Time after time, I hear stories of women who are in the birthing room by themselves for one reason or another. There are many different reasons, but often mom is alone because her spouse is deployed, she is a single active duty mom, or perhaps she is stationed halfway around the world and does not have access to a good support network.
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Why is the 4th trimester rarely talked about? Nobody had any length of discussion with me regarding what it would be like after my child was earth-side. I was as prepared as I could be for pregnancy and birth, but the months after birth is what shocked me most of all. Undoubtedly, my 4th trimester was my hardest. Maybe it was because I had a long labor. 51 hrs with a hospital transfer and a few hours of pushing. The painful months of not being able to sit comfortably, breastfeeding challenges, and the lack of support I felt were main contributors to recovery, no doubt. I wish now that someone had spoken to me about postpartum depression and the many ways it manifests itself.
Okinawa is the largest island of more than 140 islands in Okinawa Prefecture. Its history is flooded with beauty, culture, people and delicious food. Okinawa also carries a dark past, it is known for a season of war. Placing a large battle between the Americans and Japanese. Which over time planted American military bases on this tiny island. The US military presence in Japan and on Okinawa began at the end of World War II.
Okinawa hosts more service members by far than any other prefecture. (Reference 1) According to U.S. Forces’ Japan headquarters at Yokota Air Base, as of February 2016, there were 47,200 service members based in Japan, including 11,700 aboard vessels of the 7th Fleet. In addition, there were 3,510 U.S. civilian personnel and 41,695 family members. Of the 47,200 service members, 17,400 were in the are Navy, 15,000 in the Marines Corps, 12,300 in the Air Force and 2,500 in the Army personnel.