Pregnant in Japan - third trimester essentials

I am now well into my third trimester with just 4 weeks (and 2 days) to go until my due date. I am feeing pretty good (all things considered) and am enjoying the last few weeks as a mama-of-one while it lasts.

Being pregnant in Japan is probably similar to anywhere else, but there are things that are recommended here that I will share, in case you are interested...

For the belly...
Japanese old-wives tales are still very common, and one of the most common things I hear is about keeping warm. Even those women who are pregnant in summer are encouraged to wrap their bellies, making sure the baby doesn't get cold. Keeping the feet and ankles warm is also very important and I have been told several times by well meaning doctors, friends and even strangers. 

So, there are a HUGE selection of belly wraps and supports available in-store and online. They range from simple fluffy waistbands to high-tech undergarments as you will see below.

This is the popularity ranking of belly-supports on a well-known website for expectant and new mothers here in Japan named Aka Sugu (here),

As you can see, some of them are like granny undies, and some just cover the belly, while others go all the way down the thighs. Some of them have built in support, others have velcro and straps which you can adjust to your growing belly. Obviously there is a wide price range too.

I have a pair of the Wacoal support underwear (similar to #3 on the list) and really like them. They also have the added benefit of smoothing out any lumps and bumps (not as tight as spanx, but great nonetheless).

There is also a wide range of belts and girdles for helping you get back down to your pre-pregnancy shape (if you so desire). Check out these products (from Aka Sugu too) for an eye-opening selection.

There is also a huge range of oils and moisturizers available (even some imported from other countries) for soothing itchy stretching skin and helping to minimize/avoid stretch marks.

I have used bio-oil during both pregnancies which I love and highly recommend. It is available online and I have seen it in some pharmacies and stores like Sony Plaza, Loft and Tokyu Hands which sell a lot of imported beauty items.

For health and wellbeing...
Tea:
There are lots of de-caffenated drinks available including tea and coffee in supermarkets and import food stores.
I like rooibos tea, as well as de-caf green tea, and during my third trimester I have also started drinking Raspberry leaf tea which is supposed to be good at toning the uterus in preparation for labor and birth.
I found several brands Raspberry leaf tea at Kaldi import supermarket and online (at Amazon japan).

Supplements:
I really like the Pigeon brand of maternity/prenatal supplements and never found them to cause nausea or any other reactions. I am taking the folic acid/vitamin supplement as well as a probiotic. The cheapest ones I have seen are on Amazon japan. Check here and here for the ones I mentioned above.

Other things that are recommended during this time...
Pregnancy pillows - there are lots available in store at Akachan Honpo as well as online at Amazon Japan.
I have this one which I really like, and has the advantage of having uses after the baby is born too.


If there are any other products you couldn't live without in your third trimester let me know!

Happy shopping, 
Fran xx







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