Pregnancy and childbirth: Monthly hospital expenses and the Checkup coupons from the city

As I have already told, pregnancy and related costs are not covered by the Japanese health insurances. So it will be really costly if you have to pay the full amount from your wallet.

The monthly check-ups start from the third month of pregnancy. Once the baby’s heartbeat is confirmed, your doctor issues a certificate. Before that, you have to decide the hospital at which you are planning to give birth(I am not sure if it is the same everywhere in Japan. But we were asked to tell it while filling the form). What we have to do is submit it to the ward office, where they ask you to fill some papers and give some advice. They will issue the medical check-up coupons(14 coupons each for every visit), Boshitecho(Mother and Child Health Booklet) on the same day. dental checkup coupons and some other information brochures related to pregnancy care and childbirth. We have to bring these coupons and Boshitecho during our every visit to the hospital which will make your visits free of cost.

For me, at the Tajimi city office, every paper that I had to fill out was in Japanese. At that time, I was unable to read it. It was my friend, Norie who accompanied me, fill it out the and translated the things told there. There were some lessons going on there for pregnant ladies. We attended that, which was again in Japanese. Such classes are conducted at the city/ward every week. They gave a list of the details about that. We can attend it as per our convenience and need. I didn’t go for further sections, as I need a translator with me. I didn’t want to make difficulties for my friend to come with me every now and then, with her two kids. But she was with me offering a helping hand during the whole eight months and after delivery, cooked food for me many times, took me to other friends of her who are having kids, went to outings every week and so on.

How to use the coupons? Cost during the monthly check-ups.

You have to take the coupons and the Boshitecho to the hospital when you go for a monthly checkup. The staff will take away one among the tickets and give back the rest of them once you leave after the medical examination. Each paper is listed with various examinations like blood pressure, urine test etc. based on the week of pregnancy. During each visit, they will do the weight check, blood pressure, scanning (transvaginal scanning during the first few visits and abdominal scanning after some 6th month) and the urine test. For me, it cost some 200 or 300 yen at the cash counter on my every visit. I think it is during my 3rd visit, that is 5th month of pregnancy, they did some blood tests on which day it took a lot of time at the hospital. That was the only time when I paid 3000 yen.