Saturday, 16 February 2013

Why You Should Take an Online Childbirthing Class

There are many reasons why people choose to take online birthing classes. Here are just a few.
  • There aren't a lot of child birthing classes available in Korea and there are even less available in English. Classes offered in English may be very far away and you are unable to attend them.
  • You can learn in the comfort of your own home so you don't need to travel.
  • Classes are interactive and delivered via Skype. 
Some examples of online or at-home courses are:

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Hospitals and Birthing Centers in Korea

Updated 27 September 2017

This information was compiled from AFIK, Expat Parents Korea!, Gwangju Guide, Korea4Expats, Morning Calm Birthing Services, Pregnancy Information KoreaPregnant in Korea, Reliable Clinics by 10Mag, and word of mouth.

Having a baby in Korea can be challenging due to culture and customs. Usually doctors are seen as all-knowing experts and patients don't dare to question them. Things are changing and they have definitely come a long way in a short time. Here are some questions you should ask while on your tour of the hospital or birthing center. What to Expect When You're Expecting also has great info on choosing where to give birth.

Getting Support
Educating yourself is key to getting a good birth. Taking a prenatal class, such as a birthing, breastfeeding, and newborn care class will help you adjust to life with your new baby. Having someone on your side, such as a doula, helps as well. Check out the list of breastfeeding counselors, childbirth educators, and doulas.

Where to Give Birth
There are many options available here. You can give birth at a hospital, women's clinic, natural birthing center, or even at home. The Korean Hospital Association has a useful map of hospitals around Korea. (Remember to use IE when opening Korean websites. Other browsers don't work well.) Morning Calm Birthing Services has a useful chart in English that allows you to easily compare some of the most popular hospitals and birthing centers that foreigners go to. Tender Embrace Birthing also has a list of all the routine prenatal checks and tests that are done in Korea. Although they are routinely done, you can also can opt out of them.

Natural Birthing Centers in the Seoul Area
There are a handful of foreign-friendly natural birthing clinics in Seoul. Agitanseun (aka Rosa), GM Cheil, Lee Myung Hwa, Mamas' Birth Center, Medi Flower, and Yeon and Nature. Prices vary, but if you have Korean national health insurance, they should be 1.5-3 mil for the birth itself and between 6 hours-3 days of recovery time. If you have interventions, need a C-section, or need special care you may be charged extra. Be sure to ask about prices ahead of time. Remember you can use whatever is left on your GoEun Mom card for the birth. See below for more info.

Home Births
Home births are completely legal in Korea. Here's a list of English speaking doctors and midwives who will do home births. If you speak Korean, you will have more options (and usually pay less than what English speaking doctors and midwives charge). The Korean Midwives Association has a handful of midwives who do home births.

They are common in Korea (around 33%), which is similar to the USA. Choosing a good place to give birth is key to getting the birth you want. Here is a consumer report about birthing centers, hospitals, and C-sections in Korea. (It's in Korean. Try using Google Translate to translate it from Korean to Japanese and then Japanese to English. That provides the best results. Remember to use IE when opening Korean websites. Other browsers don't work well.) 1 is the top score and 5 is the lowest. Those that have fewer than 30 births per month aren't rated. If you want to avoid a C-section, look into places that are rated 1 or 2.

GoEunMom Card 
Pregnant mums enrolled with the NHIC qualifies for pre-natal checkup discounts up to a limit of 500,000 (60,000 limit KRW per visit). More information here. You'll have to get a note from your doctor and take it to Shinhan or KB bank. You must have an account at one of those banks in order to get the card. You'll receive it in the mail a couple days later. If you don't use all the money before the baby is born you have until 60 (I think) days to use it after the baby is born to pay for baby related doctor visits and shots.

Here's an article about NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) in Korea.

Infertility Treatments, IUIs, and IVFs in Korea
Here's an article with information and a list of hospitals and clinics that can help those seeking infertility treatment in Korea

Agitanseun Natural Birth Center (김옥진조산원)
Kim Okjin, Midwife aka "Rosa"
401-1, 3F Saeyang Chungmaru Sang-ga Naeson 2-dong, Uiwang, Gyeonggi-do 
경기도 의왕시 내손2동 401-1 세청마루상가 3F
Telephone: (031) 410-8597
Cell: 010-2447-8231 and 019-447-8231
Near Indeogwon station
  • 2.5 mil for a natural birth and 3 mil for a home birth. 
  • She's a midwife and has over 20 years experience. She speaks English. Very popular with Koreans and foreigners, though I think foreigners pay more. It's a natural birthing center, though she does have pitocin and she will do vaccinations if you want them.
  • It's very nice and cozy. There are two rooms, plus a waiting area, a bathroom, and a room with a tub. She's pretty much hands off, so you're free to walk around, use the birthing tub, birthing ball, listen to music, etc. She usually comes to your house after giving birth, to see how you are doing, do the PKU test, and take out stitches. She's got some strong opinions, like no vaccinations or vitamin K drops.

Asan Medical Center (Seoul Choongang Hospital)
388-1 Poongnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Telephone: 02-2224-3114
Emergency: 2224-3333 (after 5:30 p.m.)
International Clinic: (02) 3010-5001

Bless Birthing Center (열린가족조산원)
1154-1 Jung 1-dong, Wonmi-Gu, Bucheon,Gyeonggi-do
경기도 부천시 원미구 중1동 1154-1
Telephone: 032-324-9900

Bombit Women's Hospital
1049-3 Hogye-dong, Anyang-si, Dongan-gu, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone: (031) 380-7300

BOM Ultrasound Clinic
Located inside Good News Hospital
Bijeon 5-ro 3, (Bijeon-dong 1090), Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone: 1800-5575 or (031) 668-0075
  • An much better alternative than Imom.
  • Walk-ins for regular ultrasounds. 3D and level 2 ultrasounds require an appointment. 

