• Birth / DeathPregnancy and Birth

I found out I was pregnant and was told to receive a maternity record book at the hospital, but where do I go to get it, is any hospital okay?

When you become pregnant, visit the ward office Health and Welfare Division, Child Health Unit (Kodomo Hoken gakari) and submit a pregnancy notification to receive a maternity record book. In Kobe you do not need to prepare any special materials before making the visit. The section can also handle counseling and advice on physical condition while pregnant and birth related information.

* The maternity record book is currently available in 9 different languages (English, Korean, North Korean, Chinese, Thai, Tagalog, Portuguese, Indonesian, Spanish and Vietnamese). (Contact your ward office for information.)

Midwife Facilities

This is a system for having mothers to be give birth in a midwife facility (specified hospital) in the event a mother to be cannot have a midwife attending during hospitalization due to financial reasons. Advance application and screening is required to use these midwife facilities. This is generally applied to those on social welfare and those who were exempted from city taxes for the previous year. Consult with the ward office if you are having financial difficulties with birth, even if not enrolled in national health insurance.
For inquiries about midwife facilities: contact your local ward office or branch Child Welfare Unit (Kodomo Fukushi gakari).

I've become pregnant, but I am unsure whether or not to go through with the birth.

What is the cause of the uncertainty?

  • I do not have the money required to give birth.
    -> Schedule a consultation on the use of the lump sum allowance for childbirth and nursing and midwife facilities.
  • I am not sure if I can both work and raise a child.
    -> Schedule a consultation about child rearing support, maternity and nursing leave and maternity leave pay.

When visiting the ward office to receive a maternity record book, make sure that the person going to apply (the pregnant party or a family member) knows the following information.

  • (Expectant mother's) Name, address, birth date, telephone number and work
  • How many children the expectant mother has already had
  • Planned delivery date
  • Name of the medical institution where the pregnancy diagnosis was made
  • Any doctor indications (multiple birth, hypertension due to pregnancy (pregnancy toxemia) etc.
  • Whether the expectant mother smokes (or if any residents in the same home smoke) and whether she drinks alcohol
  • Any medications currently being used (Medication/drug name)
  • Whether the expectant mother has undergone each of the following tests: urine test (protein/sugar), blood pressure measurement, blood type (A, B or O), anemia testing, German measles antibody tests, Hepatitis B testing, STD related tests
  • Any other issues or worries the expectant mother has.

What is a pregnancy health exam?

This is a health exam which an expectant mother undergoes while pregnant, and pregnancy health exams held at medical institutions which have a contract with Kobe city are eligible for financial assistance. Financial support of up to 120,000 yen is provided per person.(*The number and amounts of financial assistance vary for different prefectures.)


A Pregnancy Health Check-up Coupon Book will be given to you at your local ward office alongside your maternity record book. The contents of the check-up coupon book are as follows: fourteen 5,000 yen coupons for basic checkups, one Blood Test Coupon ① (maximum 15,000 yen), one Blood Test Coupon ② (maximum 4,000 yen), one Blood Test Coupon ③ (maximum 3000 yen), four Ultrasound/Other Test ① coupons (maximum 3,000 yen), eight Ultrasound/Other Test ② coupons (maximum 2,000 yen). (If the exams are carried out at medical facilities outside of Hyogo prefecture, a portion of the costs can be recompensed later.) It is important for expectant mothers to pay sufficient care to their health while pregnant. There are a variety of conditions including anemia, pregnancy hypertension and gestational diabetes which can have an effect on the expectant mother's body and the development of the unborn child. All expectant mothers should undergo pregnancy medical exams to ensure the health of both mother and child before birth.

I have a baby, but when can I receive a medical checkup?

In Kobe city 4 month old baby health exams, 9 month old baby health exams, 1 year 6 month old baby health exams and 3 years old child health exams are carried out. These medical checkups are free. Medical checkup information will be mailed to those with a registered address in Kobe city. Excluding the 9 month old medical examination, all of the medical examinations are held in your local ward office, the 9 month old medical examinations are held at specified medical institutions noted on examination appointment cards which are mailed out and must be taken to the medical examination.

Do you know about maternity marks?

  • In Kobe city, pregnant women and nursing mothers are issued maternity marks. There are posters explaining maternity marks on trains and busemarks as well. Maternity marks are for being worn when pregnant women and nursing mothers use public transportation, in order to let the people around them know of their condition and allow them to act accordingly. If you spot a person wearing a maternity mark, offer them your seat, be sure not to smoke around them, and otherwise show proper consideration. Maternity mark keyholders are distributed to those who ask for them at ward offices in addition to Hello Station Kobe, city bus and subway customer service corners (in the Sannomiya subway station building).

How much money does giving birth cost? Is any type of assistance available?

The costs vary for different medical institutions, however normal delivery (delivery which does not require surgery) generally costs around 400,000 yen. (This will differ for twins and other irregular deliveries.) For cesarean sections and other non-standard deliveries, national and social health insurance applies for those enrolled.

When a national/social health insurance policyholder gives birth, they receive a one time lump sum allowance for childbirth and nursing of 420,000 yen (or 390,000 yen for deliveries which do not comply with the obstetrics guarantee system). Double the sum is provided for twins.

  • In the event the money cannot be prepared beforehand, it can be paid directly from Kobe City National Health Insurance to the medical institution, as a "Direct payment system" or "Receiving agent system" removing some of the financial burden of birthing fees within a range of the lump sum allowance for childbirth.
  • It is also provided for miscarriages and still births if the pregnancy lasted for over 85 days.
  • Those who can receive the lump sum allowance for childbirth and nursing from another insurance will not receive it from the national insurance plan.

[Required Documentation]

  • Health insurance certificate
  • Seal
  • Maternity record book or birth certificate (still birth notification)
  • Bank book or copy of account number
  • A receipt or detailed statement which includes a "Obstetrics Medical Guarantee System Participating   Facility" seal (For those under the obstetrics medical system)
  • A copy of the agent contract for the direct payment system, or evidence that the direct payment system was not used. (To be issued by the medical facility or other institution)

For inquiries about the lump sum allowance for childbirth and nursing contact your local ward office or branch national health insurance section

The translation is based on the data available as of February, 2018. Please note that new systems, system changes etc. may have been introduced after this date. Responsibility for the linked websites lies with their creators. Kobe City accepts no responsibility for their content etc.