“The bills! The bills!”: A Japanese woman’s experience giving birth in the United States

Receiving any kind of medical treatment in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. And when one of the writers from our sister site Pouch gave birth to her second child in the United States, where she was living at the time, she was naturally expecting the procedures to be different from her native Japan. But there were a number of things that shocked, amazed and downright confused her about giving birth in the US – not least the incredible cost incurred.

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Frozen’s Anna is pregnant and needs a C-section…but don’t worry, there’s an app for that

Have you ever wondered what happened to Anna after the Disney movie Frozen ended? Well, according to one iPhone app maker, Anna married her new beau Kristoff and immediately got pregnant. She’s nine months in and in need of a C-section. But who will perform the surgery?! You will, with this silly new app available on the Apple app store. 

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If China’s childbirth simulators for dads-to-be are the answer, we’re asking the wrong questions

A hospital in China wants to help men empathise with the pain their partner feels during childbirth – by rigging them up to an electronic device that allows men to experience it for themselves. Doctors in Jinan, Shandong Province, use electric shock machines to stimulate men’s abdomens, causing pain that’s supposed to be just as awful as contractions and full-on labour pains.

Sure, the pictures of men screwing up their faces are funny. But on the subject of baby-making in China, this “project” is missing the point.

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To test or not to test — when knowing can become an unbearable dilemma

We all know that nature can be cruel at times. Even when something as wonderful as the birth of a new baby is involved, nature — in the form of genetic fate — can dole out unexpected and not always favorable challenges. And now, as technology makes genetic screening of fetuses easier than in the past, the big question more and more parents-to-be will likely be facing is, do you actively want to know beforehand if something may not be quite right with the little one you’re expecting. Here in Japan, some early data on a new prenatal screening procedure has recently been announced, providing us with some sobering food for thought, and we thought we’d share with you a summary of the reports.

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Baby’s First Portrait: Get 3-D Holographic Print of your Unborn Child

Last year, Japanese electronics company, Pioneer, finished development on its small size full color hologram printer and has now decided to use this technology to create 3-D holographic prints of babies’ faces while they’re still in the womb. According to a YouTube video detailing this brand new service, “When expecting mothers receive ultrasounds during physical examinations, 3-D images of the unborn child are taken. We can translate that data into a physical form and create a commemorative photo for parents to keep, in anticipation of the upcoming birth.” Read More

China Bans Fetuses From Movie Theaters?

A few days ago, a pregnant woman was denied entrance to a movie theater in China, prompting a huge buzz on the net. The reason given by the theater? Movies are bad for the fetus. Read More

Now You Can Get a 3D Replica of Your Fetus (Because That’s Not Creepy at All)

For expecting couples, visiting the gynecologist for an ultrasound scan can be a memorable experience as it is often their first look at the precious life waiting to be born in the world. Many soon-to-be parents even ask for a black-and-white printout of the scan to commemorate the occasion and then later to embarrass their child in front of his or her friends.

Now, Japanese engineering firm Fasotec has taken prenatal memorabilia to literally the next dimension with “Shape of an Angel,” a miniature 3D replica of the fetus as it lay in the womb.

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