Cha General Hospital 
650-9 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 3468-3000
International Clinic: (02) 3468-2632 or (02) 3468-3127

Charm Women's Clinic (참산부인과)
63-1 Sunae-dong, Seongnam, Bundang-Gu, Gyeonggi-do,
성남시 분당구 수내동 63-1
Telephone: (031) 711-5005

Cheil General Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center
1-19 Mukjeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul

Dongtan Jeil Women's Hospital
Hwaseong-si, Samsung 1-ro
Telephone: (031) 8015-9999
  • The doctors speak English.  
  • Private rooms have their own tubs. 

Dr. Sung’s Obstetric and Gynecology Clinic
2nd Floor Chung Wha Building, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 790-0802
  • She does not deliver babies anymore and only sees women until their second trimester.

Esther Clinic
1003-112 Jukejeon, Suji-gu, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone: (031) 264-2722
  • Dr. Song speaks English but most of the staff does not.

Gangnam Severance Hospital 
146-92 Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 2019-3600
International Clinic: (02) 3497-3600

GM Cheil Women's Clinic
896 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone (02) 890-2555
  • A new natural birthing center that opened in early 2016. There's an English speaking midwife named Julia who used to work at Yeon and Nature. GM Cheil is located on three floors. The 7th floor is where check-ups are done. The 8th floor is where the delivery rooms are. The 9th floor is where the recovery rooms and education room is. They offer epidurals and can do C-sections.
  • Prices are about half what Medi Flower and Yeon and Nature charge. Expect to pay about 1.5 mil if you have national health insurance.
  • You can read more about them at this post

Haesung Obstetric Gynecology
18-11 Mila 2-gil (Sangyeong-dong 1197), Seobuk-gu, Cheonan
Telephone: (041) 572-4567 
  • They are pro-natural birth. They only give walking epidurals. They will leave you alone and not do any checks unless you ask. No episiotomy and no coached pushing.
  • They have a nice, dimly-lit birthing suite, a mini gym in the labor ward with birthing balls and stretching equipment. 
  • Dr Lee Kwang Yeol and Dr Moon, speak English very well. The nurses and receptionist don't really speak English. 
  • The clinic is very well known on naver blogs for being pro-natural birth and letting the mother choose her birth experience.
  • They can do C-sections there and there is a big university hospital just a 5 minute walk away.

HaeSung Women's Hospital
Located in the 2nd Market area (saeng yeong dong) of Donducheon, near Camp Casey
Telephone: (031) 868-5858
Google map coordinates: 37.903989, 127.054473

Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital: various locations in Seoul and suburbs
  • They have locations in Anyang (main Hallym hospital), Seoul (their Kangnam (Gangnam), Hangang, and Kangdong (Gangdong) locations), and Dongtan. They also have one hospital located in Chuncheon.
  • Many expats have had positive reviews about the one in Dongtan. A number of military families go there. They say the doctors are attentive, have a good bedside manner, and there's an international desk that will help with translations.

Hanyang University Hospital 
17 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 2290-8303
Emergency: (02) 2290-8282
International Clinic: (02) 2290-9553

Hanvit Women's Hospital 한빛여성병원 
Gwangdeokdong-ro 53, Danwon-gu, Ansan City, Gyeonggi-do (Gogan 1 dong 774-1)
Google map
Telephone: (031) 410-3316

Happy Birth (행복한이명화조산원)
This place has been renamed. Please see the listing under "Lee Myung Hwa"

74 Dobong-ro, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 983-7772
Click on the plus at the top right to see the hours
  • They promote natural birthing as well as VBACs so would have to book an epidural in advance. They encourage you to make a CD with music to listen to. You'll get 2 free massages (full body and breast), and a diaper bag with free samples.
  • They don't speak much English. 
  • There are three types of rooms: 4 pregnant women to a room is 10,000 won/day, 1 upgrade ~180,000/day, and the luxury one, which is about 200,000 won a day.

Il Shin Birthing Center (일신조산원)
52-1 Dapsipli-dong, Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul
서울특별시 동대문구 답십리동 52-1
Telephone: (02) 2244-2841

IMom Obgyn
589-1beonji, Icheon-dong, Pyeongtaek
Telephone: (031) 663-3510 / 3511 / 3512 / 3513
  • People go here because it's cheap, but you get what you pay for. They do cheap ultrasounds no appointment necessary, for about 40,000-60,000 depending on the type of ultrasound. BOM Ultrasound Clinic is a good alternative.
  • The doctors speak ok English, but don't have a good bedside manner. If something is wrong, they're going to be direct and unfeeling. One mom found out she had a miscarriage when the doctor had trouble finding the baby and just announced, "miscarriage" and refused to do treatment and just shooed her away. 
  • Sanitation isn't the best as one mom reported blood on the sofa in the waiting room.
  • They have a postpartum birth facility (sanhujuriwon).

The address on their website is wrong. They have moved from Mapo to Hapjeong. Please call them for their address.
Telephone: (02) 324-9966
  • All private rooms. 
  • Joriwon available for people who birth there. 
  • Yoga and mom-to-be classes from 20 weeks. 
  • Doctor speaks limited English. 
  • Walk-in prenatal appointments are available. 
Kim San Soon Birthing Center 김삼순조산원
806-60 Guro 4-dong,Guro-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 구로구 구로4동 806-60 ‎
Telephone: (02) 854-0818

Lady Samsung Women and Children's Hospital (삼성산부인과) 

This place has been renamed. Please see the listing under "Zion Women's Hospital" 

