According to the survey, the percentage of municipalities in Japan that struggled to secure contractors for postpartum care increased with the population size, with the figure rising to 43% in cities with a population of over 200,000. Among the challenges cited by 60% of municipalities for providing postpartum care was difficulty in securing contractors.
Postpartum care services offer mothers physical and psychological assistance after giving birth, such as staying in midwife centers and receiving child care advice. Municipalities are responsible for providing these services and receive financial support from the national government. The increase in postpartum care is one of the strategies of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to address Japan’s declining birth rate.
The health ministry commissioned a survey to Nomura Research Institute Ltd., which received responses from 1,183 municipalities, or 70% of the total, from September to October 2022. The results were released on April 10, 2023.