Here's something you may not know about: 腹帯 (haraobi), which is described in odd English below:

From olden times in Japan, pregnant woman put a white cloth called "Haraobi" around the abdomen wishing for an easy delivery. It is quite useful to keep you balanced as well as warm. Nowadays, some people wear a maternity girdle instead of a Haraobi. But a Haraobi is easier to adjust to your size. Many Japanese visit shrines and pray a God for an easy delivery, and buy Haraobi there...After delivery, you can use your Haraobi again to regain your shape, and cut it in small pieces and use it for your baby's nappies. However, these days most people seem to be using handy disposable diapers.

Even though I lived in Japan, I'd never heard about it, and I bet a lot of other people have no idea what it is, either. There isn't much information about it in English, but you can read about it in Japanese. There's too much information to translate it here quickly, but maybe one of those online translation thingies would be decent enough.


Anonymous said...

You have no clue how long I have been trying to find out the name of this thing. I am pregnent and in Japan right now. I went to a temple and they tried to sell me one, but it was very expensive. I have been trying to do some research on it ever sence but could not find anythin

Margaret Larkin said...

Since there's not much info about it online, I should translate the article about it and post it here. Try going to a department store or another speciality store and show them the Japanese name to see if they have one. Or you can ask one of your Japanese friends--they'd probably know where to get one.