La Mere Women's Hospital (라메르여성병원) 
160-14 Singil-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Tel: (02) 847-1001 (English speaking director: Eunice)
350,000 - 400,000 for natural delivery and 1.2-1.3 mil for C-section (7D6N).
  • From Singil Exit 1, walk straight down the hill and cross to the opposite road at the first zebra crossing. Walk until you see a HomePlus Express at the corner. Turn right. A few minutes later, you will see the clinic on your right. It is a black marble building (about 6-7 storeys) with the name in pink. 
  • The hospital is a women's hospital (level 2) with a paediatric clinic and pharmacist on the first level. They deliver vaginal birth and C-sections and seem to be very supportive of natural birth. However, they are also open to C-sections and do not judge. 
  • There is a doctor there that speaks English (Dr. Kim Ji Yeon) and a director (Eunice) that answers most of the hospital/admin related questions. The nurses speak minimal English. Dr. Kim is a great doctor. She does not overprescribe vitamins, etc and is able to answer questions in very good English. She might not allow too much flexibility during the pre-natal checkups (pushing for less sonogram or tests) but most of the checkups are covered by the GoEunMom card anyway. 
  • The staff is very friendly and accommodating and they are quite flexible with your birthing options and hospital stay. There will be staff to help you with breastfeeding during your stay. They provide massage to help with engorgement.
  • Only private rooms are available. The baby can stay with you or if you want, be in the nursery. You can also opt to stay for less or more time (additional night KRW130,000). 
  • They offer classes (breastfeeding, mobile making etc) but only in Korean. 
  • They have a postpartum centre (book 1-2 months in advance) for KRW130,000 per night. 
  • Moms get a free goodie bag! You'll get a Korean blanket (the thick blanket to take your baby home), a set of baby clothes and blanket, a tin of milk powder, bottles and nappies. undergarments, slippers and entertainment. Everything for the baby will be provided for. The hospital provides a baby book and CD. They also give you a professionally photographed album for your baby! Once you do a 4D ultrasound, if they can't check for all the limbs, you get free 4D scans for the next one or two checkups! 

Lee Myung Hwa (행복한이명화조산원) they used to be Happy Birth
Seonbu-dong 1070-12 Gwangwon Building Office 208, Danwon-Gu, Ansan, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 안산시 단원 선부동 1070-12관원빌딩 208호
Telephone: (031) 410-3573 and 010-2803-3573
  • Lee Myung Hwa is the midwife.
  • They attend home births.

Mamas' Birth Center 
A-301 Richensia bldg, Wonhyoro 1-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울시 용산구 원효로 1가 리첸시아 A동 301호
Telephone: (02) 797-3573
Danica: 010-7170-1099.
  • Mamas' Birth Center is a natural birthing center. They have experience working with foreigners. They have 5 rooms. Each rooms has a tub. The rooms have great lighting, birthing balls, and birthing stools. They also work with a doula who speaks English and Korean and have birthing education classes. They have double beds (Korean style, so a bit hard).
  • There is no doctor, just midwives. They are not able to perform C-sections, and all pre-natal tests and transfers are done at SCH. 
  • They do home births in Seoul only. 
  • Birth plus 6 hour recovery period: 1 mil. Daily room rate: 250,000. Home births are 1.2 mil and are only done in Seoul. All prices are with Korean National Insurance.  If you don't have KNI, it will be more expensive. People have said a birth plus a 6 hour recovery period is about 3 mil. After that it's 250,000 per day in the room and 10,000 for meals.

Medi Flower
Dr. Hwanwook Chung
2nd Floor of Lotte Castle Medici, 1656-4 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 548-9400 (Press 9 for English)
Near Kyodae subway station
  • About 3mil for a vaginal birth though prices vary depending on insurance. Without Korean insurance, expect to pay about 7-15 mil. They offer epidurals and are able to perform C-sections. They attend home births.
  • They have been around for a while and are popular among expats. However, now there are other options, such as GM Cheil (1.5 mil) Mamas' Birth Center (1.5 mil), and Yeon and Nature 3 mil). Two of these are cheaper than MF and all of them have tubs in the rooms. In MF, only one room has its own tub and the rest share. For clients with Tricare, Medi Flower might be a good choice. If you hire one of their doulas, they do something with the invoice so that Tricare covers the cost of the doula, even though Tricare states they won't cover doulas. I'm not sure about the legalities of this, however, many families have had Tricare pay for their MF doula.
  • About 3mil for a vaginal birth though prices vary depending on insurance. They offer epidurals and are able to perform C-sections. 

Ms Bebe
Simindae-ro 401, Daeryung Techno Town 219-ho, 220-ho, Dongan-gu, Anyang-si, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone: (031_ 389-8873

NaLee Hospital (나리 병원) 
201-38 Sau-dong, Seo-gu, Gimpo, Incheon
Tel: (031) 982-5700
  • Complications-free vaginal delivery is about 600,000 won which includes a 3-night stay Directions: From the Gimpo High School bus stop, walk under the nearest walking bridge and take an immediate left after passing the bridge. Walk 2 blocks straight and take a right. You will see a large maroon-colored building, about 8 stories high with 산부인과 written on it. 
  • The hospital is a women's and children's hospital. They have gynecology (산부인과), pediatrics (소아과), and internal medicine (내과) doctors.
  • While there used to be a doctor who spoke English named Dr. Yeong-seok Cho who was open to requests, let people turn down testing that they don't want, and allowed rooming-in, he has no left. The other doctors are not accommodating at all and they don't allow rooming-in. If you're in this area, there is a natural birthing clinic nearby called GM Cheil.

Please see the listing under "Agitanseun"

Samsung Medical Center 
50 Ilwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 3410-0200
Emergency: 3410-2060
International Clinic: (02) 3410-0200
  • They have an amazing NICU policy. Most hospitals will only let you go to the NICE twice a day for 30 minutes, but Samsung has a very open policy for visiting. You can read more about NICUs here

Seoul National University Hospital 
28 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 2072-2722
International Health Services Department: 02-2072-0505 or 010-8831-2890

Seoul St. Mary's Hospital Gangnam 
505 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Telephone: (02) 1588-1511
International Clinic: 02-2258-5746
Russian: 011-0125-8667
  • They occasionally offer birthing classes in English. They're sporadic and taught by a doctor. They last about 2 hours and cost 65,000.  
  • I've been told they have the highest successful VBAC rate in Korea at 90%. 

Shes Medi: Suwon
288 Jangdari-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon
Telephone: (031) 231-7400
  • English speaking, they offer natural childbirth options and are for kangaroo care.

