The trend of expectant mothers returning to their parents’ homes for childbirth appears to be taking root again in Fukushima Prefecture. The number of such women, which decreased after the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, has shown an uptrend of late. According to the Fukushima Association of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1,050 pregnant women visited their parents’ homes to give birth in fiscal 2013 that ended last March, reaching the 1,000 mark for the first time in three years. The association believes that behind the trend lies progress in cleanup work, which has led expectant mothers to be less concerned about radioactive contamination in their hometowns. It expects the number to continue increasing in the years ahead.
The association has been counting the number of expectant mothers visiting parental homes for childbirth by contacting 15 out of 41 medical institutions in the prefecture since fiscal 2008. The number reached a peak of 1,184 in fiscal 2010 but almost halved to 567 in the following year after the nuclear disaster of March 2011. It showed a rise of
250 to 817 in fiscal 2012 before recovering to the 1,000 range in fiscal 2013.