Korean Cultural Difference for Pregnancy and Birth

Before you and your husband meet with your doctor, it is important to go over exactly what you want in terms of medical procedures. Even when meeting with English-speaking doctors at international clinics, there’s always the chance that the doctor will steer you towards Korean practices of giving birth. If there are certain practices from your home country that you would feel more comfortable following, then it is important from the beginning to let your doctor know. 


Although not every doctor will be the same, it is not standard practice for Korean patients to question a doctor or get an overview of exactly what is happening. This is true of even doctors and medical practitioners in international clinics. However, don’t let that keep you from asking questions. The doctor will understand that you are from a different country and have different expectations. As long as you are firm but polite, you should be able to communicate efficiently with your doctor about what you would like for your birthing process. 


It might also be unexpected to hear that it is not completely uncommon for Korean doctors to answer questions about a pregnancy directly to the husband instead of the wife. As times have progressed, this practice has become less common, especially as the expat community has continued to grow and interact with medical industry in Korea. This is going to be mostly true for Seoul. Outside of Seoul, you are more likely to see this kind of behavior as the expat community becomes much smaller. However, if either one of the spouses are Korean, it makes it much more likely that you will be treated in a Korean manner: either having the doctor address the husband mainly or receiving a Korean-style pregnancy.


Pregnancy & Vaccinations Korean Culture Giving Birth and Childbearing