Shi-Min Birthing Center (시민조산원)
4902-1 Singil dong, Yeongdeungpo-Gu, Shin-Gil, Seoul
서울특별시 영등포구 신길동 4902-1
Telephone: (02) 833-1612

Soonchunhyang Hospital (SCH)
Dr. Lee OBGYN. Dr. Choi for water birth
657 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
They also have locations in Bucheon, Cheonan, Gumi, and Asan.
Telephone: (02) 709-9114
Emergency: (02) 709-9119
International Clinic: (02) 709-9158 or (02) 709-9058
  • They have a free birthing class that lasts for 30-90 minutes but it's only for women who birth at SCH.  
  • Doctors speak Spanish and English.
  • They are supportive of natural births and have a birthing tub but also do many c sections. They will follow a birth plan. many foreign couples go there so they are used to 'foreign' requests. However, the aftercare is very Korean, meaning the husband or your own hired help has to take care of you. 
  • I know that some people have had issues with their medical histories being taken down incorrectly as well as have had ultrasounds interpreted incorrectly. 

Win Women Hospital
1759 beongil 32 Bongyeong-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone: (031) 201-9800

Woo Lee Women's Clinic
936-3 Dongchun-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone (032) 032-818-5121, 5122, 5123, 5124
  • Women's clinic. I've heard that they speak English there.

Hapjeong-dong 757-3, Pyeongtaek City, Gyeonggi-do.
Telephone: (031) 656-3885 and (031) 659-7360
  • There are only male doctors but the nurses, office staff, and doctors speak English. Natural, epidurals, and c-sections available as well as care for other fertility issues. 
  • Private room with natural birth is 300,000 with Korean National Insurance. 
  • Very nice and accommodating birthing hospital and seem to be familiar with foreigners. Great facility.

Yeon and Nature 
521 Hakdong-ro (Cheongdam-dong 72-1) Gangnam-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 강남구 학동로521 (청담동72-1)
Telephone: 02-518-1300 or 010-4009-1151
  • Dr. Park's place: opened in late 2014. A natural birthing center that also has epidurals and C-sections available. There are no extra fees to use the birthing pool, every birthing room has pool. Total cost will be around 3-4 mil. This includes the labor and delivery, a 2-night stay, newborn screening, and meals.
  • They have English speaking midwives and doulas. 
  • They do placenta encapsulation and placenta prints for about 300,000 won. 

Yonsei Severance Hospital
Dr. Kwon OBGYN
134 Shinchon-dong, Sudaemun-gu, Seoul
Tel: (02) 392-3404 or (02) 2228-1009
Emergency: (02) 361-2540
International Clinic: (02) 2228-5800 or (02) 2228-5810

Yonsei Women and Children's Hospital (연세모아병원)
947-2 Yeongtong-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, Youngtong-dong Gyeongi-do
경기도 수원시 영통구 영통동 947-2
Telephone: (031) 201-4500

Zion Women's Hospital (시온여성병원)  
1011-2, Youngtong-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 수원시 영통구 영통동 1011-2
Telephone: (031) 201-0700
  • If you want to go for the 자연출산 (natural childbirth) option, you'll have to sign up ahead of time and pay an additional fee of about 500,000. Not all the doctors do it; only about 30% do. 
  • They also have a good VBAC rate.
  • They still do a lot of episiotomies, so be aware if you want to avoid them. 
  • They do have a good breastfeeding policy: at least 15 minutes of skin-to-skin in the delivery room to attempt breastfeeding, no supplementation of formula, and full rooming-in. They also have an excellent lactation consultant.
  • They have a birth coach who acts as a doula. 
  • You'll give birth in a room that doesn't feel like a hospital room. There's intermittent monitoring with a doppler. You can choose any position you'd like for labor and delivery. 
  • They do delayed clamping of the umbilical cord and will lay the baby on your stomach right after birth.

Areum Women's Hospital: Busan
Dongrae-gu, Oncheon-dong 473-1
(051) 557-0114

  • They say they are all for natural birth and breastfeeding. They will do VBACs.

Boram Hospital (보람 병원): Gwangju
840-2 Ilgok-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju
Telephone: (062) 605-1500
  • They say they're pro-natural but that doesn't seem to be the case. Epidurals are only available at certain times and moms must birth on their backs. The rooms have no bathroom and the nurses are young and rough. However, they allow VBACs and vaginal twin births.
  • Dr. Jung (male) speaks good English and has a good bedside manner.
  • There are 2 translators on call 24/7.

Creation & Love Women’s Hospital (시엘병원): Gwangju
13-21 Gwangcheon-dong, Seo-gu, Gwangju
Telephone: (062) 368-1700~2

Eden Hospital (에덴 병원): Gwangju
822-12 Duam-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju
Telephone: (062) 260-3000
  • Probably the most breastfeeding-friendly hospital in Gwangju.
  • They routinely see expats so most documents can be found in English. They have an English version of the Prenatal Mom booklet. 
  • Dr. Jin Il-seop and Dr. Kim Hyeon Jeong speak English.

Elle Medi: Geoje
970-18 Gohyun
Telephone (055) 638-0037/8
  • You'll have to call to make an appointment on the weekdays, but they take walk-ins on the weekend. They have 1 delivery room. There are no NICUs on Geoje Island.
  • Dr. Jung Pil Lee speaks English well. He's very caring, thorough, and considerate of the needs of Western women.

Frau-medi Hospital: Ulsan
1574-2 Samsan-dong
  • I've also heard it called Prau-medi. It has a decent reputation for natural birthing. 

Good Moonhwa Hospital: Busan
899-8  Beom-il2-dong, Dong-gu, Busan, 601-803
Telephone: (051) 644-2002 and (051) 630-0123
  • They've just opened a new natural birthing center in fall 2014 called Love to Come (LTC) Clinic. It's located inside a hospital so they can do C-sections. They have midwives on staff.
  • There are 3 spacious birthing rooms and they each have their own bathroom with a shower. 
  • You can read more about it in Busan Haps and Issuu.

Gwangju: If you're in Gwangju here is some info about giving birth at a general hospital, a list of hospitals, and obgyns.

Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital: Chuncheon
Telephone: (033) 240-5119
  • Part of a large hospital system with five other Hallyms located in and around Seoul.

