Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Japanese Ten Month Pregnancies

The first time I heard about ten month pregnancies, I was shocked and confused. I was talking to a student, incidentally, the same student that I had the "Cowfrog" conversation with. The student was quite heavily pregnant at the time.

"How many months along are you?" I asked.

"Nine months", she replied.

"Oh wow! So you could have the baby anytime now!"

"No, I still have a month to go."

"But you just said you were nine months pregnant....." I said to her with a confused expression.

"Yes, pregnancies are for ten months." She said, now returning my confused look.

"No.... they last for nine....."

"Really?? Japanese women are pregnant for ten months!"

At this point we both just agreed to be confused.

It does all make sense now. It's simply a matter of how you count.

So, in Japan, a pregnancy is considered to start at the beginning of the cycle, rather than from the actual conception date. This is how the English language pregnancy books and doctors count it as well. So that takes the gestation to 40 weeks. Divide that into LUNAR months, rather than calendar months and there you have it! Ten months!

This folks, concludes today's cultural and math lesson.


lina said...

I used the Lunar calendar to help me try to conceive a baby boy, some 6 years ago :D
Anyway, hope both you & the baby are doing well. :-)

Fuji Mama said...

I had totally forgotten how much that threw me the first time someone said something like that to me!

Tornadoes28 said...

I was confused about this the first time my wife was pregnant as well. But it makes sense. Now after two kids, when people say nine months it seems strange to me.

Amber said...

Well, my mama carried me for 10 months in calender cycle.. It's all good.

Good to know though!

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Hey Lina - well that makes sense. Actually, now the whole "10 months" makes more sense than "9 months" to me.

Hey Fujimama - we do get used to these ways after a while don't we.

Hey Tornadoes - ditto!

Hey Amber - wow! 10 calendar months! That's a long time!

world of sekimachihato said...

i often have an argument, no, discussion about this 9-month/10-month business with my wife (she's japanese) and i finally now know where she got her crazy 10-month idea from. but it makes sense now...

Baron's Life said...

Interesting blog and content. Now I know info that was previously privy only to hena Gaijins...lol
Loved Japan when I was there...Cheers

Michael Havers said...

I've had the same conversation countless times with my students and more than once received the "Yappari, Gaijin Chigau" (Translate = Just as I thought, foreigners are different than us Japanese). They almost felt happy that they weren't like us! Anyway, hope you and the baby are well.

Anonymous said...

mylifeasagaijin.blogspot.com; You saved my day again.