FAQ ; A Maternity Guide for Muslims Living in Japan

Procedure After Birth

After the baby’s birth, parents need to proceed with several things at the local city hall.

Registration of birth(出産届け shussan todoke)

This is a sheet filled in by the maternity hospital/clinic that must be submitted to the local city hall of the area within 14 days after birth (including the birthday) that the parents are residing to get the baby’s name and his/her birth registered in the family register. In submitting the birth registration, some city halls require parents to bring Mother and Children Health Book, identity card, and such so please do check your city hall website for more details.

Child allowance (児童手当 jido teate)

Child allowance is paid to registered residents in Japan and is raising children ages 0 to 15 years old (the age of finishing junior high school). The amount varies according to the children’s age.

・15,000 yen for age 0 ~ under age 3
・10,000 yen (1st and 2nd child) and 15,000 yen (3rd child and above) for age 3 ~ until before finishing primary school
・10,000 yen for junior high school student
・Flat rate 5,000 yen per month per child (all children) for those with income exceeds the income limit (special allowance or 特例給付 tokurei kyuufu)

The amount will be paid to the bank account of the applicant (beneficiary) at once every June, October, and February. It means that allowance from February to May will be made in June, allowance from June to September will be made in October, and allowance from October to January will be made in February.

Payment of the allowance will begin for the month after the application has been made and cannot be paid retroactively, so do apply for the child allowance as soon as possible after the baby’s birth.

To apply for the allowance, parents will be required to fill in and submit the child allowance application (get it from the city hall), presenting the child’s health insurance certificate and bank account for the payment of the allowance.

Special allowance or 特例給付

The special allowance is a flat-rate child allowance paid to residents with income reaches an income limit that is varies depending on the number of family dependents and income limits.

Number of dependents   Income limit (annually)
0   6,220,000 yen
1   6,600,000 yen
2   6,980,000 yen
3   7.360.000 yen
4   7,740,000 yen
5   8.120.000 yen

 

Children medical expenses subsidy

Children from ages 0 to 15 years old will get their medical expenses subsidized by the government. Health insurance in Japan covers 70% of the children’s medical expenses and the subsidy covered medical expenses that are not covered by health insurance. Each area has a different condition, some need to pay 500 yen per medical examination including medicine, some are free for both examination and medicine.

To get this subsidy, parents need to apply to the city hall. Recommended applying this together with the registration of birth or with the children’s allowance application.

To apply for the subsidy, the parent will need to present the children’s health insurance, seal, and the parent’s bank book within 15 days from the day of the baby registered.

Children’s Health Insurance

Once the baby’s birth, parents will be needed to add the children to their insurance. In general, the children’s insurance will be added to the parent with higher income. Please confirm to your company (if you get the health insurance through a company) or city hall (if you join the National Health Insurance) for more information.

With insurance, parents will be able to proceed to children’s medical expenses subsidy and children allowance application.

Medical Check-Up After Birth

After the baby’s birth, there will be a medical check-up that covers the baby and (some will cover) mothers; 1st-week check-up (a week after leaving the hospital), 1st-month check-up, and 3rd-month check-up. In the 1st-week and 1st-month check-up, doctors will check both baby and mother (the uterus and cervix, etc), while in the 3rd-months will be the baby only.

Note that some areas or some hospitals/clinics might have different policies in the check-up period.

Mothers and babies will get the check-up at the delivery hospitals/clinics or at the Health Center, according to the delivery/residing area.

FAQ ; A Maternity Guide for Muslims Living in Japan

Vaccination

Japan applies regular vaccination for kids from they were born until they reach 13 years old. The regular vaccination set by the government will be free of charge.

The mother will be given a vaccination schedule during hospitalization after birth or sent from the local government by post to home so that the mother can easily schedule what vaccination and when the baby will need to get it. The mother will also get applications needed for each vaccine, that must be brought together with Mother and Children Handbook, the child’s health insurance card, and children’s medical expenses subsidy card in each vaccination.

Do note that the mother will need to make a reservation to pediatrics for the vaccination. Some pediatrics allow 2 kinds of vaccines at one visit, some allow 3 kinds.

Vaccination schedule (vary each area)

Start in October 2020, the Japanese government decided to put rotavirus vaccination to regular vaccination, which means that it will be free (it costs around 10,000 yen per vaccination and baby needs to take 3 times with total cost of 30,000 yen). Babies born in August 2020 will be the first who get the application of this new regulation.

Circumcisions

For a baby boy, Muslim parents will need to look for the hospital to get circumcisions for their babies. This is not an easy thing since many hospitals/clinics in Japan do not accept circumcisions for religious/cultural reasons.