Hannah OBGY: Cheongju
Kilindae-ro 489, Deokjan-gu
Telephone: (063) 250-3500~2
  • Park Yeon Bae is listed as a HypnoBirthing® practitioner and works there. I'm not sure if she's a doctor, midwife, nurse, or doula. 

Han Woo Ri Birthing Center: Busan 
25 ban gil 1 (Yeonsan-dong), Jungangcheon-ro, Yeonjae-gu, Busan
Telephone: (051) 867-2900 and 010-2446-3188

  • They have three birthing rooms and they don't speak much English at all.
  •  The midwife is Cho Hyun Jung.

Home birth Birthing Center: Daegu
833 beonji, Beommal 2-dong, Susang-gu, Daegu
Telephone: (053) 781-3832
  • Run by midwife Oh Jae Sook who has many years of experience with home births.
  • She will bring a birthing stool and has some experience with water births. 
  • She speaks no English, but she will travel and charges between 800,000 and 1 mil.
  • I don't think she has a website, but if you know of one, please tell me and I will add it.

Hwamyung Ilsin Christian Hospital (화명일신기독병원): Busan
Telephone: (051) 363-0331
Geumgokdae-ro 264, Hwamyung-dong,
  • New birthing suites with birthing tubs are available at this hospital.

Hyosung Hospital: Daegu
Telephone: (053) 766-7073
  • Known to be very foreigner friendly, but not too friendly for natural birthing. Expect a lot of interventions, such as shaving, birthing on your back, and enemas. They offer breastfeeding support. 
  • They have an international center and a translator on call 24/7.
  • Many foreign mom prefer Dr. Choi Yoon-Young, who's a female doctor.
  • The birthing rooms are very large and they each have a bathroom but no shower. 

Jesus Hospital: Cheonju
Seowon-ro 365, Wansan-gu, Cheonju
Telephone: (063) 230-8114

Kim Sun-Seon Birthing Center (김순선 조산원): Jeju
Ohnam-ro 224
Telephone: (064) 757-514 or (064) 723-5858
  • A new birthing center in Jeju. The midwife, 김순선 (Kim Sun-seon), is also a certified doula.
  • I don't think she has a website, but if you know of one, please let me know and I'll add it. 

Love to Come (LTC) Clinic (see Good Moonhwa): Busan

Medi Park: Daegu
Telephone: (053) 740-7764
  • The doctors there do lots of interventions. At 37 weeks, expect to be asked if you want to be induced or have a C-section. They have administered pitocin during labor without consent, encourage epidurals very early on in labor (before 4 cm), and may insist that your baby stay in a warmer in the nursery. If you're looking for medicated births, this might be the right place for you.

Mij Ai Hospital: Mokpo 
Baeknyeondae-ro 418
(061) 260-8000
  • Great doctors and good staff.

Mirae Obgyn: Busan
Busanjin-gu, Kayadae-ro 459 (Gaegeum)
(051) 890-9999

  • Dr. 이재준 is pro-natural birth.

Miz-I Clinic Obstretic and Gynecology: Mokpo
977-2 Ogam-dong, Mokpo-si, Jeollanam-do
Telephone (061) 260-8000
  • Some doctors will let you labor in any position but want you birthing on your back. 
  • You can refuse an IV and instead just ask for a hep-lock.
  • They do actively managed procedures. They'll insist on pitocin after birth in order to shrink the uterus. They take the baby away and give them formula. You may be required to wear a plastic apron and gloves to nurse. The nurses only know a little about breastfeeding.
  • You may need to bring your own cutlery, toilet paper, and soap.

MizMom: Geoje
26 Okpodaecheop-ro, Geoje-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Telephone: (055) 688-9123/4
  • There's no need for an appointment on weekdays. If you go on the weekend you'll have to make an appointment. Dr. Ho Yeol Lee speaks English well. 
  • There are 4 delivery rooms and 1 surgery room. There are no NICUs on Geoje. 

Mizpia Hospital (미즈피아병원): Gwangju
1258-3 Chipyeong-dong , Seo-gu, Gwangju
Telephone: (062) 380-2000

Peace Midwives (평화조산원): Masan 
158-2 Hapseong 2(i)-dong, Masanhoewon-gu, Gyeongsangnam-do
Tel: (055) 256-9236
  • They'll do home births.

Prime Women's Clinic: Gimhae (near Busan) 
Naedong 1140-4 Guensang Building 2F, Gimhae, Gyeongsang-gu
Tel: (055) 328-0059

  • Natural birthing hospital near Busan. Many of the doctors speak  The head doctor of the hospital is heavily in favor of natural birth, using doulas, and HypnoBirthing®. A natural birth will cost about 300,000 and a C-section will be about 800,000.
  • You can labor and birth in any position and immediate skin-to-skin contact is encouraged as is rooming in. 
  • VBACs are strongly encouraged and they do gentle C-sections.
  • They have their own midwives on staff, and are willing to consider and speak to you about different options so that you can have the birthing experience that you want. 
  • They offer breastfeeding support. 

Pyeonghwa Yeollin Birth Center (평화열린 조산원): Gwangju
Telephone: (055) 256-9236
  • Recommended by those living near Gwangju. A birthing center that focuses on natural birth and midwives. 

Samsungmiz OBGYN: Asan
Baebang Eup Jangjaelee 1781, Asan City, Chungnam Province 
Telephone: 1600-8383
Dr. Kim Jung-man is very pro-natural birth.

Ulsan University Hospital: Ulsan
 877 Bangeojin Sunhwando-ro, Dong-gu, Ulsan
Telephone: (052) 250-7222
  • Very medical approach with nothing by mouth and constant monitoring, but they are open to a more hands-off approach if the situation allows. 
  • The birthing rooms are new and spacious and each has a private bathroom. 
  • Prof. Lee Soo Jeong (female) speaks good English and they have an international center.
  • Epidurals are usually in the morning and moms are transported to the OR on a different floor for the procedure. They can be hooked up or not. They only do epidurals between 4 and 8 cm. 
  • They have a NICU.

W-Hospital: Gwangju
  • New facility - clean and nice looking.
  • English speaking doctors.
  • They respect for the birth plan.

