Having a Baby in South Korea



Having a baby in South Korea may be a different experience for expat women who have given birth in another country.

But with enough awareness, it will be fairly easy coping with the changes, especially with the country's National Health Insurance Coverage scheme and with the benefits of taking out international health insurance. 

Taking care of an unborn child in South Korea is a mix of both traditional and modern methods. The pregnant woman goes to an obstetrician for consultation and prescription of prenatal vitamins while her mother or mother-in-law becomes actively involved in taking care of her at home. The matriarch is expected to provide traditional prenatal care such as providing Chinese herbs that are believed to promote healthy pregnancy and seeing to it her daughter or in-law follows a traditional prenatal care regimen. This may also mean the elder woman will be a constant companion during prenatal visits to the doctor.

The cost of giving birth is around 7 to 12 million Won depending on the birth method of choice and the setting. Deliveries may not be done in a private room, but if one opts to deliver in private, the hospital may charge a higher amount. 

Many companies providing private health insurance are honored but to be sure, one must confirm with the hospital or obstetrician whether the particular policy applies. Postnatal care is given in facilities called maternity hotels where women who have just given birth spend a few more days to fully recover before going home. 

Dual citizenship does not apply in South Korea at this time, but the government is looking into the possibility for the sake of those with Korean descent, married to Koreans or living in the country for at least five years.