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  • naturegirl321
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Tender Embrace Birthing: having a baby in Korea
« on: June 17, 2013, 11:56:17 am »
Having given birth in Korea I know how hard it can be to have a baby in a country where you don't speak the language and the culture is vastly different than what you're used to. Although my daughter was born more or less how I wanted to, 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 sew up.

I decided to become a childbirth educator when a friend of mine walked in for a natural birth and was wheeled out 5 days later after an "emergency" C-section. She didn't know her options going in and it was hard for her to recover emotionally and physically.

I want women to know about the options out there and to know that they can get what they want.  Child birthing classes aren't common here. Besides myself, I know two other women in Seoul who give classes. Call a hospital and you're likely to have them go, child what? Birthing, child birthing! And then 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? Just check into a mom's hotel. Truth is there are a lot of options out there and a lot of help for foreigners. Though doctors seldom offer you the non-medical choices and don't usually know where foreigners can get help.

I teach birthing classes (http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.kr/p/classes.html), which cover a variety of topics, such as pregnancy, birthing, and adjusting to life with a new baby (http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.kr/p/syllabus.html).

I also have a good list of resources, (http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.kr/p/resources.html) which has info about doulas, childcare, avoiding an episiotomy, La Leche League Seoul, and lots more.

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 02:54:05 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Breastfeeding Counselors, Childbirth Educators, and Doulas in Korea
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 08:55:16 am »
Here are all the childbirth professionals I know of in Korea. http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/doulas-and-lactation-consultants-in.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:45:38 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Websites for Families in Korea
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 09:10:33 am »
You might feel overwhelmed having a baby in Korea or raising a child here, but there's a huge support network available for foreigners, check out all these different groups, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/websites-for-families-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:45:46 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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Infant and Baby Photographers in Korea
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 09:13:15 am »
I don't know of any birth photographers, but doulas http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/doulas-and-lactation-consultants-in.html might be willing to take photos.

If you're looking for a photographer to capture those precious moments when your baby is only a few days old or someone who can get a toddler to sit still, check out these photographers, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/photographers-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:45:57 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Hospitals and Birthing Centers in Korea
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 09:25:16 am »
If I say it once I'll say it a thousand times, the most important decision you make that will help you get the birth you want is by choosing WHERE to give birth. Money shouldn't be a deal breaker. Let me explain why.

Let's say that hospital A charges 300,000 for a normal vaginal birth. And 300,000 per night for a private room. Normal stay is 3 nights, so total would be 1.2 mil.

Now Birthing Center A charges 2.5 mil and only allows you to stay up to 8 hours after you give birth. Almost double, right?

Not necessarily. Hospitals love C sections, which now upps your nights from 3 to 5 nights IF there are no complications, and often there are.  C section is surgery, you'll have to pay extra fees for that. Plus there are things that you just can't put a monetary value on: physical recovery, walking out vs wheeling out, emotional recovery, being able to sleep in your own bed that same night, breastfeeding is also a heck of a lot harder after having a C section, etc.

The C section rate is about 30% in Korea, which is about the same in the US. The hospital I went to had a 90% C section rate, my doctor had a 50% C section rate. There was a 50-50 chance that I was going to be sliced open and have to undergo major surgery. It's not just a nip and tuck, C sections are major abdominal surgery.

The rates I talked about above were what I quoted. I had no qualms paying 2 mil plus another 750 for a doula. Well worth it. Doulas are worth their weight in gold. I was induced due to having my water break about a month early because of emotional shock. But I avoided being shaved, cut (episiotomy), had only a couple of stitches, no epidural (which really aren't as great as you think they are) and walked out with my baby in my arms after 6 hours. Yes, you CAN walk out. Giving birth is normal. Think about the people who squat in rice paddies. The only discomfort that I had was from the stitches which tug every time you laugh, sneeze, or cough. So just don't do those things. I'm not special by any means. Plenty of women do this.

