Friday, 28 June 2013

Postpartum Depression Support in Korea

Updated  5 October 2016

Postpartum depression seems to be a taboo topic here in Korea, I've been asked a number of times to do something to help people and have always felt hypocritical about doing it.

Depression is when it's a sunny day and all you want to do is stay in bed because you have a huge emotional cloud hanging over you. Other people feel like they're underwater and drowning. Or others simply don't care. It's hard enough to get up and brush your teeth let alone care for a little human as well as deal with sleep deprivation, body image issues, not eating well, raging hormones, and getting advice from everyone. We're also living in a foreign country where most of us don't speak the language which further complicates things.

Here are some places in Korea to get help in English

Here are some places online to get help
There are people you can talk to online through 7 cups of tea. It's free, anonymous, and confidential to talk to trained volunteer listeners. Postpartum Depression Support in Korea is a small, close-knit group of people who know what you're going through.

Books about postpartum depression

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

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Many Interventions Do Not Help Birthing Women

Updated 4 February 2015

One of the reasons women get interventions is because they don't know about their options.

Korean birthing culture
Call a hospital and you're likely to have them chuckle at you and go, no, no, no classes. After all, the doctor's the expert, right? Why would you want to know what's going on?

And afterwards when you're responsible for another human? Just check into a juriwon. Truth is there are a lot of options out there and a lot of help for foreigners. You need to educate yourself about childbirth.

The problem with doctors
Doctors seldom offer you non-medical choices. I know that the C-section rate in Korea is over 30% and many women don't end up with the birth they want. Many hospitals treat women like cattle on an assembly line that they poke, prod, cut, and sewn up which can cause new moms to feel hurt, deprived, robbed of their birth, and distant from their bodies. While you usually recover quite quickly physically, recovering emotionally is a different story since interventions can cause postpartum depression. The website, Childbirth Connections has a number of reports and fact sheets you can show your doctor.

What you can do
Find out what you can do to get the birth you want and check out this comprehensive list of birthing professionals in Korea.

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

Sunday, 23 June 2013

When Should I Take a Child Birthing Class?

The best time to take a child birthing class is in your third trimester. By doing this you're more likely to remember what you've learned in class when you go into labor as well as afterwards when you're taking care of your baby. Here are child birthing classes in Korea. You also might be interested in reading When Should I Book a Doula?

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

Friday, 21 June 2013

When Should I Hire a Doula?

Hire a doula as soon as possible. There are a limited number of birth doulas in Korea and they tend to get booked quite quickly. Most doulas take on between 2-5 clinics a month and try to keep at least seven days between clinic due dates. The sooner you book a doula, the better.

Doulas will usually meet with you a couple times before you go into labor. They help you with things before, during, and after giving birth. They might also help you with nutrition, getting ready for your baby, exercises, as well as teach you about your birthing options. Some will also visit you after giving birth to see how you are adjusting to life with your baby, help you with scheduling, and breastfeeding. Read more about what doulas do.

Most doulas are located in Seoul, however, some are willing to travel. There are also doulas down south as well as in Jeju. Fees vary widely and include different things, so be sure to ask ahead of time.

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

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