Thursday, 3 April 2014

7 Things to Do to Get the Birth You Want

Updated 25 November 2017

1. Choose your caregiver wisely and find someone who has similar ideas about birthing as you do. Here's a list of hospitals and clinics around Korea that foreigners have recommended. This is a consumer report about birthing centers and 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.) 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. Morning Calm Birthing Services has a useful chart in English that allows you to easily compare hospitals and birthing centers. Tender Embrace Birthing also has a list of all the routine prenatal checks and tests that are done in Korea.

2. Have a birth plan and make sure your doctor signs and stamps it. Here are some sample birth plans for Korea.

3. Educate yourself about options. Knowing what's out there will help you with what to expect. Watch positive birthing videos such as Organic and Orgasmic Birth or The Business of Being Born. Learn how to avoid the ring of fire when the baby is crowning. Look into using hypnosis for child birthing. Check out HypnoBirthing® and Hypnobabies®.

4. Have your partner back you up. Your partner should be there to support you and help you out when needed.

5. Get a doula. They're worth their weight in gold. While some people say that they're expensive (800,000 - 1 million is the average in Korea) research has shown that those with doulas have fewer epidurals and C-sections, which also cost money. Not to mention that there are priceless benefits such as there being a decreased chance of a forceps delivery and the mom feeling more positive about the birth. Here are some more benefits to having a doula and here's a list of doulas, breastfeeding counselors, and childbirth educators in Korea.

6. Labor at home as long as possible. The clock is your worst enemy. Once you go to the hospital the countdown begins. Many Korean doctors prefer babies to be born within 12 hours. The average for first time moms is 18 hours of active labor (active labor starts at 4 cm). That being said, trust your gut instinct. If you ever feel that something's wrong, faint, or have a lot of blood, go immediately to the hospital.

7. Be prepared to negotiate. You may not be able to get 100% of the things you ask for so be prepared to give and take a little with the medical staff. They may want you to get an enema and an episiotomy. Decide which one is more important to you. For example, you could agree to getting an enema provided that they do not do an episiotomy.

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

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