Born This Way

The Japanese government’s eagerness to slow the decline of the nation’s birthrate has shined a light on the country’s cultural attitudes toward birth—and the medical practices that result.
 
Japanese doctors advise expectant mothers to gain no more than 6-10 kg of weight during pregnancy, for example, and to keep warm by bathing in hot springs or sitting under blankets, even during summer months.
 
In addition, Buddhist tradition has long discouraged the use of pain relief during childbirth. Women are encouraged to embrace the pain instead. Epidurals are rarely available and administered sparingly, though attitudes are changing among the younger generations.
Source: The Economist

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