Women's Hope Center: Pohang 
Facebook and Korean website
  • They help women in unplanned pregnancy situations (married and unmarried) and provide natural childbirth seminars (e.g. The Bradley Method) and other seminars. 

Women's Hospital: Pohang
Bukgu Eunchangdong-ro 22 beon gil 7
(054) 255-5000
  • They are open to a hands-off labor and delivery as well as not using an epidural. 

Yeongji Maternity Clinic (양지산부인과): Gunsan 
(063) 467-0055
Sangnieun Angil 61

  • Great place. This hospital prefers natural delivery. The female OBGYN was fantastic. They were very accommodating to expats, they did everything they could for us including filing a complaint against our previous OBGYN at the medical board in Korea. 
  • The total was 906,000 for C-section and 5 nights 6 days in a private room, this also included the detailed genetic screening and hearing test (90,000 and 60,000).
  • Please avoid 은해산후주리원 in Jigok-dong like the plague. There are lots of horror stories about this place.
  • I haven't found a website for them. If you know of one, please let me know so that I can add it. 
Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Maternity, Birth, Newborn, and Family Photographers in Korea

Updated 23 January 2018

All of these photographers have experience with infants, babies, children, and/or families. Call around as photographers tend to book up quickly. If you can't find someone, you might want to consider learning how to take photos of your children yourself.

Photographers for infant loss
Amanda McCollum, Amanda Mun, Bryan Watkins, and Nikita Razo have said they would do this. I also think that if you asked other photographers, they would be willing to volunteer their time. 

Photographers in Korea
Please email me on if you know of anyone else who should be added to the list. Thanks!

List of Photographers
AG Photography in Seoul 
  • Ashley Gompert does family and birth photography.

Aoife Casey in Seoul
  • She's an Irish woman living in Seoul.
  • At the end of a 2 hour shoot you'll get 20 photos. 
  • Her blog.

Amanda McCollum in Seoul
  • She's an American military spouse who specializes in newborn, maternity, and children photography. 
  • She offers free sessions for infant loss and people with a terminal diagnosis.  

Amanda Mun Photography in Yongsan, Seoul
  • She's an American living in Seoul.
  • She specializes in maternity and birth photography. 

Anastasia Khan in Busan
  • She does maternity, newborn, babies, newborn, family, couples, portraits, and profiles.

Ashley in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • She's a hobbyist photographer who enjoys capturing beautiful moments of children and families at a very low price that everyone can afford. 
  • Her email is

Ashley Gompert see "AG Photography"

Ashten Basquez Photography in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • She does birth, posed and lifestyle newborn, breastfeeding, and families.

A.Y. Photos in Pohang

Bond Girl Photos in Seoul
  • Lisa Bond does birth photography, head shots, family / lifestyle, and Seoul tower silhouettes.

Bridget Backhurst in Seoul
  • She specializes in using natural light for family photos. 

Bryan Watkins in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • He travels anywhere clients want to shoot. 
  • He does fitness, portraits, couples, families, live performances, and weddings.
  • He also volunteers his services for families who experience early infant loss. 
  • Flickr at Flynbry

Cristian Bucur in Seoul

Crystal in Daegu
  • She is a family photographer.
  • Her Facebook page.

Da Vinci Photo Studios in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • He does portraits and surreal family photos.

Dorette Reyneke Photography in Busan
  • Lifestyle, story-teller, and natural photographer.
  • Her Facebook page.

Emerald Sage Photography in Pyeongtaek (Humphrey's)
  • She specialises in custom natural light newborn, child, and family photos. She does posed newborn photos.
  • Can only work with SOFA visa holders
  • Her Facebook page.

Emily Smith in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • She specialize in natural light and lifestyle sessions for families, couples, newborn, and maternity. She's getting into birth photography as well.
  • Can only work with SOFA visa holders.
  • Her Facebook page.

Erica VanHoosen in Yongsan, Seoul
  • She does maternity and newborn photography and occasionally does birth photography.
  • She also does travel photography
  • Her Facebook page.

Greg Samborski in Seoul 
  • He does wild photos of babies and kids. 
  • Flexible pricing
  • His Facebook page.

Hoot Shoots Photography in Seoul

Jenn Fligor in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • She does birth photography.

Jeong Yi in Seoul
  • He's an engagement, wedding, portrait, event photographer based in Seoul who's originally from Seattle. 
  • Loves outdoor shoots using natural light.
  • His Facebook page

Junebug Photography Studio, LLC in Osan / Pyeongtaek and Seoul
  • Nikita is an award winning photographer. She does maternity, birth, breastfeeding, children and babies, and cake smash photos.
  • Her Facebook page.
  • She has been approved to do birth photography at MediFlower, Yeon and Nature, and the 121 at Yongsan.  
  • She only works with SOFA visa holders.  
  • She offers finished heirloom artwork 

Laura Edwards in Osan / Pyeongtaek
  • She specializes in newborn, baby, and family photography.
  • She also does graduation and engagement photos. 
  • Contact her at  

Laura Scriven in Suwon
  • She has experience with scenery and families. She also does newborn photos.
  • Her Facebook group.

Lisa Bond see "Bond Girl Photos"

Lorryn Smit Photography in Gwangju
  • Will travel at client's expense.
  • Maternity, newborn, family, and weddings.

LR Photography in Busan
  • She specialises in couples, babies, family, and maternity photography.
  • Her Facebook page 

Marisa Johnson in Pyeongtaek (Humphrey's), but comes to Seoul often
  • She is also an artist. 
  • Her Facebook page.

Matthew Theron in Seoul
  • He's a South African living in Gunpo
  • He charges 200,000 for a two hour shoot. 
  • If you want studio shots you will have to pay the studio fee which is usually around 50,000.
  • A two hour shoot will usually get you 200 photos (50 of those will be edited, the rest will be standard processing, which is colour enhancing, sharpening, etc) that will be provided on within 2-3 weeks. 
  • His Facebook page.

My Seoul Photography in Seoul
  • Jorge Toro mainly does events, nightclubs and concerts but he also does portraits and headshoots.
  • His Facebook page.

