Earthquake relief: Maternity shelter opens in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Pref.

A secondary shelter for pregnant and postpartum women affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake has opened in Kanazawa City, with midwives providing support.

The shelter is located at the Ishikawa Prefectural Youth Training Center in Tokiwa Town, Kanazawa City. It accepts pregnant women and women up to one month postpartum, and is currently serving four women 10 to 16 weeks pregnant and their children.

Two midwives are on duty from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., providing health observation, consultation, and massage services.

A woman in her 40s from Suzu City evacuated to the facility with her 6-year-old son. She is currently 16 weeks pregnant. On January 15, a midwife checked the fetus's heartbeat and found the baby was growing well.

The woman's house was tilted by the quake, and she had to stay in her car for some time. She had been unable to bathe for about one week and was worried about the health of her fetus.

"I was worried about my baby. But when the midwife checked on me and I heard the heartbeat, I cried," she said. "The midwife was a great source of emotional support for me."

Midwife Yoshida Michiyo says, "Women who come in pale or anxious seem at ease here. We hope more will come to receive support for their babies."