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pregnancy in korea and beyond...
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CBrown



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: the 5th largest city in the country

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:12 pm    Post subject: pregnancy in korea and beyond... Reply with quote

My wife and I are about to take a couple position teaching in Korea. We would like to also have a child soon, and should probably not be trying to make any decisions concerning children for at least a few months into our jobs, but we're curious what the possibilities are for having a baby while in Korea, or even planning it so that the due date will be just after our contract expires. I'm wondering how the school would react to pregnancy, and also about travelling while pregnant, or with a newborn. Does anyone have any experience/helpful advice to offer on the subject?
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peppermint



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: traversing the minefields of caddishness.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to contact intergalactic, and ody about this. Ody had her second child here last winter, and I believe intergalactic is expecting.
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Corporal



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been there, done that...you can PM me too if you want.
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Tiberious aka Sparkles



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: I'm one cool cat!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Babies are awesome.

Everyone should have at least one.

Sparkles*_*
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kelly



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:30 pm    Post subject: .... Reply with quote

I'm in that situation now, I've been in the same school for two years and am now four mths pregnant and nobody has even noticed! Shocked I will be leaving pretty soon, well I'll be six and a half mths gone when I leave and I'm wondering what kind of reaction I'm going to get from them when they do realise. My boss is male too, so not sure if thats going to help, well good luck with it all anyhow!!!
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jaganath69



Joined: 17 Jul 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friends of mine had their first child here and there were no problems, full c section and the whole kit and kaboodle. Just make sure you have good cover, coz things can get real expensive otherwise (unless you fancy an African style birth). The only strange thing was that my friend said there was a palpable look of dissapointment on the medical staff's faces when they discovered the baby was not a boy.

Cheers

Jaga
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Tiberious aka Sparkles



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: I'm one cool cat!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For women considering giving birth in Korea:

If your child is born in the summer, nurses and orderlies (the doctor, in my case, was past such hocus-pocus) will make you sweat all the extra weight you put on during pregnancy. AIR CONDITIONING IS DANGEROUS TO BABIES AND MOTHERS!!!

The funny thing in my case was, after I spoke to the doctor about this madness, he told me he knew it was BS but that it kept the nurses happy.

Also: washing your hair is a no-no. And bathing.

Sparkles*_*
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kelly



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:24 am    Post subject: ....... Reply with quote

I've got a question I'm not going to have any medical cover when the baby is being born as I'm going to be here on a visitors visa, is it going to be crazy expensive, as in the thousands of $$ or where could I find out the information?? Thanks...
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
AIR CONDITIONING IS DANGEROUS TO BABIES AND MOTHERS!!!

The funny thing in my case was, after I spoke to the doctor about this madness, he told me he knew it was BS but that it kept the nurses happy.

We went through the same thing. Warm sunny late October day, 20 degrees out, and they had the heat on in the rooms. Gasping for some air, I opened one of the windows in our private room and got promptly chewed out by a nurse for exposing the baby to "the cold".

I was going to ask what she thought Canadian babies in the igloos of the northern Arctic do, but thought better of it and kept my mouth shut. Also, I didn't know how to say that in Korean.

There's a case to be made that such insanely hot conditions are actually detrimental to mother and baby's health, breeding infection. However, this point aside, our care was excellent.

kelly wrote:
I've got a question I'm not going to have any medical cover when the baby is being born as I'm going to be here on a visitors visa, is it going to be crazy expensive, as in the thousands of $$ or where could I find out the information?? Thanks...


My wife just dug out the hospital receipt. The cost (excluding the 5 days in the private room) was 900,000w, of which 450,000w was covered by insurance, and we paid the other 350,000w. I don't know if this is high or low, but as I said, it was probably better care than we'd have had back home.
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canadian_in_korea



Joined: 20 Jun 2004
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those who have had a baby here in Korea, were you comfortable with the cleanliness of the hospital? I'm interested to know what you thought, I had an ear infection and the doctor I saw gave me a needle in my ear. He had a prefilled needle sitting on his table thing and proceeded to wipe it with what I assume to be an alcohol swab. He then gave me the shot and returned the needle to its place....

Perhaps cleanliness isn't the right word....sterilization..?

