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Experience Luxury Postpartum Care at Seoul’s Joriwon | [Publication Name] | World News – Times of India

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SEOUL: Four mothers sat quietly in the nursing room around midnight, breastfeeding their newborn babies. As one mother nodded off, her eyelids heavy after giving birth less than two weeks earlier, a nurse came in and whisked her baby away. The exhausted mom returned to her private room to sleep.
Sleep is just one of the luxuries provided by South Korea’s postpartum care centres.
The country may have the world’s lowest birthrate, but it is also home to perhaps some of its best postpartum care. At centres like St. Park, a small, boutique postpartum centre, or joriwon in Seoul, new moms are pampered for a few weeks after giving birth and treated to hotel-like accommodations.
Fresh meals are delivered thrice a day, and there are facials, massages, Pilates lessons and child-care classes. Nurses watch babies around the clock.
New moms are summoned from their rooms only when it is time to breastfeed in the communal nursing room, where they are watched by nurses. Women who choose not to breastfeed are free to spend their time focused on healing. (The babies are kept in the nursery throughout the day, though mothers can request them be sent to their rooms at any time.)
Staying at a joriwon can cost from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the length of stay, which is often 21 days, the amount of time it takes for a woman’s body to heal after childbirth, according to Korean custom. But the centres weren’t always so luxurious, said Soohyun Sarah Kim, 46, owner of St. Park. “When I had my first child, there was no place to go,” she said. “Normally in Korea, the grandmother should take care of the baby, but my mom didn’t have the skill, so we decided to go to a joriwon.”
She opened St. Park in 2008 with a mission to provide exceptional care for mothers in a Bali-inspired retreat. It became one of the first high-end joriwons in Seoul. “It’s kind of like we are the transition between hospital and home,” Kim said.
Now eight of 10 South Korean mothers go to a joriwon. Pregnant women clamour to get into their joriwon of choice.
Part of the appeal of a joriwon is the chance to spend time with other first-time moms with similar interests and personalities who have children of the same age. Chun Hye-rim, who is expecting her first child in March, adds, “You want your child to get along with people in the same social class.” nyt

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