Bridging Borders and Easing Anxieties: A Multicultural Workshop for Expectant Parents

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative journey, but it comes with its fair share of uncertainties, especially for foreign expectant mothers navigating the intricacies of a new healthcare system. 

On Saturday, 16th December, 2023, a workshop at St. Luke’s International University organized by Japan Intercultural Intelligence(JII) aimed to address these concerns by welcoming Professor Igarashi, an esteemed expert in multicultural nursing and a professor of midwifery. The event brought together a diverse group of foreign expectant mothers and their partners, creating a supportive space to learn and share experiences.

The workshop unfolded as an enlightening two-hour session, where participants engaged with Professor Igarashi through a variety of activities. Utilising picture cards and foetal models, the expert guided the group through the intricate process of childbirth. The session extended beyond theoretical knowledge, delving into practical aspects of parenting through discussions about life with a newborn, featuring the use of dolls.

Navigating a new healthcare system can be overwhelming, and this workshop sought to demystify the Japanese hospital system for foreign expectant parents. Attendees explored crucial topics such as when to contact the hospital, differences in delivery rooms, and the option of epidural anaesthesia. 

What made this workshop truly stand out was its interactive nature. Participants actively engaged with the material, contributing to a rich and dynamic discussion. It was heartening to witness the transformation of a participant, initially teary-eyed with anxiety, leaving the workshop with a smile after listening to the lecturer.

We expressed heartfelt gratitude to Professor Igarashi for her expertise and the participants for their active involvement. The success of the workshop was a testament to the power of shared experiences and the importance of information that eased the anxieties of foreign expectant mothers and their partners.

In bridging cultural gaps and addressing common concerns, the multicultural workshop at St. Luke’s International University emerged as a beacon of support for foreign expectant parents. Professor Igarashi, through her expertise, showcased the transformative power of community and knowledge-sharing in the journey towards parenthood. As the participants left with newfound confidence and smiles, it became evident that the workshop had not only disseminated information but had also brought ease to these soon-to-be parents.