Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Birth Plans for Korea

Updated 19 February 2016

Birth plans are very helpful and even more so if you're birthing in Korea where you may not speak the language and the culture may be very different. Here in Korea, the doctor is all-knowing and patients don't ask questions. The doctor is the expert and does whatever he or she sees fit. Sitting down with your doctor and having them read, sign, and stamp your birth plan will help you both.

Get at least two copies (one for you and one for your doctor) and have them in both English and Korean (get a friend to help or if all else fails use Google Translate). Bring it to the hospital with you. If necessary, when you're in labor you can point out (in Korean) what the doctor has agreed to when the nurse comes over and tries to do something that you don't want.

Do Your Research
You might decide to change hospitals if your doctor doesn't agree most of your requests. Enemas, shaving, episiotomies, laboring on your back with IVs and epidurals are common here. As are C-sections, with the national average around 30%, which is similar to the USA.

Every hospital is different and even within hospitals, doctors have different ideas. If you're trying to avoid a C-section, knowing your doctor's C-section rate is important. Also ask about your hospital C-section rate since you might not always get your doctor for the birth.

Useful Links and Sample Birth Plans
Here's a list of hospitals and clinics that foreigners have gone to. Here's a list of doulas, breastfeeding counselors, and childbirth educators.

Here are the birth plans that I've found. Most of them are specifically for Korea. Two of them: Birthing Miracles and Earthy Mama Angel Baby aren't for Korea, but they bring up a lot of options so I've decided to include them. I don't deserve credit for any of them as I haven't written any of them. I've linked to them as well as copied and pasted them in the posts.


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



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