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Thread: breastfeeding in Japan?

  1. #1
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    Default breastfeeding in Japan?

    I am off to Japan on holiday in about 10 days. I keep reading that breastfeeding in public is not the done thing. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience about this? We have a couple of long train journeys and I know it would make a things a lot easier if I could nurse to help Sam sleep. I don't mind covering up a bit (although he might!) but I don't want to get arrested or anything!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: breastfeeding in Japan?

    I lived in the Japan in the late 1980s, pre-motherhood so of course I never noticed the first thing about child-rearing there. I don't know the legal situation ... but it was my experience that in Japan, people who appear obviously foreign (especially Caucasians) aren't expected to know how to behave properly anyway, so everyone cuts them a lot of slack.

    Come to think of it, my son was still nursing at age 2.5 years when we spent 6 days traveling in Japan. I must have nursed him in public sometimes, especially on trains, and don't remember any bad feedback as a result. Just take care of your baby and I doubt anyone will hassle you, especially if you are making some attempt to be discreet.

    Bon voyage!

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
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    Smile Re: breastfeeding in Japan?

    Thank you so much for responding. That was reassuring.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: breastfeeding in Japan?

    Conichiwa!!

    This is what I found from a quick google search: It sounds like it shouldn't be a big deal. On Tokyowithkids.com you can probably find a mom in Japan. The posts I copied are old, but there are current posts on the sight (and it looks like there are some LLL members there too!)

    I hope you have a great trip!

    Liz


    http://www.007b.com/public-breastfeeding-world.php
    Japan
    It is common for hospitals and childbirth clinics here to require women to breastfeed, they expect women to go home successfully breastfeeding their infants. I have only seen women here breastfeeding in the waiting room of a childbirth center. In America, women who breastfeed in public most often cover the top of their breast with a nappie, but in Japan, the women I saw just bared the whole breast shamelessly while carrying on conversation. It was surprising to me, because in general Japanese women are very modest about their breasts and rarely show cleavage or wear sexy tops.

    KS

    http://www.tokyowithkids.com/
    By Ruth Grigsby on Sunday, August 6, 2000 - 02:49 pm:

    I will be arriving in Tokyo in 2 weeks and will be staying for 4 months. I have a 7 month old son, who I am currently breastfeeding. Can anyone tell me if it is considered rude to breastfeed in public? Should I find a restroom? Or can I just cover up really good? Any info you can give sure would help. Thanks -Ruth
    By Juliane Suzuki on Sunday, August 6, 2000 - 04:04 pm:

    Ruth,
    I breastfed both my kids in Japan and on occasion I had to feed in public (shopping centers, trains, parks etc) when there were no facilities available. In such a situation I just used the baby blanket to cover up and most of the time no one even noticed what I was doing.

    Most of the department stores (even some of the supermarkets) have breastfeeding rooms adjoining the nappy (diaper) changing room. Some of them even have private cubicals within the changing rooms, since Dads are also allowed into the changing rooms.

    I wouldn't worry about what anyone thinks, as long as you are "covered up," nobody will be offended (a little surprised and maybe you will get a look or two, but that happens everywhere).

    Cheers,
    Juliane Suzuki
    By Susan on Friday, September 1, 2000 - 07:43 am:

    Ruth,
    I also breastfed both of my children in Tokyo - for about 2.5 years each! Especially when they were small, it was easy to feed them anywhere - on the train, the bus, subway, taxi. In the summer, you probably want to find an air conditioned place - great mothers' room in the department stores - on the children's floor. Good luck! Susan
    By Faye Balchin on Friday, September 1, 2000 - 04:26 pm:

  5. #5
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    Default Re: breastfeeding in Japan?

    That's so kind. Thank you. We're off on Tuesday!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: breastfeeding in Japan?

    A few years ago I had a lady from Japan and her children stay in my home for a week and she was tandem nursing. She was very open about it and her children were three years and four month old boys. Her three year old was very big for his age and nursed frequently. She was really grateful to have found a homestay that supported her parenting choices. She was very concerned that she would have problems NIP while traveling in the USA but felt it would not be appropriate to wean her older son while traveling. That has been my only experience with Japanese attitudes towards nursing. I always thought they were much more progressive regarding nursing than we are in the USA.

    momuvseven

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