The Korea Herald


[Korea Quiz] Korean postpartum care

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 28, 2024 - 09:44

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South Korea has the world’s lowest birth rate, but it offers arguably some of the world’s best postpartum care for women who do give birth.

Across the country, there are approximately 470 recovery centers for new mothers, where the primary focus is on their recovery after childbirth. Nearly 80 percent of South Korea's new mothers stay at these facilities, known as "sanhu joriwon." Most of these facilities are privately operated, but around 20 of them nationwide are run by local governments.

At these centers, new mothers stay in hotel-like rooms, receiving three meals a day, with snacks in between, massage sessions and baby care classes, while their newborns are cared for by nurses and professional caregivers around the clock. The average cost of a standard 2-week stay is 3.2 million won ($2,410) at privately owned joriwon, while public facilities charge about half that amount.

The importance placed on postpartum care has its roots in tradition.

An old Korean saying advises new mothers to avoid getting their hands wet for "sam-chil" days, translating to three sets of seven days, or 21 days total after giving birth.

This three-week period of rest was the norm for all moms following childbirth, regardless of their social class. During this period, even slaves were exempted from work.

Answer: (d)