Thursday, May 28, 2009

Having a baby in Korea

Dating a Korean has really given me an opportunity to see the real everyday life here. Today I went with my boyfriend to visit a friend of his whose wife just gave birth to their first child a few days ago. The wife is staying at a sanhuchoriwon (산후조리원). This is a place where mothers often go for 2-4 weeks after giving birth with their child. Here, the mothers can rest and relax with their newborn for a while before having to return to their home. The sanhuchoriwon provide meals for the new mothers, assist in taking care of the babies, provide instruction for mothers on baby care and even give massages and yoga classes. Korean people believe that the first weeks after giving birth are critical to the mother's health. If she can not rest during this period, she may fall ill. Seems like logical thinking to me. Oh, and the price? 1,850,000 won ($1,472.02 USD) for two weeks. We went to the room to say hello to the mother for a few minutes. They keep the place quite clean and sterile. You need to take off your shoes before even entering into the ward and you need to use hand sanitizer before you walk in too. The room was quite simple, but nice. There was a bed for the mother and a cradle for the baby. There was a sofa and a TV for the mom to watch too.

After, we let her alone with the baby, we didn't want to bother her too much, since she only just had the baby on Monday. My boyfriend, two of his friends and I went to get dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. I tried really hard to understand the conversation for a while... but though I can pull out many words, it's still really hard for me to make any sense of what's going on. I might be able to figure out what the conversation is about, but basically no details. Anyway, I'm going to my Korean academy now 3 days a week, and I've definitely seen an improvement in my vocabulary. That's really my biggest weakness right now. I'm just going to keep plugging along... maybe by the time I leave I'll at least be able to understand the conversations, even if I can't participate in the conversations.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.