Anyway, I would be interested to know if this is a normal thing here....or maybe I just chose the wrong doctor.
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kelly



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:13 am    Post subject: .... Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, thats not bad at all, I hoping to God I don't have to stay in long, our OBGYN told me one or two days, as my doctor was trained in the US so he knows that western people really don't want to stay in hospital all that long . Once again thanks much appreciated!!!!
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

canadian_in_korea wrote:
Perhaps cleanliness isn't the right word....sterilization..?

Anyway, I would be interested to know if this is a normal thing here....or maybe I just chose the wrong doctor.

We had no such problems, and I was hypersensitive about such stuff.

kelly wrote:
my doctor was trained in the US so he knows that western people really don't want to stay in hospital all that long .


There are advantages to staying in there for four or five days even if you had a natural childbirth, if the price isn't too bad. They look after everything, feed "new mother food" of seaweed soup, and help with nursing... they were also better equipped for inlaw-visits than our apartment was.
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Ody



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: over here

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CBrown wrote:
My wife and I are about to take a couple position teaching in Korea. We would like to also have a child soon, and should probably not be trying to make any decisions concerning children for at least a few months into our jobs, but we're curious what the possibilities are for having a baby while in Korea, or even planning it so that the due date will be just after our contract expires. I'm wondering how the school would react to pregnancy, and also about travelling while pregnant, or with a newborn. Does anyone have any experience/helpful advice to offer on the subject?


Hello C:

My first thought is that there are bigger issues to consider than what would your boss think.

Are either of you Korean? Do you speak Korean? This would be a first child for you both, yes? Off the top of my head, Id advise against going through a first pregnancy and/or birth in a foreign country where things are done differently and the possibility of miscommunication is strong. Pregnancy is only simple for 15 year olds. The first time is a big deal and can be riddled with complications.

Strike that though, if your wife speaks Korean.

Best wishes,
Ody
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beast



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your hogwan should be happy to accept another student.
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intergalactic



Joined: 19 May 2003
Location: Brisbane

PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have 42 days to go!

About the costs of having the baby here - if you are going to plan it so the birth happens after your contract expires, you should make sure you only mean after your WIFE's contract expires. If both of you are not working you won't have any health insurance cover. So you would need to re-sign a contract and have your wife added to your health coverage. I guess you already figured that out, but just in case I thought I'd mention it. Also, allow time to do the paperwork getting your wife onto your health card.
We saw the doctor every month and paid about w20,000 per visit, except 2 visits were higher (70,000 and 40,000 I think) for blood tests and glucose test. I don't know what the fee will be for labour and delivery but I'm guessing about 500,000 if there's no c-section.

If you are legally married your boss should have no problem. I know 3 people who became pregnant before marriage and hid it from their employers, but if you are traditional there's no reason why boss would care.

Some people mentioned the heat in hospitals - this is the LEAST of my concerns. You should be able to find a nice new modern clinic with all the technical gizmos, but my biggest problem with my care is the over-dependence on modern technology. While at home people are leaning more towards natural childbirth, breastfeeding, active birth etc, it seems to me (from what I have seen and heard) that here doctors rely on their machines and rules and equipment, and seem to over-medicalise the process of birth, and treat you like a 'patient' who doesn't know her own body or is incapable of becoming informed. I have had a few debates with my doctor over certain practices that I KNOW are outdated and wrong/unnecessary, and not only is she convinced I am wrong, she is appalled that I would call her on it or even question anything.

However if you and your wife are happy to let the doctors take care of you in their own way, I'm sure the care is adequate. The infant mortality rate in Korea is the same as in Australia.

As for travel - we are travel freaks, but I could not have done it in the first three months due to morning sickness. The second 3 months are supposed to be great for travel but I had severe sciatica and could barely move! The last 3 months include some time where airlines don't let you fly. I went camping a bit but probably wouldn't have enjoyed a longer backpacking trip due to the extra weight.

Final word: if I had any other option I would prefer to give birth at home. Now I'm stuck with doing it here and I'm sure it will all go fine, but I won't have the doula, waterbirth, midwife, family around, community nurse home-visits, confidence in the health care professionals that I would if I was doing it at home.
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