South Korea’s Luxurious Postpartum Care Centers
In South Korea, new mothers are being treated to hotel-like accommodations and luxurious postpartum care at facilities known as joriwons. These centers provide new moms with fresh meals delivered three times a day, facials, massages, and child-care classes, as well as around-the-clock care for their newborn babies. The cost of staying at a joriwon can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the length of stay, which is typically 21 days, the amount of time it takes for a woman’s body to heal after childbirth, according to Korean custom. Moreover, these centers have evolved from modest facilities to high-end retreats, offering exceptional care for new mothers in a Bali-inspired setting.
The rise of joriwons is indicative of the changing cultural attitudes towards postpartum care in South Korea. In the past, the responsibility for postpartum care fell on the mother’s family, particularly the grandmother, but with the increasing number of women pursuing professional careers, the demand for professional care has risen. As a result, eight out of 10 South Korean mothers now opt to stay at a joriwon after giving birth.
Moreover, the communal nature of these centers offers new moms the opportunity to bond with other first-time mothers who have children of the same age. The emphasis on forming social connections with other mothers reflects the importance of community and support during the early stages of motherhood.
While some may view the cost of these centers as a luxury, there is growing recognition of the value of postpartum care in aiding mothers’ physical and emotional recovery after childbirth. Allison Kang, a Korean American living in Seoul, expressed her wish for a similar emphasis on recovery in the United States, highlighting the importance of allowing mothers to prioritize their well-being during the postpartum period and beyond.
In conclusion, the evolution of postpartum care in South Korea reflects the changing needs and expectations of modern mothers, highlighting the importance of professional care and support during the early stages of motherhood.