How Much Does It Cost to Give Birth in Japan?
Guide for costs when giving birth in Japan
Are you a foreigner and want to start a family here in Japan? Whether your husband or wife is Japanese or you are both ex-pats, there are many things to consider if you want to start a family here in Japan such as the cost of giving birth. This is probably the first question most of us will ask and think of.
In this article, I would like to share with you my personal experience of giving birth in Japan. I will be covering both the cost when I realized that I’m pregnant until giving birth, and the cost after giving birth.
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First, the cost of pregnancy and having a baby in Japan depends on your hospital/clinic as well as your condition, needs, and location. Pregnant women have support provided by the Japanese Government such as maternity care. You should know that health insurance does NOT cover the cost of check-ups during pregnancy and childbirth.
The information below is based on my location in Toshima City (豊島区) where I lived and give birth.
Cost Before Birth
When I found out that I was pregnant, the next day I went to the OB-GYNE clinic near me to do a check-up and the doctor confirmed that I’m 4 weeks pregnant. However, although the doctor said that I was pregnant, I did not receive the paper for the confirmation of my pregnancy on my first day of check-up. The doctor scheduled my next visit and once the heartbeat of the baby is fully shown to the ultrasound then they will give me the confirmation paper.
Because here in Japan, once you get pregnant, you will receive a confirmation paper of your pregnancy from your OB. You have to bring this paper to the city hall and register your pregnancy. Once you are registered, you will receive a bag of pregnancy goodies. All expecting mothers (whether you are Japanese or non-Japanese) are eligible to receive the “Maternity Discount Coupon”.
Even if you have the discount coupon for the check-ups, the cost can vary depending on the clinic, your health condition, and what kind of test you need to do.
Here are examples of costs for my prenatal checkups.
- Prenatal check-up (1st exam): 19,910 JPY
- Prenatal (2nd-14th exam): 4,000 JPY -6,800 JPY/per exam
- Triple Marker Screening: 37,890 JPY
- Others such as medicine: Max 5,000 JPY (from clinic)
- Personal vitamins with doctor’s permission: 10,000 JPY
Preparing the basic needs of the newborn baby such as
- The newborn baby clothes
- Baby crib and mattress
- Baby oil, lotion. buds, baby bottles, etc.
- Baby powder milk (although I’m breastfeeding)
There are gift cards that every pregnant woman receives from your municipality. Each area has a different amount of gift card and it is usually received after a few weeks of your delivery which you can use to buy things for your baby within your ward. The following are some examples.
- Taxi Ticket worth 10,000 JPY
- Kid’s Gift Card worth 10,000 JPY
To know exactly what you will get, be sure to check with your city hall (Shiyakusho).
Cost After Birth
In general, if you give birth to a child in Japan and have health insurance, you are qualified to receive the “Childbirth Lump Sum Allowance”.
What is Childbirth Lump Sum Allowance? It is a benefit from the Japanese Government of 420,000 yen per child. This is given to help with the cost of birth.
If your total hospital bill is less than the lump sum allowance of 420,000 yen per child, then you do not need to add any additional fees and you can claim a refund in the remaining amount of the lump sum allowance from your health insurance provider. However, if the total bill is more than the lump sum allowance you need to pay the difference.
- Normal delivery – 500,000 JPY without insurance. (depends on your hospital)
- C-Section- 201,400 JPY with insurance. 30% of the total medical expenses are required to pay.
However, in my case, I was supposed to have a normal delivery but unexpectedly I need to undergo an emergency cesarean delivery due to the condition of my baby.
Example of Cost to Give birth in Japan
The example cost below is regarding my personal experience of how much the hospital bill was when I gave birth. And the breakdown cost that the hospital gave to us.
- Emergency C-Section: 222,000 JPY ( 30% = 60,000 JPY)
- Medical check and Newborn check: 118,000 JPY
- Bed, Medicine, etc.: 100,000 JPY- 150,000 JPY (for 4 days)
- Total hospital bill: 328,000 JPY
Here in Japan, after giving birth, you have to stay for one week up to 10 days in the hospital, depending on your condition. There is a hospital rule in Japan for how many days you need to stay after delivery.
Normal Delivery – at least one week is necessary to stay inside the Hospital. The doctor will check your condition and your Baby and if there is no problem, they will allow you to go home.
Cesarean Section – at least 10 Days to two weeks are needed to stay inside the Hospital. The doctor will check your scars and your body condition. Same with your baby. Then they will be allowed you to go home.
For more details of my personal experience of giving birth in Japan, you can check this article.
After you give birth, there are still expenses you should consider such as the mother’s check-up after birth and the check-up of your newborn baby. Also, consider buying more baby stuff and the basic needs of your baby even if you have prepared something before you give birth. There are still things you need to buy when you go home from the hospital.
Check-ups for children in Japan are free of charge, you can apply for a “Free Medical Care Certificate” in your ward or municipality. The vaccination and checkups are not covered by insurance. To cover these cost your municipal will gives you coupons to make it free of charge.
As for food, milk, diapers, clothes, etc., there are well-known baby stores here in Japan. The most important thing when buying thing for your baby is that it is safe and of good quality.
- Clothes: 1000-2500 JPY (depends on the brand)
- Diapers: 1700- 2000 JPY (Goon 88 pcs)
- Baby Food (Bottled): 1900-2000 JPY (from 5 months 6pcs)
For more information about baby products and where you can buy them, you can check this article below.
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Hope this article helped you and gave you some idea of the cost of giving birth in Japan. For more related articles, Please check and visit the articles below.