Nikita Razo see "Junebug Photography Studio"

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Olga in Busan
  • She's a family and kids photographer. She does love stories as well as maternity shoots. 
  • Her style is a natural approach that gets people comfortable in front of the camera. 

Rebekah Bowman see "Inspirational Expressions" 

Rebecca Marie Photography in Pyeongtaek (Humphrey's)
  • She does pregnancy, infant, and family photography. 

Steve Sherk Photography in Chuncheon but works mainly in Seoul
  • Does weddings, couples, portraits, and city shots.

Tanesha Holland see "Hoot Shoots Photography"

Wonderlust Photography in Daegu
  • In Daegu

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Websites for Families in Korea

Updated 5 October 2016


Buy / Sell

Swaps and Freecycles













Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Doulas, Prenatal, Postpartum, and Breastfeeding Support in Korea

Updated 25 March 2018

Below you can find contact information for:
  • birth doulas
  • breastfeeding counselors
  • childbirth educators
  • lactation consultants
  • la leche league leaders
  • massage therapists 
  • nutritionists
  • postpartum doulas
  • placenta specialists
  • yoga instructors
There are not that many birth doulas in Korea so they tend to book up fast. Try to interview some early on in your pregnancy. Here are some questions to ask your doula as well as how doulas set their fees. On average expect to pay about 800,000 for your doula (that's an average). Doulas are not covered by Korean Health Insurance, but some international insurances may cover them.

You also might be interested in reading about hospitals and birthing centers in Korea as well as doctors and midwives that do home births

Adele Vitale Roh
Morning Calm Birthing Services: Nationwide, but based in Busan
  • Morning Calm Birthing Services is owned by Adele Vitale Roh. They are the only legally registered company in Korea providing childbirth services, from childbirth education to labor support and postpartum assistance.
  • Adele Vitale Roh is a certified birth doula and childbirth educator through CBI (Childbirth International). She is also a certified Dunstan Baby Language educator and HypnoBirthing® practitioner. She is based in Busan and offers childbirth preparation classes and labor support in Ulsan, Daegu, Gimhae, Busan, Geoje, and wherever there is a request. She's a native Italian speaker and speaks fluent English, Korean, and Chinese. She can help with translations or do phone consultations if needed.

Aicha Bouhya: Seoul (on maternity leave; still doing the discussion group)
  • Aicha is studying to be a birth doula through CBI (Childbirth International). 
  • She is still leading a discussion group twice a month for pregnant mothers and new families through the French association, Cercle Franco-Corren.
  • She speaks French and English.

Alexis Acuna: Seoul
  • She leads a breastfeeding support group at the 121 on Yongsan. Contact her for more info.

Ashley Middleton: Pyeongtaek
  • She is certified as a placenta specialist through IPPA.

Camp Humphreys: Pyeongtaek
Jabeth Schaffer teaches breastfeeding classes and volunteers at New Parent Support. Rachel Scott is a La Leche League Leader.

Cherie Miller: Jeju

Darla Day Haynsworth: Seoul
  • Darla is a birth doula and childbirth educator.
  • She has base access.

Elzali Jacobs: Gangwon-do but will travel
  • Elzali is studying to be a birth doula through CBI (Childbirth International). She lives in Gangneung, but is open to travelling to cities or towns nearby. 

Erin Mundy: Pohang (currently on maternity leave)
  • Erin is a certified childbirth instructor and doula through the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth. She and her husband teach the Bradley Method of Husband-Coached Childbirth and she offers doula services in the Pohang area. She also offers her services with and through the Women's Hope Center. (She may be able to expand her service area once the KTX in Pohang is complete.) 
  • She is available to answer questions about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and postpartum care during her maternity leave.

GM Cheil Women's Clinic
896 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi-do
Telephone (02) 890-2555
  • They have an IBCLC there. 

Heather Peet: Seoul 
  • She is a birth activist, home birther, and breastfeeding junky. 
  • She is certified as a birth doula with toLabor and has also worked as a postpartum doula. She is a certified lactation counselor through the Healthy Children Project.  
  • She has base access.

Jabeth Schaffer: Humphreys, Pyeongtaek (leaving spring 2018)
  • She is a certified lactation counselor though Healthy Children. She volunteers at New Parent Support at Humphreys and teaches Breastfeeding Basics for ACS every 3rd Wednesday of the month. She's also available for 1:1 consultation.
  • She has base access.

Jamie Melnychuk: Seoul 
Nutrition Mission and Sprout
  • Jamie is a registered holistic nutritionist and studied at the Canadian School of Holistic Nutrition
  • She offers sound nutritional advice during the challenging pre and post-natal periods. 
  • She also runs Sprout, a weekly pick-up food service in the Itaewon area.

Jay Jung
  • Jay did WithDoula Training and has also gone to the US for Spinning Babies workshops. She's a Korean doula but also speaks English. She's trained under Jinny and Danica from Mama's Birth Center.

Jennifer Latham: Pyeongtaek (currently on family leave)
  • Jennifer is studying to be a birth doula, postpartum doula, and childbirth educator through CBI (Childbirth International). 
  • She has base access.

Jessica Pash: Seoul (will be taking a break in January 2018)

Jinny Lee: Seoul
Mama Doula

Joanne McCuaig: Seoul

Jonathan (Joeng-Sup) Sim: Seoul

Julia Fochtman: Jeju
Facebook 010-6701-1992
  • She is studying to be a birth doula and childbirth educator with CBI (Childbirth International).
  • She lives in the Global Education Community, which is in Daejeong.

Juliana Han: Pohang

Kate Besleme: Seoul
Doula Baby
  • Kate is a certified professional midwife, CPM that trained with the National Midwifery Institute (USA).
  • She certified as a birth doula through DONA (Doulas of North America). She does prenatal, postnatal, and infant massage, pre-natal and postpartum support, childbirth classes, and is a prenatal yoga and vinyasa yoga teacher.
  • She works at MediFlower as a doula. 

La Leche League Korea
Joy is the leader in Seoul. Sharon is the leader at Osan AB. Rachel is the leader at Camp Humphreys. Please contact them about meeting information.

