Updated 20 May 2016

My name is Sharon Couzens Helewa and I've been involved in the birthing community in Korea since February 2013. I'm trained and certified as a Childbirth Educator and Postpartum Doula through Childbirth International (CBI), as well as a Breastfeeding Educator Counselor through the University of California San Diego, and a Dunstan Baby Language Instructor through Dunstan Baby Language.

How I got into birthing
When I was pregnant, I took a child birthing class with Karen from Morning Calm Doulas and it helped me immensely. At my daughter's birth I had Casey as my doula and Stacy shadowed her. Doulas are worth their weight in gold! I'm very glad I hired one. My daughter was born in October 2011 at Rosa's clinic in Ansan.

After my friend's wife went in for a natural birth and walked out after an unnecessary C-section I decided to become a childbirth educator. My goal is to let families know about the options available in Korea so that they can feel empowered and make informed decisions. Here are what people have said about me.

Tender Embrace Birthing was formed in February 2013 in order to help families in Korea. I currently work with Morning Calm Birthing Services and offer families a variety of services, such as Child Birthing, Breastfeeding, and Newborn Care classes, Dunstan Baby Language classes, postpartum support, and breastfeeding support. I am not a birth doula, however, I do have a list of doulas in Korea.

Support Provided

Training and Experience

Jan: Family Health Coaching's Natural Breastfeeding Webinar.
Feb: The Business of Birth module with Childbirth International (CBI).
Mar: Wellstart International Lactation Management Level 1.
Apr: Evidence Based Birth's Advanced Maternal Age workshop.
Apr: Started Milky Mamas Meetings in Osan.
Apr: Helped organise the Seoul International Mom and Baby Fair - 2nd Edition in HBC.
May: Became a La Leche League Leader.

June: Took the Spinning Babies Parent Class and Daily Essentials.
July: Attended an intro to Reiki led by Alder Healing Center and Path to Transformation.
Nov: Helped organize the Seoul International Mom and Baby Fair in HBC.

Apr: Became a Postpartum Doula (Dip PPD) with Childbirth International (CBI)
May: Took a newborn care and breastfeeding support workshop.
May: Became an admin for La Leche League of Seoul's Facebook page.
May: Became an admin for Milky Mamas Korea's Facebook group.
June 2014-Dec. 2015: Led the Saturday Milky Mamas Meetings in Itaewon. 
Aug: Took an online rebozo workshop with Gena Kirby.
Aug: Became a Dunstan Baby Language instructor.
Dec: Became a certificated Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC) through U.C. San Diego.

Feb: Became a Childbirth Educator (Dip CBE) with Childbirth International (CBI)
June: Created Postpartum Depression Support in Korea's Facebook group.
Sept: Admin for Korea International Nanny Service's Facebook group. 

May: Created AFIK, a Facebook group for foreign-foreign families in Korea.

Feb: Found out I was pregnant!
Feb: Created the Seoul Swap, a Facebook group. 

Oct: Finished the Hypnobabies® home study course (more about the program).
Oct: My daughter was born.


  1. Can I ask you about your experience with Hypnobabies and giving birth in Korea? Did you feel the home study course was sufficient for what you needed to learn? Did your caregivers know how to support you since the course is not (I guess) well known in Korea? Did the hypnosis tools help much with pain management?

    1. I feel that there is so much to learn about birth. Look at what a childbirth course covers compared to what a midwifery course would cover. I feel that it covers the basis and did help me. That being said I also took a regular birthing class that lasted 15 hours.

      There are NO Hypnobabies courses in Korea. That means you will either have to do the home study option or take a HypnoBirthing class. There are HypnoBirthing instructors here.

      I chose a place that I knew would be supportive of natural birthing. That was one of the best decisions I made. I also had a doula and a doula-in-training. Again, I planned ahead to get what I wanted. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I was induced with Pitocin.

      I'll be perfect honest that HypnoBabies helped in the beginning, but not so much at the end. There could be a number of reasons for that. I had a really long labor, I was induced (Natural childbirth is supposed to be A LOT easier as your body produces pain relief as your contractions increase. Pitocin interrupts that since it causes the contractions to be stronger, longer, and closer together. This means it's harder for your body to keep up), and my partner was very unhelpful.

      The two things I would highly recommed is choosing a good caregiver and getting a doula.

      Here's a link to doulas, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/doulas-and-lactation-consultants-in.html and here's a link to where to give birth, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/hospitals-and-birthing-centers-in-korea.html


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