According to our interviewees who is a Muslim mother experienced the circumcisions for her baby boy, it is recommended to get the baby circumcised as early as possible for some reasons ;

・Since Japan is a Muslim-minority country, it will be hard to persuade the kid to get a circumcision when he gets older, especially when his friends, which mostly will be Japanese non-Muslim friends, do not get it.
・The scar recovers faster because the baby still cannot move by his/herself such as turn over or touch the pubic area. It is said that baby before 3 months old is able to bear with the discomfort after circumcision.
・Prevent the kid from getting a trauma because of scared or pain.

It is recommended to get it done before the baby able to turn over and lay down on his stomach. Get circumcisions at a younger age will have a faster recovery.

Our interviewee got her baby boy circumcised at the Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic. Before the surgery, parents are requested to read and sign a request for circumcision application.

Below is an experience of circumcisions surgery on a 1,5-month old baby.

The Surgery

To get circumcisions, the parents will need to make a reservation with the hospital. Some will need 1 month before, some will need a shorter time according to the slot. The baby will get a local anesthetic in some spots at the pubic area that will last for 4-6 hours. The surgery will take approximately 30 mins. According to a doctor that carries out the circumcisions, most babies that got circumcisions have no problem in terms of pain or discomfort after surgery, however, if the baby cannot tolerate the pain, the doctor may prescribe a pain killer but do not recommend it very much.

Circumcision surgery room

Aftercare

According to our interviewee’s experience, better for parents to avoid public transportation to go to and back from the hospital. It is because in some cases, the baby/child may not be able to calm after the surgery. We recommend parents to move with private transportation, rental car, or taxi.

On the first day, the baby does not need to take a bath. The baby will be allowed to take a bath the next day. After the surgery to the 7th day, the diaper needs to be changed more frequently than usual like once per 2 hours.

If the scar gets dirty because of poop etc, parents can clean the scar with a cotton swab moistened with warm water. Make sure the scar completely dry with a towel and attach gauze that is applied with petroleum jelly given from the hospital. This treatment needs to be done every morning and night for approximately 1 week. After the surgery, the doctor will give detailed instructions for the treatment of the scar.

In general, the area of the circumcision will totally recover after 7 to 12 days.

The Fee

The fee varies according to the age of the patient. As a reference, for infants from a week to 3 months old, it costs around 72,600 yen (including tax). The above 3 months old to adult costs start from 100,000 yen. Note that the circumcisions will not be covered by medical insurance and parents will need to pay all the fees.

Hospital for Circumcision

Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic is one of the most popular clinics in Tokyo to perform circumcisions. They have English-speaking staff.

Kawasaki Chuo Clinic in Kanagawa Prefecture also provides circumcisions for kids age 10 (equal to 5th grade of primary school).

Adventist Medical Center (Okinawa)

Hiratsuka Clinic (Tokyo, Itabashi-ku)

Baby Formula

Finding a Muslim-friendly baby formula is still a challenge for Muslim parents in Japan. Some are importing from their home countries, some are relying on the ingredient list on the back of the baby formula package, etc.

There are an Australia halal-certified and organic certified baby formula, Bellamy’s and Bubs that you can purchase in Japan.

Halal-Certified and Organic-Certified Baby Formula You Can Get in Japan; Bellamy’s and Bubs

When the baby gets sick

Baby’s immune system doesn’t strong yet, that makes them often get sick such as fever. Mothers, especially those who have their first child, may get panic and call for an ambulance. However, when the child gets sick at noon, parents can consult your doctor about the condition and the doctor will instruct if the child needs to see the doctor.

When the child not feels good or seems not in good condition at night or on the national holiday when your family doctor doesn’t operate, you can call to Child Medical Consultation designated by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare to #8000 and consult the child condition anytime.

If the child gets convulsions, cardiopulmonary arrest, bleeding, or unconscious, please call for an ambulance immediately on 119.

Daycare/Nursery School

Working parents in Japan are usually put their children to daycare and daycare (especially managed by local governments) in Japan are usually prioritize working parents in accepting children. Meanwhile, working Muslim parents are concern about the halal-ness of launch provides at the daycare as well as the activity such as Halloween and Christmas which does not in accordance with Islamic teachings. It needs understanding from both parents and daycare in providing the best for the child.

Previously we interviewed a daycare in Tokyo that provides halal lunch for Muslim children and does decorate activities rather than for a special occasion such as Halloween and Christmas. Daycare like them is still very few but we hope it will increase due to the increase of foreign residents in Japan.

Attempts of Nursery School in Food Diversity Issues