Soothing music and seaweed soup
Post-pregnancy centers popular in South Korea
July 16, 1999
Web posted at: 10:17 a.m. EDT (1417 GMT)
From Seoul Bureau Chief Sohn Jie-Ae
(CNN) -- Businesslike and professional, M&B Post Pregnancy Center is one of South Korea's growing number of post-pregnancy care facilities.
Inside is a cozy hotel of sorts for 22 new mothers and their new babies, who come straight from the hospital to stay anywhere from two weeks to two months.
"We find that the period right after giving birth is very important to the new mother," said M&B's Lee Chung-Eun. "She is affected in so many ways later in life by what type of care she gets during this time."
While such facilities care for both the mother and the newborn, it's definitely the mother who is pampered. All are given separate rooms, while nurses take care of the babies. If the mother chooses not to breast-feed, the nurses will bottle-feed the child for her.
New moms can use the free time to relax in the lounge, read baby magazines and listen to soothing music.
"I really like it here," said new mother Chang Jim-Mi. "If I was home, someone would have to take care of me. And I still would have to think of things like taking care of the baby and what to eat."
All mothers are served four meals a day, which include at least two servings of seaweed soup and rice, traditional staples for new mothers. According to another long-standing belief, the temperature is turned up to a warm 28 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.
All this pampering does not come cheap. One week's stay costs between $400 and $500 (U.S. dollars).
Still, more and more women are turning toward this option. More than 100 such centers are flourishing around the nation, and analysts expect the number to keep growing.
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