On Saturday 18th February the 3rd “Heart Care” Workshop for mothers, child and midwives supporting the victims, sponsored by the Disaster Support Committee of Community Corporation Japan Midwives Association was held in Korasse Fukushima. As in the first and second workshop, we invited Dr Kyoko Nakatani, who is a Clinical Psychologist at Hyogo prefecture Kofu Hospital, and has personal experience in Hanshin Awaji Great Earthquake.
These were her messages:
It is nearly a year since the East Japan Great Earthquake and the Tepco Nuclear Power Station Accident. The situation before during and after the disaster is very different from person to person, and the feeling you have after one year must also vary a lot but it is very important that you develop a safety network between people and within the community.
Everyone must be living with the worries of radiation, and constantly thinking about issues where there are no answers, but it is important that we all talk to each other to find the answers and even in hard times to not forget how satisfying it is to have choices. “We need to look after our heart, whenever possible.”
In the workshop, every participant also shared their feelings.
“Feeling depressed from an inability to comfort mothers’ worries”
“I feel as if my heart has a hole since the change of work”
“Victim of gossip, comments from media”
“ A feeling of isolation in everyday life even within the people in Fukushima prefecture as the extent of the damage experienced is very different from one to the next.”
This is an example of the feelings that we all shared and emphasised with each other.
(Written by Saito)
We are making an effort to provide a safe and relaxing environment for pregnant women and mothers & babies (from birth to a year old) living in Fukushima prefecture.
Our January activity report includes 134 support visits to pregnant women and mothers and babies and eight visits to the Midwifery clinic by mothers for breast care. A Total of six mothers and their babies received residential care at the 3 midwifery clinics in the prefecture.
We have been running Kosodate Salon (a parenting workshop) in Iwaki-shi and Souma-shi but we have also started it in Aizuwakamachi-shi also, where total of 88 pairs of mother& child were able to have an enjoyable time over the 7 events.
The content of the activity at Kosodate Salon varies slightly depending on the area however, we usually incorporate baby massage, “Refresh Exercise” for mothers, and age & stage specific parenting advice.
We also run Bonyu Ikuji Shienn (Breastfeeding support) by midwives visiting the two maternity wards in Iwaki city. Here, over the 6 visits, 20 mothers with her child received support.
Table below shows a summary of activity in January 2012:
|Month||Mother&Child Visit||Breast Care||Post-Natal Care||Breastfeeding Support||Kosodate Salon||Breastfeeding support at the maternity wards.|
|January 2012||82 mothers
We started preparation in April 2011 and since August 2011 we have been running full-scale activities. As of December 2011 the services that we have conducted include:
• 605 visits of mothers and babies.
• 105 mothers assisted with breastfeeding at the breastfeeding clinic.
• 15 mothers visited the postnatal support clinic.
Since September 2011 we have started “Kosodate Salon (a parenting workshop)” where mothers & babies are able to experience activities such as “Refresh Exercise for mother & baby”. So far, there have been 27 Kosodate Salon events and a total of 313 mothers with a baby in Souma district and Iwaki district. The service; “Breastfeeding support by midwives visiting maternity ward” has benefited 64 nursing mothers over 27 visits in two maternity wards.
Hisaiboshi Shien Jigyou (Mother& Child Victim Support Project) was originally planned to run until the end of March 2012. However, we are currently aiming to continue the project into the coming year also.
On Sunday 17th July 2011 and on Monday 10th October 2011, the “Heart Care” Workshop sponsored by the Disaster Support Committee of Community Corporation Japan Midwives Association was held in Fukushima –ken Danjyo Koyudo Centre: Onna to Otoko no Mirai kan.
For every workshop, we invite two members from the above committee and Dr Kyoko Nakatani, who is a clinical psychologist. Dr Nakatani has personal experience of disasters such as Hanshinn-Awaji Great earthquake and the flood in Awaji Island. She has been working as a member of the “Hyogo prefecture Heart Care Team” in order to give support not only to the victims of disasters such as Hanshin Awaji Great Earthquake and Noto peninsula Earthquake, but to the carers and supporters of such disasters.
We have listened to her talks while eating the chocolate delicacies that she brings as a gift in every visit. After her talks, all the participants share their current feelings and emotions, which give us the chance to emphasise and reflect with each other.
Our third workshop is planned on Saturday 18th February 2012 at Korasse Fukushima at the west exit of Fukushima station.
With the extensive support from the Tokyo Satogaeri Project (Tokyo Home-Return Project) we have opened a Midwifery Clinic“House of Aizu Jyosannshi: Ohisama” in Aizuwakamachi-shi where the radiation exposure is relatively mild.
It is a “hand made” Midwifery Clinic where we have contributed curtains, crockery and all the necessities ourselves in a rented two-storied house. Currently we have six midwives who work in shifts to provide care for 24h a day.
As a Post-natal Care project, we received our first mother with her baby on 22nd of July 2011 and since then six mothers with their babies stayed at our clinic for the duration of between seven days to 27 days, depending on their needs.
When the Clinic was opened, we intended it to be for mother and babies who are staying at the shelters and temporary housing and for pregnant women who are unable to go home to give birth or to obtain post-natal support from families. However, now we have many mothers with a baby staying at our clinic who are simply exhausted by prolonged time as an “evacuee” as well as being affected by the worries and the stress of radiation exposure.