Thursday, 1 March 2018

7 Natural Birthing Centers in the Seoul Area, Korea

Updated 12 September 2018

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. They are also very supportive of you having a doula or birth photographer. Check out the list of breastfeeding counselors, childbirth educators, and doulas and here are birth photographers. Some of the birthing centers may offer free or discounted photos with Korean studios. Medi Flower, for example, works with King Kong in Love.

Prices vary, but if you have Korean national health insurance, they should be 1.5-3 mil for the birth itself and include 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.

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.

C-sections and Transfers
Simply by giving birth at a birthing center, you will lower your risk for a C-section. Of the natural birthing centers listed below, 3 of them can perform C-sections: GM Cheil, Medi Flower, and Yeon and Nature. Even if you want to avoid a C-section, you should still ask the birthing center what hospital they do transfers to and go there and see what it's like. None of the birthing centers have a NICU. So if your baby needs one, they are going to have to transfer you. Here's an article about NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) in Korea.

7 Natural Birthing Centers in the Seoul Area
Agitanseun Natural Birth Center (김옥진조산원) Kim Ok Jin (Rosa)
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

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.  
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 
3rd floor, Daesakwanro 60 Yongsan-gu, SeoulTelephone: (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 Jinny, a doula who speaks English and Korean. They 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
  • They attend home births.
  • A popular natural birthing center. 
  • About 2.5 mil for a vaginal birth though prices vary depending on insurance.
  • Dr. Chung is the most amazing "labor whisperer". 
  • They are able to perform C-sections. 

Queens Women's Clinic
9-13 Seongjeonggong-won 1-gil, Seobuk-gu, Cheonan, Chuncheongnam-do
  • There's a natural birthing room with a birth tub (for labor and/or birth), birth ball, peanut ball, ropes, and a bar (the latter two are used to hold onto while pushing). 
  • It is Korean style, so you'll be sleeping on the floor.
  • They also have a VIP room. 
  • They can do VBACs and C-sections. 
  • Dr. Seo Gi Won is the doctor. 
  • About half an hour from Camp Humphreys. Very affordable. 
  • They are connected to Dankook Hospital, so they might be able to bill Tricare directly. 

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. 

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