Giving birth can be scary, worrisome and overwhelming — even more so if you don’t understand the local language or know the steps you need to take.

Japan has its own unique system — such as the use of boshi kenko techо̄ (maternal and child health handbooks), subsidies for clinic visits and childbirth, and registering the child in the koseki, or family registry, after birth — which can be hard to navigate.

Here are the basic steps for having a child in Japan, as well as some helpful tips for expectant mothers.