December 21, 2017 12:08pm
Japanese mom marvels at the “Freedom” of birthing at Women’s

When Akiko Pape realized that she and her husband Daniel were going to have a baby, her first reaction was joy. Her second reaction was nervousness. Akiko is from Japan and she wasn’t sure how she felt about going through pregnancy and childbirth in the Canadian medical system.

“The system here is a bit different compared to Japan,” she explains. “In Japan you have more checkups and stay in hospital longer. Here you’re out of the hospital two or three days after having the baby.”

“It was so amazing, just so great… When I have another baby, I want to have it at BC Women’s.”

As it turned out, Akiko soon discovered she had nothing to worry about, despite having a longer pregnancy than expected.

“I was nine days overdue and I was starting to worry,” she says. “But here in Canada, the doctors don’t induce right away. They say, when babies come, that’s their time.”

That was fine with Akiko, who had her heart set on having as natural a childbirth as possible. Akiko’s contractions finally started but it took another three days for her baby to be born. During that time, Akiko appreciated the efforts of the “cheerful” nurses and the amount of control she was allowed to have over her own labour.

“All of it was up to me. I could drink whenever I wanted, I could be in any position I wanted,” she remembers. “I really appreciated the freedom.”

Thanks to the helpful assistance of the staff, Akiko finally gave birth to her little girl, Anzu, which means “little apricot” in Japanese. Akiko was so grateful for the care she received at Women’s that when her husband’s video production company, Colabo Innovations, staged its first charity fundraising event, she and her husband decided the money should go to the hospital.

“All of my experience was good,” she says. “It was so amazing, just so great… When I have another baby, I want to have it at BC Women’s.” 

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