Laura Heather: Seoul
  • She is a birth doula.

Lindsay Blew: Pyeongtaek (Humphreys)
  • She's studying to be a doula with DONA (Doulas of North America). She's doing her workshop in December 2017 and that includes lactation education. 
  • She's had two babies using Hypnobabies® and comfort measures. She gave birth in an American military hospital overseas and a host nation hospital.

Lindsay Simmons: Seoul (currently on maternity leave)

Mamas' Birth Center: Seoul 
Danica (Uri) Bang

Mamslibe: Nationwide
  • A list of Korean IBCLCs that do home visits for breastfeeding support. You will need someone who can speak Korean to make an appointment and be there to translate.

Medi Flower: Seoul
  • They offer birthing classes and HypnoBirthing® classes in English and Korean.
  • Oh Sejin (see below) is an IBCLC who works there. She provides breastfeeding support.

Military Programs: Nationwide for those with base access
  • Please contact your nearest ACS (Army Community Services), AFRC (Airmen and Family Readiness Center), FAP (Family Advocacy Program), WIC (Women Infant and Children), or MFLC (Military Family Life Counselor) for more info. Some bases also have a NPSP (New Parent Support Program). 
  • They can help with breastfeeding support, child birthing classes, bundles for babies,  financial help, counseling, home visits, Dads 101, and newborn care classes.

Milky Mamas in Korea: Seoul
  • They offer breastfeeding support and meet the 4th Thursday of every month at the Yongsan Family Health Centre on the 3rd floor in a brand new building right next to the Hannam Dong Jumin Centre (한남동 주민 센터) from 11am-1pm. More info can be found at MMKorea Nursing Support. You can also contact Melanie, Leila, or Sheila. Nationwide
  • A list of Korean IBCLCs that do home visits for breastfeeding support. You will need someone who can speak Korean to make an appointment and be there to translate.

    Morning Calm Birthing Services: Nationwide, but based in Busan
    • Morning Calm Birthing Services is owned by Adele Vitale Roh. They are the only legally registered company in Korea providing childbirth services, from childbirth education to labor support and postpartum assistance.
    • Adele Vitale Roh is a certified birth doula and childbirth educator through CBI (Childbirth International). She is also a certified Dunstan Baby Language educator and HypnoBirthing® practitioner. She has done Spinning Babies workshops as well. She is based in Busan and offers childbirth preparation classes and labor support in Ulsan, Daegu, Gimhae, Busan, Geoje, and wherever there is a request. She's a native Italian speaker and speaks fluent English, Korean, and Chinese. She can help with translations or do phone consultations if needed.

    Natascha Otto: Jeju
    • Natascha is a qualified physiotherapist and certified birth doula through CBI (Childbirth International). 
    • She teaches child birthing classes but is not accepting doula clients for now.

    Oh Sejin (Ms. Oh): Seoul
    02-548-9400 press 9 for English
    • She is an IBCLC at Medi Flower who can offer breastfeeding support. She speaks Korean but the international clinic staff will go with you to translate. 

    Osan Air Force Base: Osan

    Postpartum Depression Support in Korea
    Facebook page
    • A Facebook support group for those who are suffering or have suffered from PPD.

    Rachel Scott: Humphreys, Pyeongtaek

    Rina Yu: Daejeon
    Gomyung Korean Medicine Clinic (고명한의원)
    • Rina is a legally registered Korean Medicine Doctor (Haneuisa, 한의사, Acupuncturist). She is also a HypnoBirthing® practitioner.

    Roxana Malave: Osan and Seoul (currently on maternity leave)
    • Roxana is a birth doula
    • She has base access. 

    Sarah Houser: Seoul and Gyeonggi
    • Sarah is a birth doula located in the Songtan/Osan/Humphreys area. She supports moms and families locally, in Seoul and the surrounding area. She is certified through CBI (Childbirth International), has been a doula in Korea since 2011, and mainly attends births and teaches birthing classes at Medi Flower. She also has experience at the 121 (the military hospital at Yongsan) Samsung, Dankook, Asan, smaller clinics, and home births. 
    • She is passionate about supporting and caring for moms and families throughout pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and beyond. She's available to answer questions, give support, teach classes, attend and support births, and support breastfeeding.

    Sarah M. Inman: Osan
    • She's an IBCLC Osan AB that offers breastfeeding support.

    Seoul Mommy and Baby Yoga Meetup: Seoul
    • Classes are taught by a certified yoga instructor.

    Sharon Couzens Helewa: Osan
    Tender Embrace Birthing

    Sheila Tabor: Seoul

    Spa Day: Seoul
    • They offer a special pregnancy and postpartum package as well as breastfeeding massage. 

    Stacy's Serenity Massage: Osan
    • Licensed massage therapist. Does prenatal and postnatal/postpartum massages.

    Sungwonhan Clinic: Seoul
    Richeonsia A-dong, 313 ho, Wonhyu-lo 1-ga 133-3 beon ji, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
    • A birthing center that also offers placenta encapsulation.

    Therapy in Korea: Seoul
    • English and Korean speaking counselor.

    Torch Trinity Christian Counseling Center: Seoul and online
    • Counselors who are pursuing masters and doctorates. Fees depend on how far they are along in their studies. They do have free services. They will not push religion on you.

    WIC: Nationwide for those with base access
    • Women Infant and Children provides supplemental nutrition support to qualifying pregnant mothers and children under the age of 5. They may also offer breastfeeding support and lend out hospital grade breast pumps.

    Yeon and Nature: Seoul
    • Natural birthing center. In addition to birthing services, they have breastfeeding support, child birthing classes, doulas, midwives, and placenta prints.

    Yoga in Seoul: Seoul
    • Not specifically pre-natal or post-natal yoga, but this group might be able to point you in the right direction. 

    Yongsan Garrison: Seoul
    • Alexis leads a breastfeeding support group at the 121 on Yongsan. Contact her for more info.

    Youngjoo Shin: Busan
    • Youngjoo is an English speaking IBCLC who can offer breastfeeding support.
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