General Schedule Korean Hospitals Follow for Prenatal Check-ups
Below is a list of the prenatal tests generally offered by Korean hospitals. You may want to check with your birthing facility whether their schedule differs from this, and to which extent.
Note: ALL tests, ultrasounds and procedures are optional (although they may not be presented to you as such). If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor and/or do research BEFORE you have the procedure/test.
If you are concerned about costs, check the cost of each procedure before you have it done, and ask whether there are facilities (Health Offices) that offer the test free of charge.
Routine Checkups (may vary from hospital to hospital)
|5-11 weeks||Go in to confirm pregnancy and check fetal heart rate
Heart rate is detectable between 6-8 weeks
|8-32 weeks||Monthly visits||Routine visits include:
|36-40 weeks||Weekly||Routine visits include all of the above as well as:
|40+ weeks||Every few days||Routine visits may not include an ultrasound|
(Adapted from Vanessa Reid, Birth Doula and Breastfeeding Counselor in Gwangju/South Jeolla Province – based on information from the websites for W and Eden Hospitals in Gwangju)
Special Tests (vary slightly from hospital to hospital)
|4-8 weeks||Basic prenatal testing (blood and urine)||Anemia, STIs, liver function, kidney function, HepB, Maternal Rh-|
|8-11 weeks||Rubella test||If the mother has a rubella infection in early pregnancy, it will negatively affect the fetus|
|10-14 weeks||Nuchal translucency ultrasound||An ultrasound done at this point will check for chromosomal defects in the fetus. Abnormal measurements are not a diagnosis. Further testing (chorionic villi sampling/amniocentesis may be performed)|
|11-19 weeks||Genetic/Neural tube defect screen test
(Tri- or Quad Screen Blood Test)
|Screens for Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, Neural Tube defects
Possibility of false positive or false negative
Not a diagnosis
If test is positive, further testing will be done (Chorionic Villi sampling or Amniocentesis) to confirm diagnosis
|12-24 weeks||NIFTY test (not all hospitals provide the service)||Non-invasive Fetal Trisomy (NIFTY) is a non-invasive blood test that checks for genetic defects like Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome, and Patau Syndrome. It has an accuracy rate of over 99% for these three trisomies in particular. It may be more desirable that the QUAD screen + amniocentesis as it is much less invasive to the fetus. It costs more than the QUAD screen (1,200,000 KRW in Seoul).|
|20-26 weeks||Anatomy scan||Longer, more accurate ultrasound scan performed.
Baby must be awake and in an appropriate position
|24-28 weeks||Gestational Diabetes Glucose Test||Ingest 50mL of glucose and check blood sugar after 1 hour
It is not necessary to fast beforehand, but try not to eat within 1 or 2 hours
If blood sugar is high, you may be told to come back for a 2nd round of testing which will require you to fast for 8 hours, ingest 100mL of glucose and get your levels checked every hour for 3 hours
|34 weeks||(not all hospitals)
Basic prenatal testing
|Same as the test done at the beginning|