Here are some places to give birth as well as reviews and info about them, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/hospitals-and-birthing-centers-in-korea.htm

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:46:04 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • Seoul
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English Kindergartens in Korea
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 11:24:45 am »
If you have an older child that you want to send to school, some expats opt for English kindergartens. Some are cheap, but most are expensive. Many offer scholarships, such as  oneenglish.net, which is in the Suwon area and is said to have good scholarships for native English speaking kids. You can find more info about English kindergartens here, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/english-kindergartens-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:46:10 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Healthcare, Free Vaccinations, and Vaccination Timeline for Korea
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 11:35:24 am »
Pregnant women with an ARC card get free money (GoEunMom Cardfrom the Korean government! It's about 400,000 won and you can only use 60,000 at a time, but hey, it's free. You'll need to get some info from your doctor and have an account with Shinhan or KB Bank.

Baby's are given a 30 day grace period to get their paperwork in order and get insurance. If you're both foreigners it might be hard to get your baby's foreign birth cert, passport, AND ARC all in that time. No worries, pay out of pocket and you'll be refunded once your baby gets an ARC. If you don't want to wait, go to your local NIHC office and explain that it takes foreigners a longer time than Koreans to get all their paperwork and ask if they can add you now.  Be aware that when you go to medical centers and your baby doesn't have an ARC, even if the NIHC has added you you're going to have to have the medical center call NIHC and confirm that you added your baby.

Some shots are free in Korea, check with your local hospital, clinic, or gu office as sometimes they do them there. Whether you vaccinate or not is up to you. People have very strong opinions on it.

Here's a lot of info about healthcare and shots in Korea, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/healthcare-and-vaccinations-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:46:17 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Legal Advice in Korea
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 11:41:51 am »
Although having a baby is supposed to be an exciting time in your life it can also be stressful. Getting screwed out of maternity or paternity leave seems the norm. I've known men who were given zero paternity leave (the law states up to 5 days can be taken) and women who have

* had to pay for a replacement out of pocket
* not been paid at all
* lost their job shortly afterwards
* not been renewed

Of course I've also known women who have had no issues whatsoever. Be advice I can give you is to be prepared, know the laws, and have a back up plan or two. In case you need legal advice, here are some places to look at, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/legal-advice-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:46:24 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Daycare and Childcare in Korea
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 11:44:37 am »
If you've got a Korean kid, lucky you, it's now free. There are waiting lists months long with hundreds of kids on it at some daycares, so shop around. Daycares usually don't take kids under 100 days.

If you're both foreign, you have to pay out of pocket. The fees vary by age, but some daycares will try to pull a fast one on you and charge you double. This is totally and completely illegal: do NOT pay, you're only making it harder for the rest of us to get the real price.

Here's more info about childcare options in Korea, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/daycare-and-childcare-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:46:35 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Where to Get Nursing Bras
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 11:48:28 am »
Seems like there's only one size is Korea: A. Sure you've got Bs and Cs, but they just have more padding than an A.  :-[

Fear not, there ARE places in Korea where you can find nursing bras (no underwire please! at least not for a couple of months, it can cause clots). If you can't find anything in Korea there's always online shopping. Remember that if you're from the US, there's a limit of 200 dollars and then you have to pay tax. So order less than that, or ship it to a friend or family member and have them repackage it.

