• Kyodo


Ai Fukuhara gave birth to a baby girl Friday, the first-time mom announced on her official website.

“I honestly still can’t believe that I’m now a mother,” Fukuhara, 28, posted, adding that the newborn weighed in at 2,995 grams. “I’m so glad the birth went without a hitch.”

Fukuhara, who married Taiwanese table tennis player Chiang Hung-chieh in September 2016 and now lives in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, announced in June that she was pregnant and expecting her first child this fall.

The local Apple Daily said Ai-chan, a four-time Olympian, went into labor on Wednesday and gave birth naturally at around 8 a.m.

In an interview with the newspaper, proud new father Chiang confirmed that mother and baby are in good health.

The interview footage, posted on the paper’s website, showed him outside the delivery room of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, where Fukuhara is said to have had her regular pregnancy check-ups.

When asked whether Fukuhara will follow the Taiwanese tradition of getting postpartum services at a specialized center, Chiang said a decision is yet to be made but promised to post updates on Facebook.

New Taiwanese mothers usually spend time at a specialized center after delivery to receive tentative care from professional helpers. While the period of stay varies individually, the postpartum period usually lasts six to eight weeks.

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