After an abortion, bleeding may be prolonged, and your next period may come early or be late.
*Mental … You may feel depressed for a long time due to feelings of guilt.
• There also some women who become unable to trust their partner between finding out they are pregnant and deciding to have an abortion.
 These kinds of changes are not unusual.
 If you are worried, don’t delay in consulting the OB-GYN department or a place that provides mental health consultations.
• Having abortion drugs sent to you from your own country or bringing them in yourself and taking them in Japan is punishable by Japanese law. Moreover, it is dangerous to abort a pregnancy with drugs without being examined by a doctor.
• If you have concerns, seek advice immediately.

Message to Men
If, after discussing it with your partner, you both choose to have an abortion, support your partner and get through it together.

* “Ninshin in Japan” website.- Kumustaka - Association for Living Together with Migrants

6) It is too late for me to have an abortion, so I have no choice but to give birth. However, I cannot raise the child. I will give birth soon, but what should I do?

Seek advice immediately. If you give birth alone without having seen a doctor and the baby dies, you may be subject to punishment under Japanese law. No matter what your situation, once you know you are pregnant, consult a doctor.

* Information page about pregnancy in Japan - Association of Living with Foreigners

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