You can find the list of where to find bras here, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/where-to-buy-nursing-bras-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:46:57 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Apostillisations and Notarisations in Korea
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 11:51:06 am »
Should you need something notarised or apostillised (perhaps permission to fly alone with your child), don't worry, it's a straight forward process. Funnily enough apostillisations are super cheap, 1,000 won. I've paid 25,000-50,000 for a notarisation, more info on how to do this and where to go is here, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/apostillisations-and-notarisations-in.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:02 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Playrooms and Kids' Cafes in Korea
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 12:03:16 pm »
They're all over the place. Pay a bit and your kids can run around like crazy and make a mess, best of all you don't have to clean it up. Prices vary. Inside Seoul you can pay up to 15,000. Outside Seoul is much cheap. For a list of kids' cafes near you check out, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/playrooms-and-kids-cafes-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:08 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Nannies, Baby sitters, and Maids
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 12:04:42 pm »
They're affordable. YWCA will send a maid to your house for a couple hours for less than 50,000. It can be a one off deal or something regular. Nannies can be sponsored or you can find one here in Korea. Baby sitters are a bit harder to find, but the Korean government has a couple programmes available. Check out, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/05/nannies-baby-sitters-and-maids-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:13 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
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    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Life Insurance for People Who Live Abroad
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 12:07:08 pm »
If you live outside your country of origin, good luck getting life insurance. I tried last summer and got rejection after rejection. I finally found a place early this year that was affordable. Most of them are pretty expensive, but as a single mom, you just have to suck it up and pay. Better safe than sorry. Here's a list of places that cater to expats as well as info about prices, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/life-insurance-for-people-living-abroad.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:18 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Permission to Fly With Just One Parent
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 12:09:32 pm »
Thinking of showing of Junior to family back home but your spouse has to work? Get a letter of permission or else you could face kidnapping charges. Not kidding. Get it. Costs 25,000-50,000 for a notarised letter and 1,000 for it to be apostillised. If you're from Canada, get it legalised at the embassy. Better safe than sorry. Most people I know have had zero issues, but I do know women who have been pulled out of line at immigration (in their home country) and asked to provide proof that they could travel alone with their kids. Luckily they had a letter from their spouse.

Here's more info about letters as well as sample letters, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/permission-to-travel-with-only-one.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:24 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
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Useful Phone Numbers for Korea
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2013, 12:10:54 pm »
In case of a problem or emergency you should know who to call. Here's a list of useful numbers in case you need them, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/useful-phone-numbers-for-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:47 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
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Free Baby and Kids' Stuff in Korea
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2013, 12:16:07 pm »
What could be better than cheap: free of course! There are a number of places where you can find free stuff here in Korea, check out these sites, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/04/free-children-and-baby-stuff-in-korea.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:47 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
    more
Doulas in Korea
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2013, 12:21:17 pm »
Doulas have officially taken Korea by storm. There are a number of foreign doulas working here in Korea. They're worth their weight in gold. And diamonds. And precious stones. They're really truly fantastic. To find out about what doulas do, check out http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-doulas-do.html

Fees vary A LOT. Some are 100,000. Others are 4 million. Huge difference. Shop around, find one that you like. Here's what goes into a doula's fee, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/05/how-doulas-set-their-fees.html

There are a number of organisations that certify doulas. Be sure to ask yours who she trained with and who she's certified with. Also check if her certification is valid since some have expiration dates. You can find out more here, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/05/organisations-that-certify-doulas-and.html

If you're looking for a list of doulas (as well as other birth professionals in Korea) look no further, here's a great list, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/02/doulas-and-lactation-consultants-in.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:47:50 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
    more
Avoiding Internal Exams While in Labor
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2013, 12:22:35 pm »
Doctors or nurses seem to check you every hour to see how far dilated you are. Totally unnecessary most of the time, can work against you if you're not dilating fast enough and introduces bacteria into your body. Here are some tips on how to avoid internal exams with in labor, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/05/avoiding-internal-exams.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:48:08 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea


  • naturegirl321
  • Expert Waygook

    • 588

    • June 13, 2011, 01:34:50 pm
    • Seoul
    more
Recommended Reading for Moms and Dad to be
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2013, 12:32:34 pm »
There's a lot out there. Here are some books that professional organisations recommend, http://tenderembracebirthing.blogspot.com/2013/05/recommended-reading-for-moms-and-dads.html

On my FB page you can also find useful links and updates, (https://www.facebook.com/TenderEmbraceBirthing?fref=tsf)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 04:45:26 pm by naturegirl321 »
The best TEFL jobs in Korea on TEFL Tips.
Tender Embrace Birthing: childbirth classes, doulas, breastfeeding support, and info about giving birth in Korea