Family | Personal

Pregnancy Week 5 in South Korea Versus America

April 24, 2017

Quite recently, I wrote about how I scared myself with the term Second Infertility and how I was concerned by how long it’s been taking to get pregnant with my second child.  Well, this post isn’t a pregnancy announcement.  It’s just an “I missed my period!” announcement.  And I never miss a period.  I have not taken a pregnancy test yet, but is this pregnancy week 5?

My First Pregnancy Week 5


When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was unaware of pregnancy week 5.  I didn’t even realize I completely missed my period until my husband asked.  When I told my husband I was a week late, he was very excited and immediately bought a pregnancy test.  I’ve read that pregnancy tests are most accurate if used in the morning when you wake up.  I guess this is because you haven’t put anything else into your body during a night of full rest.  I woke up with a sudden urge to pee around 3 AM and decided to try the test as my husband continued to sleep.

I was a jumble of emotions when I saw that the results were positive.  Could it be a false positive?  Were my eyes playing tricks on me during the bewitching hour of 3 AM?  We were newlyweds and I had just started a new job.  I didn’t feel ready to be a mom yet.  I woke my husband up and he was just elated.  He told everyone in his family as soon as it became a reasonable hour!  And this was before we even visited a doctor to check.

Being Pregnant in South Korea


I got pregnant with my daughter while we were living in South Korea.  It was very easy to make an appointment with a doctor to get an ultrasound and check to see if I was indeed pregnant.  By this time, it was already past pregnancy week 5, but we got to hear a heartbeat.  At week 6, this was a very special moment.  I hadn’t realized a baby’s heart would already be formed and beating by this time!

Living in America now, I am a little unsure of how to proceed with this possible pregnancy.  I am pretty sure I am pregnant, even without taking a pregnancy test, because I never miss periods.  Do I need to have a positive pregnancy test before I can see a OB/GYN?

Health insurance in America is a lot trickier than the nationwide health coverage available in South Korea.  I will have to call around and ask if the doctor takes my insurance.  I also know that some doctors won’t take in new patients if they have reached their limit.  This was never an issue in South Korea.

Perks of Being Pregnant in South Korea


  • South Korean government provided me with a special card value of 500,000 KRW (currently about $440) to help pay for health checkups that are not fully covered by insurance.  I managed to use it all within six months.
  • South Korean government provided me with folic acid and iron supplements to take during the first trimester at no additional cost.
  • Special priority seats for pregnant women to sit down in the subway or bus.  But, it’s hard to use these in the first trimester when you’re not really showing because people will judge you for using these seats when you’re “not pregnant”.  I had terrible morning sickness and still had to go to work using public transportation during rush hour.  I never got a seat during the first trimester, but as I started to show, some started offering me their seats.

I expect my experiences with a second pregnancy to be quite different because I am living in America now.  Just the prospect of having to find a OB/GYN who is recommended and available to take me in as a patient is overwhelming.  Even with this exciting development, I am still working on the Spring Cleaning Series.  My next step is cleaning out the bathroom, which is a guest post I wrote for Namaste and Eat Cupcakes.  Please drop by and leave a comment!  I will continue the series with organizing the bathroom on Her Life Is Love.


To the recently pregnant and currently pregnant moms, please advise me on what I should avoid doing and eating as I have forgotten most of the information I read up on from my first pregnancy.  Leave a comment and let me know!

  • Pamela Jones

    I wish mothers were more valued when it comes down to motherhood. I feel like in America ( USA) we pay for most things.

    • Paula

      I wholeheartedly agree with you, Pamela. It’s surprising how a country advanced as America falls behind in supporting mothers during pregnancy and beyond when compared with other countries.

  • Congratulations! I hope all goes well for you and your little ones. Thanks for sharing on#TwinklyTuesday.

    • Paula

      Thank you!

  • Mummy Setra

    Congratulations. It sounds like S Korea are quite advanced helping pregnant ladies which is great! #KCACOLS

  • Sara

    Congratulations! I’m not sure how things work in the States, I’m afraid. In the UK all you would do at this stage would be to self-refer to a hospital, and they’d invite you for a ‘booking visit’ at week 10 and then for a scan at week 12. So it’s a long wait. I hope you don’t have to wait that long! And as for what you can and can’t eat, well, the recommendations keep changing, so I’d be checking that up myself as I had my youngest in 2014! Good luck with everything and thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time!

    • Wow, thanks for sharing what happens in the UK. I love learning new things like that! Didn’t realize there’s all that waiting to be done, but I get the feeling it may be similar here. One place I called won’t schedule your first visit until weeks 7 to 9, but they didn’t take my insurance so I’m STILL looking for an obgyn. One of my top priorities on my to-do list this week!

  • All best wishes for your pregnancy. I’m American originally but I live in the UK now and had both my pregnancies there, so I don’t know how they do it in American. My suspicion is that they’ll do whatever you want if you can pay for it! #kcacols

  • Kelly-Anne Combes

    Kelly-Anne | Mimi Rose and Me

    Wow, congratualtions. I can’t offer any advice on this front but
    I hope it all goes well for

  • Mummy in a TuTu

    Wow Congrats. I am pleasantly surprised with how advanced S.Korea seems to be with pregnancy. Hope it all goes well xx
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime and don’t forget to join us this Thurs.

  • Good luck and fingers crossed for you. What an exciting time, I cant wait to hear more!

  • Mum’s The Word

    Congratulations! And hopefully you’ll be able to figure it all out soon 🙂 I’m in the U.K. Which is incredibly straight forward so I can’t help with anything America related! #KCACOLS

    • Thank you! Yes, America’s health care system is really a big mess right now, but good news is I found a doctor today so looking forward to finally getting an ultrasound!

  • tracey bowden

    I hope you manage to find you way with the differences in healthcare. It must be so confusing not knowing what is covered under your insurance. Congratulations. Again no advice as I’m from the UK so completely different to America #kcacols

    • Thank you! It was a frantic couple of weeks, but I finally have an appointment set up for the coming week!

  • Kate Eccles

    Congratulations! I can’t be of any help as I’m in the UK and the NHS is pretty amazing when you’re pregnant 🙂 I look forward to following your journey #kcacols

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